This week, Taco Bell has taken aim at the McDonald’s breakfast menu with an advertising campaign that compares mass consumption of Egg McMuffins to totalitarian propaganda. The gist of it is that McDonald’s, as the world’s largest fast-food chain, imposes its Egg McMuffin breakfast on the helpless masses and tells them it’s making them happy. The print ads mimic propaganda posters, while the video tells more of a story: citizens live a joyless life in the brutal, gray Routine Republic, waiting on line for their allotted circular breakfast sandwiches, monitored by menacing clown-faced state police. But a man, haunted by visions of a hexagonal breakfast food, makes a run for it with a cute gal as the Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop” kicks in. They navigate a minefield of Happy Meal trinkets and a moat of colored plastic balls to escape the Routine Republic and become Breakfast Defectors.
It’s bizarre, but is it an effective way of selling Taco Bell’s AM Crunchwraps? Adweek says it might be pushing too hard: “The whole concept also can’t help but come across as some kind of meta wormhole, like a microcosm of capitalism trying to devour itself. A smaller fast-food giant is knocking a bigger goliath for creating a fantastical totalitarian communist state, wherein the greatest strain on individual freedom is uninspired food.”
Revolutions are tricky; if it is the circle that oppresses these sad breakfasters today, who’s to say that the hexagon won’t turn out to be as bad, or worse, tomorrow? Power is delicious.
A one-minute version of the clip will air during the 90-minute March 29 season finale of The Walking Dead. More posters: