Jason Sudeikis Challenges Taco Bell's Late Night Reputation

The chain is launching a new menu focused on boosting lunch business

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Taco Bell is often a go-to spot for late-night cravings, but a new campaign starring Jason Sudeikis aims to lure consumers in daylight, too.

A 30-second ad launching March 21 shows Sudeikis, who repeatedly expressed his love for the brand in interviews, responding to a real social media post about how “Taco Bell only really hits after midnight.”

The poster, a man named Howie who was paid to participate in the campaign, digs into Taco Bell at 1:52 p.m. before Sudeikis suddenly confronts him.

The actor and Ted Lasso star pushes Howie to admit that the meal still hits during the day. The film ends with the tagline: “Not just late night.”

The campaign, created by Deutsch LA, introduces a new Cantina Chicken menu, with dishes incorporating ingredients such as pico de gallo and white corn tortillas made daily. Howie covers the Cantina chicken crispy taco with the new avocado verde salsa that complements it.

A second spot uses the same concept to show a man who posted, “Getting taco bell during the daytime feels unethical,” enjoying the Cantina chicken quesadilla.

The ad offers Taco Bell Rewards Members a free taco through the app from March 21 to April 4. Loyalty program members also got an early taste of the items starting March 14.

“Taco Bell had a desire to shake things up and redefine what they stood for in consumer’s minds. This meant shifting perceptions associated with their food only being good during late-night,” said Derek Smith, acd and art director, Deutsch LA. “With a new innovative menu, quality ingredients and surprising talent, we have everything we need to challenge misconceptions about the brand.”

Taco Bell has a history of recruiting celebrities with a genuine connection to the brand. Lil Nas X, who worked at the chain as a high school student, helmed a campaign focused on reviving Taco Bell’s breakfast menu.

And Doja Cat’s outrage with the brand for dropping its Mexican Pizza led Taco Bell to recruit her for a stunt ahead of the 2022 Super Bowl.

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