Taco Bell’s Newest Fake Movie Trailer Is Fast, Furious and Filled With Nacho Fries

'Supply & Demand' continues the chain's series from Deutsch

Two men holding a man upside down off a building with Cheetos flying around
When two friends try to launch black-market nacho fries, they quickly find themselves dipped in over their heads. Taco Bell
Headshot of David Griner

Taco Bell doesn’t want its nacho fries to just be a seasonal product offering. It wants their semi-annual return to be an event.

Since launching the product—Taco Bell’s first foray into fries–in 2018, the chain and creative agency Deutsch have produced fake movie trailers to promote them. Each one is highly believable in terms of production quality, with the only wink being the consistent focus on a certain brand’s cheese-dipped fries.

Now the campaign is back with its fifth faux trailer, this time for Supply & Demand, a fast-paced action homage to the Fast & Furious franchise (and, perhaps most notably, its 2019 spinoff, Hobbs & Shaw, though Taco Bell’s iteration goes a lot lighter on the hand-to-hand combat).

The Nacho Fries trailer series is a marketing outlier for Taco Bell, which rarely relies on the kinds of consistent and ongoing campaigns favored by most brands.

“We don’t really have campaigns in the traditional sense,” advertising and brand engagement svp Tracee Larocca told Adweek. “We don’t have a spokesperson. So this is actually a little bit different for us, to lean into something like this.”

Taco Bell’s movie trailer campaign has covered a wide range of genres, from gritty conspiracy dramas to dystopian sci-fi. The last release, playing off the popularity of musician-themed films like A Star Is Born, featured an aspiring singer corrupted by the excesses of fame in “Chasing Gold.”

Larocca said the genre selection process is based on a mix of fan feedback and observing Hollywood’s hottest trends—especially those that seem most ripe for nacho cheesy parody.

“We start first with what we’re hearing from our fans,” she said, “then we kind of take a look at the landscape and what’s happening from a cultural standpoint.”

Supply & Demand continues the campaign’s frequent theme of hostile and mysterious forces trying to keep nacho fries out of the hands of the public. In the new spot, two streetwise entrepreneurial friends decide to launch their own black-market nacho fries, not realizing how deeply they’d be dipped into a viscous pool of danger.

Similarly, in the first installment, “Web of Fries,” actor Josh Duhamel played an investigator who ran afoul of the “Big Fries” cabal by looking into why Taco Bell had never offered the popular side before. A sequel, set in the near future, focused on his daughter’s war for liberation against an evil clown army (not the subtlest dig at a certain global fast food competitor).

Inventing these shadowy antagonists is the brand’s fun way of satirically explaining why nacho fries are only available for a limited time. While the real reason is likely a mix of manufactured scarcity and a desire to avoid the product being forgotten amid a sea of other fry options, it still makes a better story to blame fictional forces of evil.

“When you’re trying to launch a product that’s already well established in your category,” Larocca said, “you have to establish who the enemy is: ‘Why don’t they want you to have nacho fries?'”

In recent years, Taco Bell has increasingly focused on fanning the flames of its fans’ passion for the brand and its products. Most potently, the chain briefly opened a fully branded Palm Springs hotel called The Bell that generated 4.4 billion media impressions and became an ultimate rallying point for megafans.

“Over the past few years,” Larocca said, “what we’ve really tapped into is this culture of creativity and really unleashing this ‘cult of Taco Bell,’ this passion our fans have for the brand and the food.”

While the movie trailer campaign is specific to nacho fries, Larocca said it also highlights how Taco Bell tries to find new, creative ways into crowded and highly competitive fields, such as offering breakfast.

“What we really tried to do was disrupt convention. We always try to figure out what our unique way into something is,” she said. “If you look at how we’ve launched breakfast, how we’ve launched fries, we’re going into these established categories and trying to disrupt in that space. So what we really do is try to look for the right creative tool to insert us into that conversation.”

Here’s a look back at the campaign’s previous fake trailers, followed by credits for the new spot:


CREDITS:

Taco Bell
SVP, Advertising and Brand Engagement: Tracee Larocca
Director of Advertising: Ashley Prollamante
Manager, Brand Experience: Michelle Prieve
Food Consultant: Carolyn Avelino

Deutsch
Creative
Chief Creative Officer, Los Angeles: Brett Craig
Creative Director: Jeremiah Wasson
Design Director, Food: Eric Zunkley
Associate Creative Directors: Daniel Chen, Mikey Sison
Art Director: Karter Krasselt
Copywriter: Ryan Siepert

Production
Head of Production: Diego de la Maza
Executive Integrated Producer: Paul Roy
Integrated Producer: Judd Stricker
Senior Music Supervisor: Chase Butters
Music Supervisor: Dez Davis

Digital Production
Executive Integrated Producer, Digital: Laura Tron
Senior Integrated Producer, Digital: Ariel Theraube
Associate Integrated Producer, Digital: Kemi Adeniji

Design
Design Director: Jean-Lou Renoux
Designer: Sam Hiller

Account Management
Group Account Director: Matt Matzen
Account Director: Kelly Childers
Account Supervisor: Tara Haglund
Account Executives: Kristen Engasser, Natalie Brock

Business Affairs, Traffic
Director of Integrated Business Affairs: Gabriela Farias
Executive Business Affairs Manager: Ken Rongey
Business Affairs Manager: Kevin Nickels
Director of Broadcast Traffic: Carie Bonillo
Executive Broadcast Traffic Manager: Courtney Tylka
Senior Broadcast Traffic Manager: Ana Barraza

Account Planning
EVP, Head of Strategy: Kelsey Hodgkin
Associate Strategy Director: Rebecca Chein

Production – Live-Action
Neighborhood Watch Director: Jeremy Saulnier
Executive Producers: Richard Peete, Traci Carlson
Producer: Elyciphus Siler

Production Service Company, Panama City
Goodgate Productions Founder, Executive Producer: Philip Bolus
Partner, Producer: Cristobal Sotomayor
Head of Production: Bernardo Kenny

Editorial
Union Editorial Editor: Jim Heygood
Assistant Editor: Joe Hughes
Executive Producer: Joe Ross

Post (Color, VFX, Finishing)
A52

Lead Flame Artist: Jesse Mansour
Executive Producer: Patrick Nugent
Producers: Andrew Rosenberger, Jenny Bright
Colorist: Paul Yacono

Audio, Sound Design
Lime Studios Audio Mixers: Mark Meyuhas, Matt Miller
Executive Producer: Susie Boyajan

Music
Griz “Can’t Get Enough”
Plus original composition by Massive Music


@griner david.griner@adweek.com David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."
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