Darren Criss Sings a Love Ballad to Nacho Fries in Taco Bell's Latest Fake Movie

The Golden Globe winner is 'Chasing Gold'

Taco Bell and agency Deutsch are back with another fake movie trailer—it's become a tradition lately—and this one has A Star Is Born vibe with a story of an aspiring singer, played by Darren Criss, whose love for Nacho Fries propels his career but ultimately leads to tragedy. 

Criss, a Golden Globe-winning actor, plays Zack Collins, a musician who's discovered on the street crooning to the Taco Bell menu item. An A&R exec (Chris Diamantopoulos of Silicon Valley) champions his new talent, but Collins soon spirals out of control when he realizes that love, like Nacho Fries, only lasts for a limited time. 

Chasing Gold | Official Trailer | Taco Bell

Live Más Productions went all out with a whole original song. Written by Jingle Punks, it's a ballad called "Love of My Life," and Criss sings it with appropriate cheesiness. The first verse sets the tone: 

Your seasoning is my reasoning
Without you here, life has no meaning
Why must you go when I need you to stay?
The taste of you I could never replace

Listen to the whole song here: 

Zack Collins (Chasing Gold Soundtrack) | Taco Bell

"Taco Bell fans continue to go through this emotional rollercoaster when Nacho Fries disappear and reappear on the menu," says Brett Craig, chief creative officer at Deutsch Los Angeles. "We leaned into this to create a rise-and-fall love ballad all about Nacho Fries that will leave people wanting to hear more … from Darren Criss because he is a ridiculously good singer." 

"We're excited to bring back such an adored menu item for our fans and, this time, fully immerse ourselves into the music space with 'Chasing Gold,' " says Marisa Thalberg, Taco Bell's chief global brand officer. "Our fans have come to expect these big-budget trailers with every Nacho Fries launch, and this time we wanted to surprise them, adding a song as good as our Nacho Fries that they soon won't be able to forget." 

Nacho Fries return to Taco Bell restaurants nationwide today for a limited time—their fourth appearance on the menus since their introduction 18 months ago. 

Taco Bell has been involved in the music space for many years, having launched its "Feed the Beat" program way back in 2006. That initiative has supported hundreds of up-and-coming artists on tour over the years. 


Client: Taco Bell
Project: Nacho Fries "Chasing Gold" Campaign
Chief Marketing Officer: Marisa Thalberg
SVP, Advertising & Brand Engagement: Tracee Larocca
Director of Advertising: Ashley Prollamante
Manager, Brand Experience: Michelle Prieve
Associate Manager, Brand Experience: Kristen Powell

Agency: Deutsch

Chief Creative Officer, Los Angeles: Brett Craig
Creative Director: Jeremiah Wassom 
Creative Director: Chris Jones
Associate Creative Director: Mikey Sison
Senior Copywriter: Daniel Chen 

Head of Production: Diego de la Maza
Executive Integrated Producer: Paul Roy
Senior Integrated Producer: Samantha Bonom  
Integrated Producer: Steven Frailey
Music Director: Eryk Rich
Senior Music Supervisor: Chase Butters
Music Supervisor: Dez Davis

Digital Production
Executive Integrated Producer, Digital: Laura Tron
Senior Integrated Producer, Digital: Ariel Theraube
Associate Integrated Producer, Digital: Kemi Adeniji

Design Director: Jean-Lou Renoux
Designer: Erica Park
Junior Designer: Jeremy Gozzip

Account Management
EVP, Group Account Director: Matt Matzen
Account Director: Kelly Childers
Account Supervisor: Katie Heinerikson
Account Executive: Eddy Perezic
Assistant Account Executive: Kristen Engasser

Business Affairs/Traffic
Director of Integrated Business Affairs: Gabriela Farias
Executive Business Affairs Manager: Ken Rongey
Senior Business Affairs Manager: Charissa Kinney
Director of Broadcast Traffic: Carie Bonillo
Broadcast Traffic Manager: Ana Barraza
Broadcast Traffic Manager: Anna Brito

Account Planning
EVP, Head of Strategy: Kelsey Hodgkin: 
VP, Group Strategy Director: Armando Potter
Strategist: Troy Gary

CEO, North America: Mike Sheldon
Chief Creative Officer, North America: Pete Favat
President, Los Angeles: Kim Getty

Production – Live-Action
Neighborhood Watch
Director: Jeremy Saulnier 
DP: Larkin Seiple
Executive Producer: Richard Peete
Executive Producer: Matthew Snetzko
Executive Producer: Traci Carlson
Line Producer: Theolonious Brooks

Production – Food
French Butter Films
Director/DP: Brett Froomer 
Executive Producer: Ivo Knezevic
First AD: Tim Harris

Production Service Company / Mexico City
The Lift
Managing Director: Avelino Rodriguez
Line Producer/LiveAction: Fuad Abed Dalton
Line Producer/Food: Jose Aguirre
Public Relations: Essiak Fernandez
Sr Bidder: Brooklyn Fecter

Union Editorial
Editor: Jim Haygood
Assistant Editor: Brian Leong
Executive Producer: Joe Ross
President/Managing Director: Michael Raimondi

Company 3
Senior Colorist: Stefan Sonnenfeld 
Senior Producer: Gabriel Wakeman
Executive Producer: Ashley McKim

Post (VFX/Finishing)
Executive Producer: Ron Moon
Producer: Susie Cobb
VFX Supervisor: Frederick Ross
VFX Artist: Felix Thedeby

Audio / Sound Design
Lime Studios
Audio Mixer: Mark Meyuhas
Assistant Mixer: Peter Lapinski
Executive Producer: Susie Boyajan 

Jingle Punks
CCO/Songwriter/Producer: Jared Gutstadt 
Songwriter/Track Production: Jesse Siebenberg
Songwriter: Scarlett Burke
Executive Creative Director: Matt Chambless
Senior Producer: Miles Kennedy

Shoot Location
May 15 - May 19, 2019, on location in Mexico City

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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