Two Clients. One Commercial?

Let’s set the scene: multiple people at a party epically compete over who will devour the last mouthwatering piece of food. The scene ends with a comedic nod to the chaos that just ensued. 

What commercials come to mind? 

Are you thinking of a Chick-fil-A® social spot on Facebook? Or maybe it was the Taco Bell® commercial you saw on tv? 

Either of these shockingly similar ads may come to mind. Chick-fil-A® 's “The Last Nugget?!” and Taco Bell®’s “Nacho Fight” are surprisingly similar commercials that were released one month after each other. Let’s explore how Remedy created the piece for Chick-fil-A® market level marketing and compare the differences between the two ads.

The Creation

Mind Dance Marketing (MDM), a market level marketing agency for Chick-fil-A ®,  teamed up with Remedy to create an ad promoting catering. In February 2019, while on another Chick-fil-A® shoot with MDM in Richmond, VA, the idea of the “fight for the last nugget” was born. The following month, MDM and Remedy met and brought the concept to fruition. Our inspiration was sparked by two videos: the 2019 Super Bowl ad, “The 100 Year Game”, and this scene from the movie Tag. We loved the mix of comedy, tension, action and resolve woven throughout these pieces. 

Initially the vision was to portray all parkour athletes fighting over the last Chick-fil-A® nugget. We started with 4-5 talent fighting for the nugget but, as the creative process continued, we simplified the concept to keep the heartbeat of Chick-fil-A throughout the video: caring for your neighbors and community.

The Comparisons

Concept Summaries

Our original concept involved more fighting, so when we saw Taco Bell’s commercial, it was almost a direct playout of that concept. The similarities can be felt and seen in the story arch, action and resolution of these pieces. 

According to iSpot.tv, 

“Two friends get into an all-out brawl over the last nacho while watching TV in their apartment. As they throw each other into tables and knock over furniture, a third friend appears and wreaks havoc by smashing decorative plates and roundhouse kicking everything in an attempt to get the cheesy chip. When the battle reaches a stalemate, the friends fall through the wall and into their neighbor's living room, where they see the solution to their troubles: The Taco Bell Nacho Party Pack.”

The initial concept summary of “The Last Nugget?!” was, 

“Our story begins in the middle of a backyard party with friends and family members. Everyone is having a great time, and everything seems to be going quite well. UNTIL… A few guests take notice that only 1 nugget remains on the catering tray being walked back to the house by the host who is planning to refill the tray with more. But only she knows that fact. Panic starts to spread as she makes her way back to the house. She’s oblivious that right behind her, there are Chick-fil-A crazed guests closing in for that last tender morsel in slow-motion. Ready to do whatever it takes to get there first. People trip, dive, hurdle and scramble to reach her. As she nears the house, someone gets hold of her ankle and she drops the tray. That last nugget falls toward the ground in slow motion and gets eaten by a dog. Everyone is in shock until the host’s husband comes out the door with a fresh new tray of nuggets and hands it to her. Crisis averted.”

The Talent 

When we were auditioning actors for the role of “Host”, we asked them to send us comedic lines of what they would say as an ending for this scene. We ended up casting the actor who gave us a humorous look and line of “Y’all are gonna pay for that yard”. We captured 20-30 takes of our actor giving a variety of closing lines on set, including his audition line. So, when we saw Taco Bell®’s commercial end with, “You’re going to pay for that right?”, it was another shocking similarity.  

Checkout a few alternate endings of our Host:

The Music 

In our Chick-fil-A® ad, we licensed a song for the beginning and end to give a relaxed party feel. The middle part which portrayed intense dramatic emotions was composed for us by Will Musser.

This was a completely different feeling compared to the Taco Bell® piece. Taco Bell® chose the song “Let’s Get Together” from the 1961 film, The Parent Trap. This song gave an ironic and comedic contrast to the fighting actors in the scene. However, Disney® owns the rights to this song and usage rights were probably a substantial budget item. 

The Production 

One main difference is due to the complexity of the Taco Bell concept, their production is estimated at 1 week with multiple weeks of set build, art direction, and rehearsals. In contrast, the Last Nugget was completely captured in 1 day of production with no pre-light day. 

We used the Phantom Flex 4k to shoot slow motion scenes and a C200 shooting RAW with Canon Cinema primes. We like to shoot RAW because it gives us more flexibility in the way we can color a scene. See below the color graded versus non colored scene.

Our cost for Chick-fil-A® 's “The Last Nugget?!” was less than $40k. While we are not aware of the Facebook Ad spend that Chick-fil-A® used in those markets, we do know “The Last Nugget?!” was a 1 week ad run in 7 different regional markets. 

We do not know the exact budget for Taco Bell® ’s “Nacho Fight”, but we estimate it somewhere around $750k-$1.2M. “Nacho Fight”, according to iSpot.tv, had an ad spend of $20,131,983. “Nacho Fight” had over 1.3 Billion TV impressions.

The Conclusion

We love getting to produce dynamic advertising for our clients and enjoy seeing how others in our industry are executing their concepts. It is interesting to see how one similar idea, two distinct clients and two different budgets can create two unique but comparable ads.

We’d love to know your thoughts as well! Which commercial was your favorite? Which parts did you like best or least? Did you catch any similarities that we didn’t mention? We’d love for you to let us know!