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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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The Buzz with the Bizz: The Prospect’s Black

Advertisements for Taco Bell’s new taco concept have been on television over the last few weeks. It’s called the ‘Black Jack Taco’ because of its outer black shell. On the main page of Taco Bell’s website is a food box that includes a regular crunchy taco, a burrito, cinammon twists, and the infamous black taco served with a huge Moutain Dew beverage. The black taco, which is sold for less than a dollar, is advertised as a relatively high-brow product that is fit only for the upper-middle class individual. According to the commercial, it is supposed to look very fierce and sophisticated but made for the everyday person. The description of the Black Jack Taco that Taco Bell gives the product is ‘a crunchy black taco shell filled with seasoned beef, zesty pepper jack sauce, shredded lettuce, and a blend of three cheeses- cheddar, pepper jack, and mozzarella.’ Sounds appetizing, right?

Past issues that the Taco Bell franchises had to face were all the problems since late fall 2006 with the E. Coli outbreaks and the salmonella outbreak in early Fall 2008 semester. The E. coli outbreak started in New Jersey led to the closing of four Taco Bells in Suffolk and Nassau Counties back in December 2006. The salmonella epidemic was when tomatoes produced by the restaurant company Yum! Brands, Inc. were alerted by the federal government that there was a salmonella problem developing. Other companies that suffered because of this issue were KFC and Pizza Hut.

After Taco Bell’s famous ‘Volcano Taco’ I thought that Taco Bell was getting a little better. Guess not. A’ black taco? Seriously, the marketing research team needs to double-check their data. As of now I do not know anyone who actually did buy and consume this odd looking product. They probably have the same condescending views about the Black Jack Taco like I do. Taco Bell needs the Taco Bell dog back, but too late now since Paris Hilton made the little Chihuahua an accessory. The semiotic meaning of it is long gone.

Stony Brook student Joseph Stokes has a different perspective on the Black Taco. Stokes explains that the black taco strikes curiousity based on its taste. The element of the product that Stokes finds alluring is the pepper jack sauce. Stokes is also a fan of the commercial, saying that it is funny.

My view of the product is clear. The black taco is interesting, yes, but does not amuse me. Like Stokes, I am also curious about the taste but I would leave that up to another consumer. The commercial is funny but I can predict the next one. Imagine Jack Black dressed in black with a black eye advertising the Black Jack Taco as he wears his black shades. Plausible, isn’t it? There are obviously split views on the product like between Stokes and I, but only the future could tell us about the fate of the Taco Bell Black Jack Taco.

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