Taco Bell is encouraging breakfast eaters to break out of their morning rut with an ambitious propaganda-themed campaign asking people to "defect" from their boring circle-shaped sandwiches.
Created out of Deutsch L.A., the campaign consists of a variety of films, including this dystopian-themed, three-minute online video, "Routine Republic." Directed by Michael Spiccia and shot in Budapest in a style that's reminiscent of movies like the "Hunger Games" or "Insurgent," it shows a young man and woman escaping a dark, conformist society where people line up every morning for the same round breakfast sandwiches, to find a more vibrant world where folks enjoy things like the hexagonal-shaped Taco Bell offering, the A.M. Crunchwrap. A sixty-second version of the ad will air during the finale of "Walking Dead" this Sunday.
Was the campaign inspired at all by the popular young adult films it seems to resemble? "It's funny," said Deutsch L.A. EVP/ECD Brett Craig. "I've been getting that question and it wasn't an inspiration at all. We had a slideshow of the category at one point and it had 30 different breakfast sandwiches from fast food places. Everyone is getting the same version of the same thing, so that led us to this metaphor of people in this bleak, bland place where everything was grey and boring."
The effort picks up where the agency's "other Ronald McDonald"-themed ads from last year left off and is aimed at "reinvigorating the breakfast conversation and reawakening people to Taco Bell's" offerings, said Deutsch L.A. EVP/Group Creative Director Tom Pettus.
The campaign also includes graphic wild postings in the style of classic Communist propaganda posters and the creepy animated ad that appears at the beginning of the short film, which lives on routinerepublic.com. There are also a series of "Breakfast Defector" testimonial spots that show consumers who have made the switch to Taco Bell breakfast. Broadcast and social media will direct consumers to breakfastdefectors.com, where Taco Bell fans can join the cause. Social efforts also include a fun "Defector Kit" that was sent out to the brand's most ardent and 'Influential" supporters.
"Taco Bell has done a lot of great work to cultivate superfans and influencers, so a big part of strategy on this was to build on the foundation of love it got from fans when it came to making this a movement and spreading word of defection," said Mr. Pettus.
Read more about the campaign, including thoughts from the Taco Bell client at Adage.com.