Remember when almost-cursing was a thing in advertising? Thinking of Kmart’s “Ship My Pants” commercial in particular, but there are plenty of other examples—from Jell-O’s “Fun My Life” to KFC’s “FCK” to Bud Light’s Emmy-winning classic “Swear Jar.”
Taco Bell U.K. is the latest brand to veer close to profanity to get noticed.
A new out-of-home and social campaign from agency The Or carries the headline “See you next Tuesday.” Which may seem innocent enough to some, but IYKYK it’s actually code for a curse word—C(See) U(You) Next Tuesday.
The headline alone probably would have gotten some attention, but the brand felt the need to spell it out—with further copy on the ad offering two interpretations of the headline:
1. A discreet method of delivering an offensive slur.
2. A polite invitation to Taco Tuesday for a £2 taco and drink.
The billboards are up in cities including London, Leeds, Edinburgh and Birmingham. The campaign is also rolling out in social.
Client and agency both said it’s just meant to be a little fun.
“Life can throw all sorts of curve balls at you and we all deserve something to look forward to,” said Lucy Dee, head of marketing at Taco Bell U.K. “The Or have perfectly grasped this through the lens of British humor, creating an eye-catching campaign that frames Taco Tuesday as a weekly highlight and unmissable pick-me-up.”
“The incredible offer of a £2 taco and drink in this economy is almost guaranteed to become a landmark weekly moment,” added Dan Morris, executive creative director at The Or. “In fact, it’s so powerful that Brits may even start using ‘See You Next Tuesday’ as a way to describe the uplifting spa-day-for-your-soul that bargain tacos give you, rather than to hint at a certain offensive slur. Hopefully.”