Local Current Blog

Listen: Mark Mallman serves up a new jingle for Taco John’s

Mark Mallman photo by Nate Ryan/MPR. Taco illustration by Colleen Cowie/MPR.

Minneapolis musician Mark Mallman is no stranger to composing for TV and film. He recently tackled his first taco jingle in an advertisement for Taco John’s. The ad is currently airing online and on TV, and many fans heard it during last week’s NFL playoff games.

In the 30-second jingle, Mallman details the new Taco Taco Taco Combo offered by the fast-food chain. The clip demonstrates various facets of Mallman’s songwriting: his plunky piano playing, sky-high falsetto — and, of course, his enthusiasm for tacos.

The structure of Mallman’s jingle is not far from that of a well-crafted taco: his catchy lyrics sit like a fresh sprinkle of cheese atop a base of piano, while the drum beat provides the satisfying crunch of any good taco shell.

Mallman told City Pages that writing the jingle allowed him to explore a more light-hearted side of his songwriting. “My composing work for film and TV gives me the chance to express myself in ways that I might not otherwise do in a formal album situation,” he said. “The Taco John’s song is fun and light, as any good jingle should be.”

The chain’s new Minnesota-made jingle makes it all the more poignant for people who are sad that LynLake isn’t getting a Taco John’s like they thought.

Colleen Cowie is a student at Macalester College. She hosts the show Locally Sourced on WMCN.