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Live Más Productions – The Narrative of Nacho Fries

What is your favorite film franchise? Star Wars, Marvel, Lord of the Rings? There is no shortage of options to choose from, but there is only one franchise that has truly changed lives. Once or twice a year we are honored with a messenger from the heavens and it speaks in thunder; “Nacho Fries have returned.” This herald is Live Mas Productions, the creators of every Nacho Fries ad in Taco Bell’s history.

The story of Live Mas Productions is the story of America. Each trailer pays homage to a genre or iconic piece of pop culture, and when woven together they form a depiction of American entertainment since 2018. Let’s start with the original.

Part I: Web of Fries

When Nacho Fries were first launched, everything was thrown into question. Taco Bell has… fries? Is anything real? This question is at the core of the conflict in Live Mas’ first production, “Web of Fries”. The short follows a hero played by Josh Duhamel as he stumbles upon a truth that could bring the world of burgers to its knees. This trailer is framed as a mind-bending thriller as the hero is watched by a faceless group who are determined to prevent him from unveiling the Nacho Fries. The hero gives everything in pursuit of the truth, and without him we may not have Nacho Fries today. What became of our hero is still unknown, perhaps it’s just one more mystery to unravel.

This first ad serves as a great introduction to Taco Bell’s new product. It frames the Nacho Fries as an incredibly important and threatening discovery to other fry places, and captures audience attention by structuring the ad as an investigation. Now we’re all curious to learn; what are Nacho Fries?

Part II: Retrieval

The truth was loose and the world was now aware of Nacho Fries. Only one year later did they vanish. The disappearance of such a beautiful fry sent the world into chaos, so one brave scientist was pulled from retirement to bring them back. The scientist, played by James Marsden, left his family and ventured into space to retrieve the Nacho Fries. His journey led him to fly straight into a wormhole to enter the Nacho Fry dimension to retrieve them.

With the release of “Retrieval”, Taco Bell cements their strategy for Nacho Fries advertising. Each ad will select a genre of entertainment and use its biggest tropes to wink at the audience and have a blast while generating excitement for the limited-time release. This piece took clear inspiration from films like Interstellar (2014)  and Armageddon (1998), sending a protective dad into space to save the world.

Part III: Chasing Gold

As Nacho Fries are returned to the world, many fall in love. One of these poor lovestruck souls was Zack Collins (played by Glee star, Darren Criss). He was discovered singing for his favorite cheesy fry, and he quickly became a star. However, fame only lasts as long as your inspiration. Once the Nacho Fries left, Collins lost direction. What does one sing about, if not love?

“Chasing Gold” is a golden example (pun completely intended) of how Nacho Fry ads find success. It takes inspiration from stories of the rise and fall to fame, and makes their signature spices the muse for our tragic artist. Best of all, this chapter blessed us with a full song about Nacho Fries courtesy of the Glee star.

Part IV: Supply & Demand

Nacho Fries are a worldwide phenomenon, but we have seen the tragedy that can come from their absence. Nacho Fries are a hot commodity. They are so valuable that it may just drive someone to a life of crime. This is the case for two friends in LA, who decide that they will steal all of the Nacho Fries and sell them while they’re not in stores. This decision leads the two deep into the criminal underworld.

Nacho Fries are an unlimited well of power, and therefore we cannot have uninhibited access to them. This ad is a demonstration of what happens when mortal men get their hands on a power beyond their understanding. It riffs on classic crime films and effectively conveys its story without any heavy-hitting stars.

Part V: The Craving

Is anything ever truly gone? Even when they’re not sitting atop the Taco Bell menu, Nacho Fries are always with you. This is what Joe Keery finds in the sixth chapter in the Nacho Fries saga. He goes on a spiritual journey to finally free himself from his obsession with the delicious side, and yet something seems… off. Keery sees the Nacho Fries everywhere. Are they real? Is it all in his head? What IS a Nacho Fry?

Advertisements for the Nacho Fries continue to impress as this spot contains genuine suspense and a young star giving it his all. Joe Keery was the perfect lead to cast for Taco Bell’s ode to horror, having made his name in the cultural zeitgeist “Stranger Things”. It makes you wonder how they’ll one up this ad spot?

Part VI: Web of Fries 2: Franchise Wars

Will you be ready when Nacho Fries needs YOUR help? Many years after Nacho Fries were revealed to the world, the original hero’s daughter hasn’t found closure. The burger kings ruined her father to keep him from revealing the truth, and now she is set on revenge. Her revenge happens to coincide with the rebellion of nacho cheese, and they join forces to take down the burger regime. On the eve of their final confrontation, a hooded figure enters the crowd. An air of familiarity surrounds it…

This ad is a direct follow-up to the original “Web of Fries” ad, and takes us into the future of the Nacho Fry world. Instead of a mystery thriller, this sequel takes inspiration from dystopian films like “Hunger Games” and “Divergent”, and perfectly captures the tone of those stories. For ads about Nacho Fries to carry an engaging continuity is a testament to the creativity of these campaigns, and is a perfect representation of how these ads continue to find success.

Part VII: Fry Force

Nacho Fries are not of this world, that much we know. What we didn’t realize was that someone else was looking for them. In the distant future we find the Fry Force, an expert team dedicated to protecting the world from massive Kaiju that travel across spacetime to reclaim the Nacho Fries. We follow the pilot, played by Karen Fukuhara, as she mourns the loss of her partner to the alien force. Little does she know that as they clash with the beasts, she would be forced to face the very person she thought she was fighting for.

This entry in the Nacho Fries saga happened to coincide with the Tokyo Olympics, so Live Mas Productions decided to take inspiration from Japanese Anime tropes. Fukuhara is a big name in voice talent, lending credibility to their impeccably animated final Nacho Fries ad. The production value of these ads has only risen over time, demonstrating Live Mas Productions commitment to quality.

Part VIII: Fry Again

The 8th installment in the Nacho Fries saga hits screens and announces the annual return of the titular fry. This ad was created with the help of Taco Bell fans, who offered ideas and wardrobe suggestions for the spot. The winning idea was a Time-loop concept similar to Groundhog Day, taking Nacho Fries into a new genre yet again. What do you think of this Nacho Fries ad spot?

Live Más Productions

Advertisements about Nacho Fries will likely remain as long as the product continues its cycle through the Taco Bell menu, but it is important to look back and appreciate the effort put into these ads over the years. Live Mas Productions did not need to work this hard to promote the limited time item, and yet they created something that few other brands could ever hope to achieve. Long live Nacho Fries.

AUTHOR: Zach Dunphy
ORIGIN: University Program - Speaking Human Contributor

Follow Zach on Speaking Human  /  Human Content from Zach

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