That Taco Bell Drive-Thru Diet Thing Is Actually For Real

by BILLY GRAY · January 28, 2010

    When I heard about Taco Bell's "drive-thru diet" ad campaign, I assumed it was an attempt at viral marketing humor, like cavemen or talking babies or Domino's claiming to have edible pizza. But it's legit! Chalupas are the new horse tranquilizers.

    Maybe I shouldn't have jumped to conclusions before actually viewing the ad.


    I also could have dusted off my '90s trivia and recalled the Subway campaign with Jared Fogle, who lost 240 pounds by eating the chain's horrible heroes for lunch and dinner, every day. (Unfortunately, he seems to have put a few of those LBs back on recently.)

    Anyway, Taco Bell's new menu just got the full Times treatment in the Thursday Styles section (that would be the homely cousin of Sunday Styles) , so you know that like modern NYC cavemen (again with the cavemen!) and jaguar-free honey, it is not only real, but totally mainstream.

    That said, some experts are skeptical:

    “Even if they’re offering healthy fare, go into it with a wary eye — more likely they’re tricking you,” said Elizabeth Somer, the author of “Eat Your Way to Happiness,” and a registered dietitian in Salem, Ore. “The fast-food restaurants have not led the troops in healthy eating yet, so there’s no reason to believe they’re going to change their colors now.”

    Anyway, the Taco Bell commercials (RIP Gidget "Taco Bell Chihuahua" Chipperton, BTW) made me wonder about some other unlikely campaigns. Beer ads promoting the products help in making sound choices re: sleeping partners? Old Navy commercials set on the Paris runways? Toyota trumpeting its recent safety record?

    Who knows what they'll think of next.

    All I know is I won't be following the Taco Bell diet, since half of my friends who have eaten those gorditos stumbled upon the accidental weight loss plan of a 48-hour puking marathon.