Some Reddit users aren’t happy with Taco Bell. The website’s avid Taco Bell fandom is vocalizing its discontent over the restaurant’s new ad campaign featuring Pete Davidson, an outrage that is spilling out onto other parts of the site.
I’m human. Sometimes I sing a little too loud in the shower, sometimes I forget to empty the dishwasher, and sometimes I eat too much Taco Bell. I am absolutely a fan of the “Mexican” fast food joint, and so too is its legion of devoted Reddit users over at r/LivingMas, which is a subreddit that serves as an unofficial hub of all things Taco Bell. But as the fast food restaurant began an ad campaign for its breakfast featuring comedian and actor Pete Davidson, all hell broke loose.
The ad campaign is focused on Taco Bell’s revamped and simplified breakfast menu, which features a smattering of different Taco Bell-ified breakfast items like breakfast burritos, quesadillas, and of course the iconic Crunchwrap. The company tapped Pete Davidson to serve as the spokesperson for this campaign, in which Davidson speaks to the simplicity of the new menu as well as the inner architecture of a Breakfast Crunchwrap. He’s aloof, referring to the Crunchwrap as a “crunch-thing,” and maybe he’s trying a little too hard to be funny, but the ad is...mainly fine.
Except r/LivingMas did not find the ad “fine,” they found it disgusting. In a post made yesterday, user rain6304 broke the ice on Reddit’s discontent with Davidson’s work:
I’m a super hardcore [Taco Bell] fan (which is why I’m here lol) but even then the Pete Davidson ad with him talking with his mouth full is absolutely repulsive and makes me want to not eat there.
I’m not sure what some women see in him but he is so gross to me personally…. Definitely not a selling point for any product.
Anyone else feel the same?
The offending ad is not one of the TV spots, but is instead an ad that has been promoted by the restaurant chain on Reddit specifically. The commercial, which was reposted to Twitter, features Davidson sloppily eating a Breakfast Crunchwrap and talking with his mouth full. Some users found the ad off-putting and disgusting, while other users were simply annoyed at the frequency they were seeing it.
“I’m so freaking sick of it. Like idc about him but just seeing the ad so many times makes me hate him when I have no thoughts or care about him in the first place,” user nope-nope-nopes said.
It’s easy to look at the reaction on r/LivingMas as a bunch of anonymous Internet users with too much time on their hands nitpicking an innocuous piece of content, but the outrage has begun to spill over into other parts of Reddit. Posts on subreddits like r/TrueOffMyChest, r/redditads, and r/rant, amongst several others, all express respective users’ disdain for Davidson and Taco Bell’s collab. A post on r/YouShouldKnow even suggests blocking the official Taco Bell Reddit account so these ads are no longer visible.
What’s bizarre about this phenomenon is the sheer scale of it. People really hate these ads. Yeah, Pete Davidson can be kind of annoying and talking with your mouth full is super gross, but the backlash toward the campaign’s presence on Reddit is an interesting case of collective opinion and the sheer power of the Internet. But whether or not the ad is gross or too annoying, it certainly got people talking, and maybe that was the plan all along.