Creative Director's Choice: Colin Edelman of PS260 on Taco Bell’s ‘Chasing Gold’ spoof

Darren Criss in Taco Bell's Chasing Gold

Creative Director’s Choice gives creative directors a chance to highlight the work they think is the best out in the ad world — the ads and campaigns they believe are making a difference.

This week, editor Colin Edelman of creative editorial and production house PS260 talks about how Taco Bell's fake movie trailers hit the mark creatively with consumers.

It may have been years since I stepped foot in a Taco Bell, but their advertising has been some of the best I've seen recently. Using a fake movie trailer format, they unapologetically play with film tropes to promote their Nacho Fries.

Taco Bell kicked off their Nacho Fries campaign last year with a mock thriller trailer called ‘Web of Fries.’ Their most recent trailer, a music biopic called ‘Chasing Gold’ has proven to be the best to date.

The effectiveness of these ads comes from the dedication to create 100% authentic looking trailers...so much so that if the viewers aren't paying attention, they may actually mistake it for a film. And what makes this trailer so convincing? Expert attention to cinematic details with lens flares, cheesy pop lyrics, an MPAA ratings spoof, and the classic rise and fall story for every biopic out there. And to top off this world-building, they even recorded a full three-minute song to accompany the trailer.

It feels odd to praise a monster corporation promoting fast food, but they're serving their young demographic so effectively that it has to be recognized. ‘Chasing Gold’ feels straight out of a sketch comedy show, where a world is built around a ridiculous idea. And it's actually funny, another rarity for most television ads. The use of a celebrity can often feel forced, but choosing actor/singer/songwriter Darren Criss brings the ad to another level. And at its heart, it's all about a jingle, making it a love story to advertising.

With advertising, everywhere you look it's no surprise that spoof ads have become a more compelling way of reaching an audience. It's refreshing to see agencies acknowledge that we're drowning in advertising and to remedy it with something that's creative in its execution while still being a full-on commercial. Unfortunately, the assumption that people "won't get it" still exists in the advertising world, and often times spots lose their humor or edge in order to soften it for a general audience. But it's clear that Deutsch LA and Taco Bell have found a balance where product, genre and humor can exist mutually and effectively for viewers.

Colin Edelman is editor at creative editorial, post-production, visual effects, graphic and technological company PS260.

See the work by clicking on the Creative Works box below.

To see the latest creative ads and campaigns, visit The Drum’s Creative Works section. If you or your creative director would like to be featured in our Creative Director’s Choice, please contact Kyle O’Brien.

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