Taco Bell is known for its unique food the company creates, but it’s recently known for something a little more bizarre: its new advertising campaign, “Routine Republic.” The advertising video depicts a world where the government emphasizes sameness and everyone is eating the same circle breakfast sandwiches.
However, two people decide to rebel and break out of the controlled world they lived in and head to greater, happier places that have hexagon-shaped breakfast sandwiches.
The target audience appears to be customers who eat breakfast at other fast-food chains, particularly McDonalds as the familiar clowns are depicted as the dictators who slide down slides and have ball pits. But, did Taco Bell miss the target by featuring propaganda imagery? Although the company is attempting to advertise their newest commodity–breakfast–doing so by reflecting Communism has stirred up controversy.
According to Marshall McLuhan, the “medium is the message,” and found that audiences are too often distracted by the content of the medium that we miss the overall point. The video advertisement that is centered around a communist-driven theme could deter from Taco Bell effectively targeting its intended audience because viewers are too caught up trying to understand the commercial.
Commentators on the video responded with more questions about the setting of the commercial than an initial reaction to the new product. People were also bothered by the imagery and scary clowns who run the Routine Republic. This proves McLuhan’s theory that the medium is the message because many viewers are more focused on the overall concept and medium as opposed to the actual content.
Although, Taco Bell could be trying to target a younger audience–as seen with the young characters–who would not necessarily be offended by the propaganda.
Do you think Taco Bell’s commercial was effective, or were you too distracted by the content and missed the point?
-Kaitlyn Russell, Hannah Rodgers, Anna Joy Zima