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Taco Bell releases 'Cocoon'-esque ads for Super Bowl 2013 [Video]

Sarah D. Bunting
January 30, 2013

Taco Bell's Super Bowl 2013 commercials ("Grandpa Gone Wild" is above) have hit the internet -- almost as hard as that Jazzy-riding grandpa tearing up a football field in his scooter hits the hurdles on the track.

The ad is pretty cute, especially the chyron at the bottom that warns simply, "Do not do this," and the overmatched security guard zig-zagging in pursuit of the senior citizen made us chuckle. But it's scored with an overused track, House of Pain's "Jump Around," and while "Live Mas" is a promising new slogan for Taco Bell, we wouldn't have known what this ad was promoting if we weren't told in advance. Is it for the scooter? The AARP? The giant coolers the oldster knocks over?

The other ad, "Viva Young," follows a whole group of retirement-home friends as they do donuts in a vintage car, make out at a club, get tattoos, and ding-dong-ditch fireworks on front steps. You can see it below:

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Perhaps more to the point, the "Grandpa Goes Wild" spot may not make up for the negative publicity the fast-food giant stirred up with its "Veggies" ad. Hawking a party pack of a dozen tacos, the spot sneered at crudités, compared bringing them to a party to "punting on fourth and one," and suggested that hosts secretly hate guests who show up with a veggie platter. It's below; check it out.

Given the increasing media and public-health focus on fighting obesity, "Veggies" was kind of risky, and it didn't pay off. Health advocates the Center for Science in the Public Interest attacked the ad via social media, asking people to tweet their grievances with "Veggies" -- and Taco Bell yanked it earlier this week, saying through a spokesperson that they "didn't want anyone to misinterpret the intent of the ad."

[Related: Good luck 'misinterpreting' Megan Fox's topless beer ad]

The intent seems crystal-clear to us -- "baby carrots and hummus cut into the chain's taco-12-pack market share, so let's make fun of 'em" -- but the Center was grateful to Taco Bell for the prompt response. We wish they'd replaced it with a funnier commercial.

At least one tweep agreed with us:

Do you think "Grandpa Goes Wild" is funny? Is "Veggies" funnier, or were you offended? Tell us in the comments.

The San Francisco 49ers will take on the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII, which airs Sunday 2/3 at 6:30 PM on CBS.