How the Taco Bell Ad Became Fry Force

When the Olympics in Japan began on July 23rd, Taco Bell premiered their newest commercial during the Opening Ceremonies. Once they aired it on their social media platforms, it took off and people were pleasantly surprised and impressed by this ad. I myself have said that if this were a series, I’d watch it! Many others shared similar reactions.

Now the curious question is, who was behind the creation of this really cool ad?

The production company behind the ad was Psyop, who collaborated with an ad agency called Deutsch. Director of this commercial Luca Vitale teamed up with Psyop co-founder/director Kylie Matulick to design the animation project, which was completed in just nine weeks, from start to finish.

In an homage to this year’s Olympics taking place in Tokyo, Japan, the anime-styled commercial depicts the struggle to save Taco Bell’s Nacho Fries from evil forces. Playing like a short film, the creators were given only three mandates to work with when creating the commercial.

“For this specific piece, we really wanted to play to the tropes. There was the mandate to be dramatic and classic, but it’s about Nacho Fries”, said Vitale who is being launched as a director by Psyop. “There is drama juxtaposed to the silliness. I’m extremely thrilled to officially join Psyop’s roster of other talented directors.”

“Getting to work with Psyop and make this creation come to life has been one of the most rewarding collaborations of my career.”
-Luca Vitale

Born and raised in Milan, Italy, Vitale is currently based in Tokyo, spending time yearly in both New York and Tokyo. His knowledge and passion for Japanese culture led him to create the vision for the anime genre inspired commercial for Taco Bell. He has been involved in a wide variety of projects from animated television shows to advertising for major brands and personal short films. His work has been featured in several festivals including the Ottawa Film Festival and won several accolades. His past projects include collaborations with notable brands such as Travel Oregon and Airbnb.

“I had the pleasure of working alongside Luca. He was able to bring on such talented artists. The team he assembled brought a nice level of authenticity to this project”, said Matulick. “We saw a golden opportunity to make a fun spot for Taco Bell. Anime is a rich world and there is so much history with a real deep connection between the genre and food. Having spent so much time in Tokyo, Luca really breeds this culture.”

The full Fry Force ad is currently Taco Bell’s most viewed video commercial on youtube, behind two 16 second clips.

The summary of the story is this:

When Rei’s brother Kosuke is taken by Nacho Fry devouring monsters, Rei must push through her hunger and lead the Fry Force, an elite squad of mecha pilots to keep the monsters at bay. But when the monsters unexpectedly overtake the team, Rei finds herself face to face with her long-lost brother. Now that he’s consumed by a primal hunger for Nacho Fries, Rei must decide what she’s willing to sacrifice in order to save Nacho Fries and the world.

Here is a list of the voice cast:

REI: Karen Fukuhara
MARCO: Matthew Mercer
VAL: Cristina Valenzuela
JON: Steve Blum
AVO: Brian Cooney
SELF: Gawr Gura

It’s interesting to note that Psyop was also behind the production work of the game for KFC’s I Love You, Colonel Sanders! A Finger Lickin’ Good Dating Simulator. The creative director behind that was Alexei Bochenek. Here is the trailer for that:

You can tell they had a blast making these ads. Creating something you genuinely love and enjoy really shines through in whatever you make, as it does for things such as these silly and fun creative ads.

Sources: LBBOnline & ShootOnline

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Sarah Leone

An independent artist who loves to mix things up between traditional and digital art. She has a love for all things anime, animation, and manga. Oh, and cats. Can't forget the cats.

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