Taco Bell Brings the Sex Song ‘Afternoon Delight’ Back to Its Foodie Origins

Suggestive 1976 hit comes full circle

If you think it's a stretch that Taco Bell is repurposing midday bang ballad "Afternoon Delight" as a metaphor for going to Taco Bell, you're really going to be shocked to hear this: That's almost exactly what inspired the song in the first place.

In the chain's new ad from Deutsch/LA, we see co-workers, classmates and geriatric bingo competitors slipping off together to the tune of Starland Vocal Band's enduring 1976 classic. And despite all the furtive note-passing and conspiratorial up-nodding, we quickly learn they're just heading down to the local Taco Bell for a "Happier Hour" promo that runs from 2 to 5 p.m.

It's a cute ad and even features a cameo by 6-foot-tall America's Next Top Model contestant Laura Ellen James. But what's truly surprising is that the song actually was based on an afternoon food excursion.

According to band lore, singer Bill Danoff was amused by the fact that Clyde's restaurant in Georgetown featured a spicy happy hour menu called "Afternoon Delight," which he thought sounded like a metaphor for sex. (And thanks to him, it now totally is.)

Deutsch creative director Josh DiMarcantonio says the first time he heard the song was on Anchorman, so he tends to view it in a lighthearted way. "At its core, it's about forgetting all those typical life responsibilities for a moment and sneaking away to fulfill your desire and do something more enjoyable," he says. "That song is so playful and innocent it really could mean anything."

I don't recommend you refer to a Taco Bell visit as an "Afternoon Delight," though it sounds better than "Afternoon Grease-Beef Injection." Good luck inviting your supermodel classmate to that one.

Credits below.


Spot: "Afternoon Delight," :30/:15

Client: Taco Bell

Chief Marketing Officer: Chris Brandt

Brand Creative Director: Tracee Larocca

Director of Advertising: Aron North

Brand Experience Manager: Ashley Prollamante:

Food Consultant: Carolyn Avelino

Agency: Deutsch, Los Angeles

Chief Creative Officer: Pete Favat

Executive Creative Director: Brett Craig

Creative Directors: Josh DiMarcantonio, Jason Karley

Senior Vice President, Design Director: Nathan J. Iverson

Senior Art Directors: John Baker, Jeremiah Wassom

Senior Copywriter: Chris Jones

Designer: Adam Hale

Director of Integrated Production: Vic Palumbo

Executive Producer: Paul Roy

Associate Integrated Producers: Jamie Gartner, Damon Vinyard

Music Director: Dave Rocco

Production Company: Caviar Films

Director: Keith Schofield

Executive Producer: Jasper Thomlinson

Head of Production: Leigh Miller

Producer: Hillary Rogers


Production Company: Woodshop (tabletop)

Director: Trevor Shepard

Executive Producer: Sam Swisher

Head of Production: Christy Lindgren

Line Producer: Ursula Camack

Editorial Company: N06

Editor: Chan Hatcher

Executive Producer: Crissy DeSimone

Senior Producer: Kendra Desai

Post Facility: 7 VFX

Lead Flame Artist: Verdi Sevenhuysen

Senior Producer: Kendra Desai

Music: "Afternoon Delight" cover by Little Hurricane

Audio Post: 740 Sound

Mixer: Larry Winer

Additional Deutsch Credits

Chief Executive Officer: Michael Sheldon

Group Account Director: Walter Smith

Account Director: Katie Klages

Account Supervisor: Amanda Schuster

Account Executive: McKenna Pickett

Media, Data Strategy Director: Kyle Acquistapace

Chief Strategic Officer: Jeffrey Blish

Group Planning Director: Jill Burgeson

Integrated Business Affairs Director: Abilino Guillermo,

Broadcast Traffic Director: Carie Bonillo,

Broadcast Traffic Manager: Sarah Brennan

Senior Business Affairs Manager: Ken Rongey

Business Affairs Manager: Nestor Gandia

Talent Payment Coordinator: Missy Stella