Taco Bell Laughed All The Way To The Bank With Pete Davidson's Help

Taco Bell made a smart move when it brought back its Mexican Pizza last year. It sold 45 million of them, despite the fact that they were only on the menu for four months, CNN Business observed. The smartest move Taco Bell made in 2022, however, may have been hiring former SNL cast member Pete Davidson to star in an advertising campaign promoting breakfast.

Davidson's commercials premiered in October 2022, according to Today. In one ad, the former SNL cast member issued a mock apology for some of Taco Bell's previous breakfast ideas, which he claimed had gone too far. In another, Davidson extolled the virtues of Taco Bell's Breakfast Crunchwrap.

A backlash soon followed, The Independent reported, with a multitude of Reddit users expressing their displeasure, and lamenting Davidson's skills (or lack thereof) as a pitchman. One user, in fact, described a Taco Bell ad featuring Davidson as "low-key nauseating." But It seems the Mexican-themed chain definitely got its money's worth when it hired Davidson, despite the backlash.

The comedian boosted breakfast sales

In a recent earnings call, Yum! Brand CEO David Gibbs specifically gave Pete Davidson a shoutout for helping to "drive consumer interest" in Taco Bell's breakfast menu and largely credits the comedian with the 9% growth in breakfast sales during the fourth quarter of 2022 (via Yahoo Finance). This momentum helped contribute to a strong fourth quarter overall for Taco Bell, which saw its sales spike by 14%.

Of course, Davidson wasn't the only celebrity endorser Taco Bell turned to in 2022. As Gibbs noted in the earnings call, the chain also benefited from partnerships with rapper Doja Cat and star NFL wide receiver Davante Adams in 2022. If you're one of the many fans of Mexican Pizza, you can thank Doja Cat for campaigning for it for the long haul — the rapper has been calling Taco Bell out on Twitter since 2020. 

While the number of Mexican Pizzas sold was impressive, the sales jump associated with Davidson's ad campaign has led some outlets, including Fortune, to claim the comedian has "saved breakfast" for the chain.