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Taco Bell Pulls Anti-Veggie Ad

There is no denying that the sorts of commercials that run during the Super Bowl are, not only incredibly expensive to program, but slotted to appeal to a sort of lowest common denominator of culture. While we have moved a bit further away from the requisite bikini-clad sirens luring us toward an icy beer, Super Bowl ads tend to be characterized by an irreverent sort of machismo – the sort of thing fueled by bodily humor, sexual arousal, and automotive lust.

If you really wanted to, you could gather the cultural mood of a large subsection of the population by just watching the commercials that air during such an event. Then again, you might not want to engage in such an anthropological exercise.

However if you were so bold, you would likely realize that, not only is fast food king, but stuff like vegetables are a surefire way to destroy the sort of festive mood that goes hand-in-hand with game day. To illustrate my point; the quasi-Mexican fast food chain Taco Bell recently produced a TV ad pushing their variety 12-pack of tacos. The ad ran during the college football’s Bowl Championship Series (BCS) last month and was in general rotation. In the ad we see someone show up to a game-day party with a plastic packaged array of cut vegetables (presumably purchased ready-made from a supermarket) they hand it off to the hostess, who looks as if she had just been handed a used tissue. The voiceover announcer says, “Veggies on game day is like punting on 4th and 1. It’s a cop out and secretly people kind of hate you for it.” Seemingly the more acceptable alternative is a 12-pack of tacos from Taco Bell.

The commercial seems to disparage the eating of vegetables in favor of eating tacos, which The Center for Science in the Public Interest didn’t like at all. They put a great deal of pressure on Taco Bell over the weekend, and the fast food chain ultimately decided to pull the ad. So you won’t be seeing it on TV anytime soon, but you could see the ad above.

While I personally dig eating vegetables of all kind, I would likely feel that it was sort of a “cop out” if someone showed up to my house with a sad array of dried-out veggies in a plastic clamshell. That said, I would probably be more offended if they showed up with a 12-pack of Taco Bell. But that is just me.

What are your thoughts on this Taco Bell ad? Does it send a poor message to consumers? Is it really anti-veggie or is it just making fun of game day etiquette?

(For the pro- veggie fans out there looking for something to bring to a party, here are 14 Super Bowl Snacks.)

Read more: Blogs, Eating for Health, Following Food, Food, Health, Vegan, Vegetarian, Videos, , , , ,

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Eric Steinman

Eric Steinman is a freelance writer based in Rhinebeck, NY. He regularly writes about food, music, art, architecture, and culture and is a regular contributor to Bon Appétit among other publications.


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1:30AM PDT on Jul 20, 2013


3:25PM PDT on Jun 3, 2013

It is too bad that so many guys are easily dissuaded from eating veggies- "rabbit food" etc- and think it is so macho to eat meat and potatoes or tacos. That herbivorous rhino or hippo can easily kick a lion's ass!

3:17PM PDT on Jun 3, 2013

poor taste

2:04AM PDT on Mar 30, 2013


1:57AM PDT on Mar 30, 2013

That's a little below the belt.

3:02AM PDT on Mar 27, 2013

FKU TACO BELL! IMA ANGRY VEGAN!! i love veggies btw

11:05AM PDT on Mar 25, 2013

I think it's probably true for the most part. Most people who have a super bowl party aren't interested in veggies. I always enjoy some with dip, but the real draw are all those bad for you treats The veggies usually sit untouched among the bags of chips, potato skins, and buffalo wings. Calling this "anti-veggie" is a little extreme, and I imagine would get a lot of eye rolls from most people.

10:39AM PDT on Mar 10, 2013

Stupid comercial I must say!

12:39AM PST on Mar 8, 2013

How sad Taco Bell.... not cool.

12:21AM PST on Mar 1, 2013

What a sad day for Taco Hell

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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Good ideas. Thanks for sharing :)

Thanks for the info.


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