First, they released a new breakfast menu that was practically designed to offend nutritionists; then they started making taco shells out of Doritos. So it’s no surprise that Taco Bell is swapping out its old slogan for a new one—”Live Mas” (as in, “big” in Spanish)—that brazenly celebrates big, bad-for-you food. The slogan is just a part of the fast food chain’s effort to recover fledgling sales, and it also seems to be part of a wider movement in food marketing that gives an F-You to health concerns, favoring a cocky “bigger is better” attitude.
Taco Bell’s new slogan is getting rolled out as part of a new ad campaign to begin on February 25. The changes to its menu and branding seem to be spurred by a new marketing chief, Brian Niccol, brought on four months ago in the midst of a bad sales dip following a false-advertising lawsuit around their beef. Marketing experts think his new strategy centers on establishing company values through advertising. But according to Ad Age, some think this is aiming a little too high:
“They’re trying to suggest a lifestyle aspiration, but this seems an overreach for Taco Bell, as is their Cantina Bell menu effort,” said Denise Lee Yohn, a restaurant-marketing consultant. “A tagline should embrace the DNA of the brand, which for Taco Bell is extraordinary value,” she said, adding that value messaging would resonate in this economy.
But, like some other fast food chains, Taco Bell seems set on rallying consumers aren’t the idea that over-the-top bad-for-you food is badass, practically giving the middle finger to any who dare worry about health concerns. It’s probably a better advertising angle than trying to claim that fast food is good for you (just look at how that’s been working out for McDonald’s), but it’s also a dangerous and polarizing attitude to promote.
Eating Taco Bell for breakfast may make you feel like you’re “living mas” for awhile, but adopting fast food as a lifestyle value instead of an occasional indulgence will only make all of us feel like mierda.