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Taco Bell Brings the Sex Song 'Afternoon Delight' Back to Its Foodie Origins


If you think it's a stretch that Taco Bell is repurposing midday bang ballad "Afternoon Delight" as a metaphor for going to Taco Bell, you're really going to be shocked to hear this: That's almost exactly what inspired the song in the first place.

In the chain's new ad from Deutsch/LA, we see co-workers, classmates and geriatric bingo competitors slipping off together to the tune of Starland Vocal Band's enduring 1976 classic. And despite all the furtive note-passing and conspiratorial up-nodding, we quickly learn they're just heading down to the local Taco Bell for a "Happier Hour" promo that runs from 2 to 5 p.m.

It's a cute ad and even features a cameo by 6-foot-tall America's Next Top Model contestant Laura Ellen James. But what's truly surprising is that the song actually was based on an afternoon food excursion.

According to band lore, singer Bill Danoff was amused by the fact that Clyde's restaurant in Georgetown featured a spicy happy hour menu called "Afternoon Delight," which he thought sounded like a metaphor for sex. (And thanks to him, it now totally is.)

Deutsch creative director Josh DiMarcantonio says the first time he heard the song was on Anchorman, so he tends to view it in a lighthearted way. "At its core, it's about forgetting all those typical life responsibilities for a moment and sneaking away to fulfill your desire and do something more enjoyable," he says. "That song is so playful and innocent it really could mean anything."

I don't recommend you refer to a Taco Bell visit as an "Afternoon Delight," though it sounds better than "Afternoon Grease-Beef Injection." Good luck inviting your supermodel classmate to that one.

Credits below.


Spot: "Afternoon Delight," :30/:15

Client: Taco Bell
Chief Marketing Officer: Chris Brandt
Brand Creative Director: Tracee Larocca
Director of Advertising: Aron North
Brand Experience Manager: Ashley Prollamante:
Food Consultant: Carolyn Avelino

Agency: Deutsch, Los Angeles
Chief Creative Officer: Pete Favat
Executive Creative Director: Brett Craig
Creative Directors: Josh DiMarcantonio, Jason Karley
Senior Vice President, Design Director: Nathan J. Iverson
Senior Art Directors: John Baker, Jeremiah Wassom
Senior Copywriter: Chris Jones
Designer: Adam Hale
Director of Integrated Production: Vic Palumbo
Executive Producer: Paul Roy
Associate Integrated Producers: Jamie Gartner, Damon Vinyard
Music Director: Dave Rocco

Production Company: Caviar Films
Director: Keith Schofield
Executive Producer: Jasper Thomlinson
Head of Production: Leigh Miller
Producer: Hillary Rogers
Production Company: Woodshop (tabletop)
Director: Trevor Shepard
Executive Producer: Sam Swisher
Head of Production: Christy Lindgren
Line Producer: Ursula Camack

Editorial Company: N06
Editor: Chan Hatcher
Executive Producer: Crissy DeSimone
Senior Producer: Kendra Desai

Post Facility: 7 VFX
Lead Flame Artist: Verdi Sevenhuysen
Senior Producer: Kendra Desai

Music: "Afternoon Delight" cover by Little Hurricane

Audio Post: 740 Sound
Mixer: Larry Winer

Additional Deutsch Credits
Chief Executive Officer: Michael Sheldon
Group Account Director: Walter Smith
Account Director: Katie Klages
Account Supervisor: Amanda Schuster
Account Executive: McKenna Pickett
Media, Data Strategy Director: Kyle Acquistapace
Chief Strategic Officer: Jeffrey Blish
Group Planning Director: Jill Burgeson
Integrated Business Affairs Director: Abilino Guillermo,
Broadcast Traffic Director: Carie Bonillo,
Broadcast Traffic Manager: Sarah Brennan
Senior Business Affairs Manager: Ken Rongey
Business Affairs Manager: Nestor Gandia
Talent Payment Coordinator: Missy Stella

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