Viva Young

To the nights we won’t remember with the people we won’t forget. Whether this applies to the decrepit or to the juvenile, rebels of all age finally have a place where they certainly won’t forget. Taco Bell has successfully convinced the 2013 Super bowl audience to ‘viva young’ with an entertaining commercial amusing to viewers of all ages. Everyone’s experienced a rampant night or two, where the craving of food at the break of dawn and brink of exhaustion is nearly irresistible.

And whoever hasn’t may want to reconsider their sheltered life choices. This commercial celebrates those nights. The florescent lights, risqué scenes, and kick-ass music takes the audience back to the memories, or perhaps fantasies, and then proceeds to show viewers just how to end a raging night.

In addition to rejoicing a wild night, it manages to bring peace to the controversy of the old generation versus the new generation. It may be easy to deny that older people ever had a reckless side, but today’s teenagers will one day be at that point, and it doesn’t seem like anyone is resisting reckless urges. Watching elders behave similar to teenagers may be discomforting, but it brings light to a touchy topic. Other commercials have not played it quite as safe. In an attempt to be provocative, the new Volkswagen Beetle commercial uses the Jamaican stereotype to compare the happiness of Volkswagen drivers with the happiness of Jamaicans.

The cultural appropriation is questionable because of the multiple stereotypes used, including gloomy Midwestern’s and mellow Jamaicans. Causing a commotion was exactly what they desired, and this wouldn’t have happened had it focused on the vehicle. This commotion is why the entire focus of the advertisement is toward who is using the product rather than the actual product. Similar to the Volkswagen Beetle commercial, the Dodge Ram commercial convinces viewers with the same common factor of focusing on the characteristics of the consumer. The product is a mystery until the end because of the way the company approached the audience. Once again, nothing about the car itself is mentioned.

Paul Harvey’s 1978 “So God Made a Farmer” speech neglected to mention the hefty tires, engines, and wheels. Instead, he talked about the hefty farmers behind the wheels, who need a truck like Dodge Ram. Rather than dramatizing the quality of the mediocre food and reduced prices, Taco Bell embraces the relaxed environment while showing how it is a dependable late-night snack. As the old people loiter in the parking lot, they exhaustedly reminisce on the night they just experienced. What other company would promote loitering? To be a rebel may be a lifestyle, or a decision only chosen every once in a while.

Either way, being rebellious shapes one’s ethics and values. Specifically, sneaking out past curfew is intriguing, tempting one’s ‘ethos’. Similar to the Volkswagen’s intent, it causes a controversy because of how bold this scene is. Some might say it gives young adults the wrong motivation. Another ethical decision portrayed in this commercial is an older man getting a large shoulder tattoo. Many adults have an instinct to advise kids to stray away from tattoos. Seeing an older adult getting one could upset those protective adults, and potentially negatively impact Taco Bell.

When all is said and done, however, these decisions are essentially harmless. It’s proven by showing the police officers drive by and simply glare at them without pulling them over. This commercial is dedicated to the rebel in everyone. The obvious target audience is the juvenile young adult, but it doesn’t stop there. For some, youth never completely leaves the heart. The people to whom this applies to may feel guilty when eating somewhere promoted for younger people. This commercial, however, shows that anyone is welcome, despite age.

Older people may have been affected too, but the generations have developed so radically that it is difficult to believe all elders will appreciate this commercial enough to eat Taco Bell. Pastimes have developed as technology becomes more advanced, so people from earlier generations can’t have the same flashbacks as the ones in this advertisement. There were no flashy clubs or DJ tables, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have stories to tell.

As a teenager, this commercial is convincing because of how relatable it is. Whether the scenarios in this clip are reminisced or just fantasized from afar, all young adults strive to rebel. It’s simply part of nature. Even more, no one ever gets caught, making it the perfect night. And if old people don’t get caught doing it, then it must be okay. The flirtatious girl in a taxi, the bad-ass blowing up explosives on a front porch, and the guy simply along for the ride, all belong somewhere. Somewhere, the night has to end.

If this commercial says one thing, it is that exceptional nights with wonderful friends deserve to end with some pretty awesome food. Taco Bell has managed to connect to the risk-takers and rule-breakers, and has given them a place to go. Being young will not last forever, but a rebels heart will forever ‘viva young’.