Taco Bell previewed its Super Bowl direction several days ago, with a teaser clip showing one Bernie Goldblatt tearing around a football field on a moto-scooter, a scene especially notable for Goldblatt’s being on the ripe side of his golden years.
And now we see the rest of Bernie’s night out in “Viva Young,” Taco Bell’s in-game Super Bowl spot and a continuation of the “Live Mas” theme. The ad delivers on the premise and then some (it’s always a good thing when the big spot exceeds the teaser), showing the 87-year-old Goldblatt and his posse partying like it was 1999 (and they were their grandkids’ age).
We’ve noted the new presence of the previously marginalized pre-boomer demographic in pop culture, and it’s a trend that’s only grown in the past year. “Viva Young” takes a page from that now-familiar playbook (old people doing young things, so to speak), but the execution here makes the spot stand out.
The spot, from Deutsch L.A. and directed by Noam Murro, features Bernie and Co. escaping from Glencobrooke Retirement Home and throwing down in the club, pulling neighborhood pranks, copping illicit pool time, and getting late-night tattoos before ending their night at Taco Bell (a nice touch–the Goodwill Hunting-meets-Midnight Express chest-pressing moment at the diner window). The action is set to a Spanish version of Fun’s “We Are Young,” and if it sounds odd to you, it’s because some license was taken with the reinterpretation. The creative team of senior art director Gordy Sang and senior copywriter Brian Siedband translated the song (now “Nosotros Somos Jovenes”) via Google Translate. “We went for very literal, word-for-word, simple translations,” says Siedband. “In general, literal Spanish translations have way more syllables than in English, so it’s awkward in places. In some cases we had to simplify or cut down a few words so it was singable.” Siedband, who also worked with Deutsch CCO Mark Hunter and GCD Brett Craig on the spot, sang the song in a pitch to the marketer. Elias Music recorded the final version.
For Taco Bell it’s a great way to appeal to a wider Super Bowl audience. For the core demo of millennial-type fast food fans, seeing their unruly behavior through the lens of another demographic allows them to appreciate the action without feeling pandered to. The rest of us are spared another spot showing hipsters living la vida YOLO and treated to something both funny and touching (and maybe it’ll encourage more older asses to move from couches… if only to go to Taco Bell).
See the rest of the spots (so far) from Super Bowl XLVII here.