Based on the absurdities of some of their menu items, Taco Bell seems like a somewhat ludicrous place to work. It’s like a Wonka factory with cannons firing miscellaneous foods at simultaneously launched tortillas. Whatever ridiculous configuration lands on the flooring first becomes their next best-selling food mutant.
But as wild and unpredictable as their Lovecraftian menu can be, their marketing is fairly generic. They’re ever presenting their crazy experimentations with a relatively straight face. You’d envision their overall corporate persona would be more aligned with the surrealist advertising campaign of Old Spice and Starburst. Those corporations rely on self-aware weirdness to get your attention. Taco Bell just sets out a gentle press release about genetically splicing together a burrito and some spaghetti to generate the new Screaming Spagherrito, so named because it’s spicy and because it hollers a lot. Their commercials are similarly dull. “We’re open at 2 a.m. So if you’re hungry and crave a brush with violent indigestion, pop on by and try the Five Dollar Doritos Locos Call Your Mom She’s Worried About You box.”
That’s why Taco Bell’s website fascinates me. Most companies have websites merely so some hero doesn’t snatch up the URL and fill it with a menagerie of penises. But on Taco Bell’s website, I can find all the weirdness I’ve expected to see from their ad. I don’t know how long it’s been this style, since I’ve only previously applied the website to familiarize myself with their freak show menu so I don’t get flustered by its grotesque charm in line at the drive-thru. Seeming back, I wish I would’ve scrolled down the page only a little more to reach the Promised land: the weird descriptions they’ve written for their food.
For contrast, here’s how McDonald’s describes the Big Mac on its product page 😛 TAGEND
Mouthwatering perfection starts with two sear-sizzled 100% pure beef patties and Big Mac sauce, sandwiched between a sesame seed bun. American cheese, shredded lettuce, onions and pickles top it off .
Simple. Direct. Just 30 terms to describe their flagship sandwich, the sandwich that will stand valiantly on the bow of the S.S. McDonald’s as it sinks.
Here’s merely a one-quarter of the words Taco Bell uses to describe the general concept of fountain beverages 😛 TAGEND
Hey, this is a cup. It comes in four sizings, and you can fill it with the fountain guzzle of your choice .
You can set ice in it, too, if you crave. You’ve likely experienced a beaker before, so let’s talking here what you really want to know: our place in the ever expanding universe .
If “youre supposed to” get all four of these cups, you’d is my finding that they comfortably fit inside each other. Each, an identical but smaller version of itself, like a Taco Bell Matryoshka doll. Matryoshka dolls, for all of you running to Wiki right now, are those traditional wooden Russian dolls that have one doll inside another doll, inside another doll, etc. Not only are they beautiful examples of Eastern European craftsmanship, but they’re physical metaphors for life’s complex layers of awareness. See, like our fountain booze cups or Matryoshka dolls, human experience is predicated on macro and micro iterations of the cogs that construct it .
It’s like that for nearly every description on the site. So much of it feels like a middle-aged guy was asked to binge Rick And Morty and use some of that distilled magical essence to explain burritos. Almost every product page is fitted with non-sequitur irreverence that uses fast food Tex-Mex as a backdrop to get “deep” or “surreal” with “comedy.” Each page is written like a shortform article with original names, almost like blog posts. They even have Facebook and Twitter share buttons. Don’t obsess; you blocked the only people who’ve employed them a long time ago.
Before I go too deep into it, know that some of the specific characteristics are actually a little funny. For instance, Taco Bell acknowledges that it’s weird that you could buy simply a cup of seasoned rice from them if you crave in the name of the page in question, which reads “Wait, You Just Want Rice? ” This is followed by the subtitle “Are you sure? ” Then, after they try talking the reader out of buying their products, the paragraph ends with “just know that literally NOBODY gets just rice from Taco Bell.” That’s the various kinds of self-aware pandering we irreverent millennials want out of our corporate brands. If their Breakfast Quesadilla description was just a step-by-step lesson on how to dab, I wouldn’t be surprised.
From there, the descriptions can be filed into a few subgroups, which range from endeavors at incongruity that miss the mark to ramblings that feel like someone hacked the website and filled it with nonsense that corporate hasn’t noticed yet. Like Taco Bell itself, the majority of members of it is terrible and I enjoy it all.
A recurring theme is Taco Bell ironically-but-not-ironically praising themselves for being awesome. They use all the jokey product descriptions to disguise how they genuinely ascertain themselves, like in this snippet on the Cheesy Gordita Crunch 😛 TAGEND
Not often does a meat innovation come along that totally transforms the route we feed, yet the Cheesy Gordita Crunch has become a lasting staple of our personality as Taco Bell. It’s a privilege to witness a culinary phenomenon of this magnitude during our tiny slice of life on this land .
I can be noted Taco Bell executives repeating that mantra word for word in the reflect at the least ten times a day after the cocaine groove truly starts to kick in. Rather than employ phrases like “mouthwatering perfection” the style McDonald’s did for the Big Mac, Taco Bell describes the Chalupa Supreme as “a Dante-esque culinary anomaly.” I don’t know why a eatery would describe one of its own bowls as an abnormal taco from Hell, but it does set up a standard to describe the five layer beefy bean burrito as “a Chaucer-esque journey into glorious irrelevancy” and the cinnamon twists as “like Sophocles, but fucking delicious, bro.”
The write-up for the Crunchwrap Supreme( which is kind of like a taco Frisbee. Really. Just throw one) paints it as a legendary musical artist that golfs on its own island and receives honorary doctorates while regular Crunchwraps “end their culinary careers booking reveals at regional casinoes to help pay rent.” Ignoring that it’s really weird to insure a eatery diss its own meat, all that separates the lowly and pathetic Crunchwrap from the enviable Crunchwrap Supreme is sour cream and a vague layer of tomatoes. But apparently that’s enough to develop its own goddamn caste system. The writers of these descriptions were so high off of their Crunchwrap musical artist metaphor that they seemed they had to carry this sense of superiority to its logical judgment: shade Drake in the description of a soft taco 😛 TAGEND
It’s so soft, it exclusively listens to Toronto hip-hop .
Attributing distinctly human qualities to meat is another popular running theme throughout the descriptions, from the Dressed Egg Taco resembling “you in your current state of being bundled up in a sleeping bag” to the Fiesta Taco Salad, described as “states parties ” at “lettuce’s house” and the shredded cheddar cheese is the guy no one invited — which implies that Taco Bell thinks they shouldn’t have thrown cheese on the thing they’re going to serve you, but oh well! Shredded Cheddar Cheese is here, and its boombox is filled with nothing but Limp Bizkit.
The real masterpiece is the description of the 7-Layer Burrito. The novelist puts the reader in the role of a voyeur peeking in on the lives of the individual burrito layers as if they lived on their own storeys in an apartment building, in what might be the most disrespectful and peculiarly beefy homage to Rear Window imaginable.
Latin rice is an elderly wife on the second floor who develops rhubarb in her apartment garden. Shredded lettuce is the handy landowner on the fourth. Reduced-fat sour ointment is a reclusive rich guy who lives on the top floor. Guacamole is a dancer on the third storey the voyeur is in love with but has never was talking about and simply watches from afar. I take offense to Taco Bell casting me, the reader, as a sex prowler spying on the sensual moves of guacamole, probably with binoculars and definitely masturbating. That’s entrapment. For the record, my interest in guacamole is strictly platonic, with the possibility of setting up delicate hand stuff.
Every once in a while, though, the writer give you a peek into the dark psychosis that gasolines all of this. In some of the specific characteristics, it’s plain to be said that Taco Bell is having an existential crisis. It chose to express its profound disarray through a series of short essays on the deeper metaphors disguise between the tortillas and cheese. It wears its crisis on its sleeve, as considered to be in the name of the Doritos Cheesy Gordita Crunch essay: “A Really Delicious Identity Crisis.”
However difficult an identity crisis is also possible, it’s simply become worse when you deny your real identity. If you crave an example of how to handle an identity crisis with grace, seem no further than the Doritos Cheesy Gordita Crunch .
At first I suspected that whoever wrote this had been emotionally scarred by nacho cheese at some degree in “peoples lives”, particularly after reading the post about the Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco Supreme, as it described the recollection of a child’s birthday wish for a tuxedo-wearing T-Rex best friend with gobs of optimism before immediately crushing it with the cold cynicism of adulthood, realise “the dream is dead; Rex isn’t coming.” After more research, I guess I detected the real source of the Taco Bell meat description writer’s ache, or at least a metaphor that alludes to it, in the write-up for the Smothered Burrito. It describes a once-loving , now-broken relationship between a burrito and its sauce topping.
Everything is great for the first few months, but then burrito starts to see a few red flag in sauce. Maybe it gets a little too jealous of other sauces. Perhaps sauce gets a little angry when burrito goes to the mall with other burritos. Now, burrito just spends weekends shopping for deals on lawn furniture and falling asleep to cable television at 10 P.M, a shadow of the burrito it was before being stifled by red sauce .
How the writer acquired the strength to not violate the metaphor and purpose the part with, “And fuuuuuuck you, Karen.” is admirable. That would’ve actually been a more upbeat aiming than what was delivered 😛 TAGEND
We’d seem kind of bad for the burrito, but honestly it’s simply too dang delicious with ruby-red sauce all over it. Plus, it’s just a burrito, and burritos don’t have feelings .
That’s the writer bravely admitting that his suffering has caused him to become emotionally disconnected. He is the burrito. He needs to make a change, so he becomes to the Spicy Tostada. The novelist admires the Tostada for being unafraid to be itself, “unlike people who wear a mask to keep everyone from determining what’s genuinely on the inside, ” even though he tries to brush off its break through by indicating the reader is reading too much into it 😛 TAGEND
… await … no no no, it’s a metaphor, continue that on … Oh jeez. You, ummm … really took that whole “open-faced” thing to a place we weren’t expecting .
Through every description, the writer refers to themselves with the royal “we.” But the illusion breaches for only a few moments in the second convict in the Double-Decker Taco page. The novelist begins with, “I like to suppose … ” before going on to theorize that hard and soft shell tacos probably share a bathroom to do god knows what together.
Who are you? Why are you writing these? I’d ask you to stop, but I want to see if this taco manifesto ends with someone screaming naked atop a burning Taco Bell/ KFC joint place. But I don’t think it will, as the writer found inspiration in the Spicy Tostada and ultimately acquired hope again in the menu item that helped them verbalize their disillusionment. After recognizing the tuxedo-wearing T-Rex best friend would never be real, they one day “see a billboard for a Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco Supreme.”
The Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco Supreme reignites their passion and wonder. The novelist is well known that if Taco Bell can turn a dumb pipe dream about a crunchy taco with a shell made of Doritos into one of the best-selling fast food items of all time, he or she can make even their most impossible dreaming come true. It’s an inspiring message about how, with a little endeavour, any of us can make a fortune selling delicious, ridiculous garbage.
Luis was grateful to Cracked senior editor Anita Serwacki for showing him the page for Taco Bell’s fountain liquors, which triggered an obsessive plunge into a rabbit pit padded with fluffy tortillas. You can find Luis on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook .
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