Notice at the end of the video there’s a disclaimer: “Paid consideration provided by Taco Bell Corp.” That means Taco Bell paid to have Conan O’Brien come to its facility and essentially make fun of the brand. He called the fast-food company’s experimental quesadilla/chalupa hybrid a “case of lupus.”
It certainly isn’t the first time Conan has partnered with a brand that allowed the show to poke fun at it. A video posted earlier this week was a parody of homicide detective shows and focused only on shoes from Zappos.
Conan isn’t the only show involved in this type of marketing. Satirical website The Onion has a division, Onion Labs, which cranks out fake spots for Burger King, Honda, Lenovo and Audi, among others, and Jerry Seinfeld has spent the last couple of years getting paid by Acura to gently mock the brand.
Why would brands do this? I see a few reasons:
1. It makes your brand seem fun.