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Perky Senior Citizens Go Wild In Taco Bell's 'Viva Young' Super Bowl Campaign

By Barry Janoff

January 29, 2013: The 1985 movie, Cocoon, about a group of senior citizens who get re-energized with youthful vigor thanks to alien intervention, may have been the inspiration for Taco Bell's new Super Bowl spot, "Viva Young," in  which a group of senior citizens go clubbing, get tattoos and set off fireworks in the middle of the night.

The commercial features 87-year-old "Bernie Goldblatt," who was introduced to the public by Taco Bell earlier this month in a teaser spot, "Grandpa Goes Wild," in which he rode a souped-up mobile scooter mobile on a football field, knocking over yard markers and tackling dummies along the way..

Taco Bell said the "Viva Young" spot would run "toward the end of the second quarter" during Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday. It is part of the fast-feeder's "Live Mas" umbrella campaign, which during the broadcast Feb. 3 on CBS would also include a new spot 30-second spot supporting the launch of Cantina Bell Steak Burrito, "Grand Papi."

In that commercial, a young father leaves home with his infant child in a baby carrier, headed to Taco Bell to purchase the Cantina Bell Steak Burrito, "getting favorable looks and smiles from female passersby."

The Super Bowl campaign also includes an offer on Facebook for a free churro with any purchase on Feb. 4, aka "Live Mas Monday." (Full details here.)

This is Taco Bell's first Super Bowl media buy since 2010. Lead agency for the campaign is Deutsch LA.

In "Viva Young," Bernie is in bed at a senior citizen's home, but lights out means it's time to get out for Goldblatt and his elderly comrades. They trespass and go swimming (a scene taken from the aforementioned Cocoon), hit a club where they dance, mingle and make-out (!) with kids the age of their grandchildren, get tattoos and, before the sun comes up, head to Taco Bell for a celebratory meal.

The action is played out to Fun's “We Are Young,” which here is sung in Spanish. (See the full spot here.)

"There's a common misconception that to appeal to Millennials you have to show Millennials," Mike Sheldon, CEO for Deutsch LA, said in a statement. "The reality is to appeal to them you simply need to entertain and engage them. And that's what this entire integrated effort does. We've all had an epic night out on the town followed by a trip to Taco Bell. ‘Viva Young' is a surprising and fresh way to remind people of that."

Taco Bell said that it weighed breaking the spot early versus holding it until Super Bowl Sunday.

"There's a common misconception that to appeal to Millennials you have to show Millennials. The reality is you simply need to entertain and engage them."

“By releasing “Viva Young” online before the Super Bowl, we’re rewarding our biggest fans and bringing them inside the brand,” Brian Niccol, chief marketing and innovation officer for Taco Bell, said in a statement. “We want to share the spot with our Team Members, franchisees and online fans first so they’re in the know before Super Bowl Sunday, so we can engage with them in social and digital spaces.”

According to Niccol, “We are always looking for ways to encourage our community to Live Mas and thank our consumers for being so loyal, and we thought giving something back to them was a great way to do just that. For those who are already craving the start of the next football season, why not reward yourself with a free churro from Taco Bell?”

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