Taco Bell “Drive-Thru Diet”

The Taco Bell “Drive-Thru Diet.” Seriously? You must have seen the audacious campaign by now. The fast-food chain is trying to cash in on all those (usually short-lived) resolutions to slim down this month by promoting menu items with less fat and calories via its own Jared-style weight-loss success story. In a spot from Draftfcb that at first seems like it spoofs all of the diet pitches populating the airwaves these days, Christine earnestly explains that she wanted to lose weight but didn’t want to sacrifice her daily fast-food indulgence. So she claims to have lost 54 pounds by choosing an item from the chain’s nine-grams-of-fat-and-under menu. The requisite before-and-after photos punctuate the tale. The pitch is extended online with an info-rich site (with bikini shots!) that delves further into her weight-loss story and invites visitors to “Make a
Frescolution” for a chance to win a year of her favorite taco: the Fresco Ranchero. It actually took her two years to take off that weight and lots of exercise, only not much about that part of the process is in the ad. The spot does, however, take care to include a disclaimer that the “Drive-Thru Diet is not a weight-loss program” and urges viewers to “pay attention to total calorie and fat intake.” No one’s going to remember that part, only that Taco Bell can help you lose weight. And while there is value in reminding fast foodies that they can make smarter choices, this diet strategy is nearly as impossible to swallow (and digest) as the tacos.–Eleftheria Parpis

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