Taco Bell is On Cleek

That's how millennials talk, right?
By Christine Linnell
  • This story has been around for a year or so, but a lot of people on Tumblr and Facebook are discovering it for the first time lately – and the more people who know of this priceless example of corporate America, the better we’ll all be as a society.

    Last year, Taco Bell executive Brian Niccol was giving a presentation to parent company Yum Brands, which also owns KFC and Pizza Hut, when he told his audience of analysts and investors that Taco Bell’s marketing was “on cleek.”

  • “When we do the brand message consistently, we end up in a place where, to borrow a millenial phrase, we’re ‘on cleek.’ Not everybody in this room probably knows what I’m talking about right now – that means you’re on point. That means you have momentum. That’s how millenials talk about, ‘You GET me.'”

    Obviously he meant “on fleek,” a phrase I have no business trying to use either, but at least I’m aware of that.

    To be fair, Taco Bell upper management are trying really hard to learn new vocabulary to keep up with their young, Dorito Taco-eating customers. Turns out they feature a “Millennial Word of the Week” at their headquarters, where 20-something employees pick an Urban Dictionary term that gets posted on screens and monitors around the office.

    Other slang terms they’ve learned include “throwing shade,” “dat ___ doe” and “lit” – but not the “lit” that means “stoned,” oddly enough.

    For the record, Niccol says his social media team quickly corrected him, so he won’t make this delightful mistake again.