Crisis

Taco Bell’s Website Is Absolutely Insane (No, Seriously)

Based on the absurdities of some of the menu items, Taco Bell seems like a pretty ridiculous place to get the job done. It’s in tortillas like a Wonka mill with cannons shooting mixed foods. Absurd configuration lands on the ground becomes their next bestselling food mutant.

But as wild and unpredictable as their menu can be, their marketing is generic. They presenting a straight face to their experiments. You would think their overall company character would be more aligned with the surrealist ad campaigns of Old Spice and Starburst. Those companies rely on weirdness that is self reliant to receive your attention. Taco Bell simply puts out a press release that is gentle about genetically splicing together a burrito and some spaghetti to create the Screaming Spagherritonamed since it yells a lot and since it’s hot. Their advertisements are dull. “We are available at two a.m.. So if you are hungry and crave a brush with violent indigestion, then pop on by and try the Five Dollar Doritos Locos Phone Your Mother She’s Worried About You box.”

That’s why Taco Bell’s website fascinates me. Many companies have sites so the URL doesn’t be snatched up by some hero and fill it. But on Taco Bell’s website, I can find all of the weirdness I have expected to see from their advertising. I really don’t know how long it’s been this way, because I have only used the website so I don’t get flustered with its beauty in line at the drive-thru, in order to familiarize myself with their freak show menu. I wish I would’ve scrolled down the page a tiny more to reach the Promised Land.

By comparison, here’s how McDonald’s describes the Big Mac on its merchandise page:

Mouthwatering perfection begins with two sear-sizzled 100 percent pure beef patties and Big Mac sauce, sandwiched between a sesame seed bun. American cheese, shredded lettuce, onions and pickles top off it.

Simple. Direct. Only 30 words to describe their flagship sandwich, the sandwich which will stand valiantly on the bow of the S.S. McDonald’s since it stinks.

Here’s just a quarter of those words Taco Bell uses to describe the overall concept of fountain beverages:

Hey, this is a cup. It comes in four dimensions, and you can fill it with your choice’s fountain beverage.

It is possible to put ice in it, too, if you want. You experienced a cup earlier, so let’s discuss what you really want to know: our location in the universe.

If you should get all four of those cups, you would discover that they comfortably fit within each other. Each such as a Taco Bell Matryoshka doll. Matryoshka dolls, for all of you running to Wiki at this time, are such traditional wooden Russian dolls which have one doll inside another doll, within a different doll, etc.. Not only are they examples of Eastern European workmanship, however they are physical metaphors for the complicated layers of life . See, such as our fountain beverage cups or Matryoshka dollsexperience is predicated on macro and micro iterations.

It’s like that for just about any description on the website. So much of this feels like a middle-aged man was asked to binge Rick And Morty and utilize some of that brewed magical character to describe burritos. Nearly every product page is filled with non-sequitur irreverence which utilizes fast food Tex-Mex as a background for “deep” or “surreal” with “humor” Each page is written like a shortform post with original titles, similar to blog posts almost. They have Facebook and Twitter discuss buttons. Do not worry; the people who’ve used them a long time past were obstructed by you.

Know that some of the descriptions are a little funny, before I go too deep into it. For example, Taco Bell acknowledges that it’s bizarre that you could buy just a cup of seasoned rice from them if you want in the name of the webpage in question, that reads “Wait, You Just Want Rice?” This can be followed with the subtitle “Are you certain?” Next, as soon as they try speaking the reader out of buying their products, the paragraph ends with “just know that literally NOBODY becomes just rice from Taco Bell.” That’s the kind of self-aware pandering we millennials that are irreverent desire out of the brands. I would not be surprised if their Breakfast Quesadilla description was about the best way to dab a step-by-step lesson.

From there, the descriptions could be filed into a few subgroups, which range from attempts at irony that miss the mark to ramblings which sense like somebody hacked on the website and filled it with nonsense that corporate has not noticed yet. Much like Taco Bell itself, most of it is terrible and I really like all of it.

There is A theme Taco Bell ironically-but-not-ironically praising themselves. They utilize all the jokey product descriptions to disguise how they truly see themselves, such as in this snippet about the Cheesy Gordita Crunch:

Not often does a food invention come along that completely alters the way we eat, however the Cheesy Gordita Crunch has become a durable staple of our character as Taco Bell. It’s a privilege to witness a phenomenon of the size on this ground during our piece of existence.

After the cocaine groove begins to kick in, I can see Taco Bell executives repeating that mantra word for word at the mirror at least ten times a day. As opposed to use phrases such as “mouthwatering perfection” the way McDonald’s did for the Big Mac, Taco Bell describes the Chalupa Supreme as “a Dante-esque culinary anomaly.” I really don’t know why a restaurant could describe one of its own dishes as an abnormal taco from Hell, but it will set up a standard to describe the five coating beefy bean burrito as “a Chaucer-esque travel into glorious irrelevancy” along with the cinnamon twists as “such as Sophocles, however fucking delicious, bro.”

The write-up for the Crunchwrap Supreme (that is sort of like a taco Frisbee. Really. Only throw one) paints it as a legendary musical artist which golfs on its own island also receives honorary doctorates while regular Crunchwraps “finish their culinary careers booking shows at regional casinos to help pay rent.” Ignoring that it’s really bizarre to see that a restaurant diss all that separates plus a layer of berries and the Crunchwrap that is lowly and pathetic, its food. But apparently that is enough to create its own caste system that is goddamn. The writers of those descriptions were so high off of the Crunchwrap musical artist request They felt they had to carry this sense of excellence to its logical conclusion: shading Drake in the description of some soft taco:

It’s so tender, it exclusively listens to Toronto hip-hop.

Attributing distinctly human attributes to food is just another popular running theme throughout the descriptions, by the Dressed Egg Taco resembling “you in your present condition of being booted in a sleeping bag” to the Fiesta Taco Salad, called a celebration at “lettuce’s home” and the shredded cheddar cheese is the man no one encouraged — that implies that Taco Bell believes they should not have put cheese on the thing they are going to serve youpersonally, but oh well! Shredded Cheddar Cheese is here, and its boombox is filled with nothing but Limp Bizkit.

The real masterpiece is the description of the 7-Layer Burrito. The author puts the reader at the role of a voyeur peeking in on the lives of their person burrito layers as if they lived on their own flooring in an apartment building, in what could be the most disrespectful and oddly beefy homage to Rear Window conceivable.

Rice is an elderly woman on the floor that develops rhubarb in her apartment garden. Lettuce is the landlord on the fourth. Sour cream is. Guacamole is a dancer on the third floor the voyeur is in love with but has never spoken to and just watches. I take offense to Taco Bell casting me, the reader, as a sexual prowler spying on the sensual moves of guacamole, likely using binoculars and certainly masturbating. That’s entrapment. For the record, my interest in guacamole is strictly platonic, with the chance of hand material that is delicate.

Every once in a while, however, the author provide you with a glimpse into the psychosis that fuels all of this. In some of the descriptions, it’s simple to see that Taco Bell is having an existential crisis. It decided to express its confusion about the deeper metaphors concealed between the tortillas and cheese through a set of brief essays. It wears its crisis on its sleeve, as noticed in the name of the Doritos Cheesy Gordita Crunch informative article: “A Really Delicious Identity Crisis.”

However difficult an identity crisis can be, it’s just made worse when you deny your real identity. Look no further than the Doritos Cheesy Gordita Crunch if you want an example of how to deal with an identity crisis with elegance.

Initially I guessed that whoever wrote this was emotionally scarred by nacho cheese at some time in their lifetime, particularly after reading the article regarding the Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco Supreme, since it described the memory of some child’s birthday wish for a tuxedo-wearing T-Rex best buddy with gobs of confidence before immediately crushing it with all the cold cynicism of maturity, realizing “the dream is dead; Rex is not coming.” After more research, I think I discovered the true source of the Taco Bell food outline writer’s pain, or at the very least a metaphor which alludes to it, at the write-up for the Smothered Burrito. It describes a once-loving, now-broken connection between its sauce and a burrito.

Everything is good for the first few months, but then burrito begins to see several red flags in sauce. It gets a little too covetous of sauces. When burrito goes to the mall along with different burritos, sauce gets a bit angry. Now, burrito just spends weekends shopping for bargains on lawn furniture and falling asleep to cable tv at 10 P.M, a shadow of the burrito it was before being smothered by reddish sauce.

How the author found the strength to not violate the metaphor and finish the piece with, “And fuuuuuuck you, Karen.” is admirable. That would been a ending than what was delivered:

We’d feel sort of bad for the burrito, but honestly it’s just too dang delicious with red sauce around it. It’s just a burrito, and burritos don’t have feelings.

That’s the author admitting that his pain has induced him to become emotionally disconnected. He is the burrito. He needs to make a change, so he turns to the Spicy Tostada. The Author admires the Tostada to be unafraid to be itself, “unlike individuals who wear a mask to help keep everyone from seeing what’s truly on the inside,” even though he tries to brush off its break through by indicating the reader is reading too much into it:

… wait … no no no, it’s a metaphor, keep that on … Oh jeez. You, ummm … really took that whole “open-faced” thing to some location we weren’t expecting.

Throughout every description, the author describes themselves with all the royal “we.” But the illusion breaks for just a moment at the next paragraph at the Double-Decker Taco page. The author begins with, “I like to envision …” before going on to theorize that hard and soft shell tacos likely share a toilet to do god knows what collectively.

Who are you? Why are you writing these? I want to find out whether that taco manifesto finishes with somebody screaming naked atop a burning Taco Bell / KFC site, although I would ask you to stop. But I don’t think it will, in the Spicy Tostada found inspiration since the author and finally found hope again . After realizing the tuxedo-wearing T-Rex best friend would not be real, they one day “see a billboard for a Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco Supreme.”

The Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco Supreme reignites their passion and wonder. The author realizes that if Taco Bell can turn a pipe dream of a crispy taco with a casing made from Doritos into among the fast food items of all time, she or he can make even their most hopeless dream come true. It’s a motivational message about how, with just a little effort, some people can make a fortune selling absurd garbage.

Luis would like to thank Cracked senior editor Anita Serwacki for showing him the webpage for Taco Bell’s fountain beverages, which sparked an obsessive plunge into a rabbit hole cushioned using fluffy tortillas. You Will Find Luis on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook.

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