Sad news today for advertising media folks, fast food aficionados and pet lovers everywhere. The original Taco Bell Chihuahua, played by Gidget, passed away at age 15.
Remember the slogan? It used to be all over the place, and now that I think about it, also coincided with the Latino explosion of the late 90′s and early millenium (Ricky Martin’s La Vida Loca also comes to mind from the time… seems like it was AGES ago, right?) It was around the time when the general market finally started believing and focusing on Latinos in the US…and then the whole advertising world took notice. Then some Latinos became upset because supposedly this campaign created streotypes (whatever!)….But I digress. Let’s give Gidget her due. Fue la pionera de los perritos actores latinos, si señor!
Here’s the info and link from Advertising Age: http://adage.com/adages/post?article_id=138062
According to a PeoplePets.com exclusive, Gidget, one of the Taco Bell chihuahuas, died from a stroke. She was 15 years old.
The Taco Bell dog made its first appearance in June 1997 in a campaign created by Omnicom Group’s TBWA/Chiat/Day of Playa del Ray, Calif. The first dog was actually Dinky, and the character was portrayed as a male who uttered a line that would quickly become a pop-culture catchphrase: “Yo quiero Taco Bell.”
Though the dog made Taco Bell cool again, it was not without its problems. Throughout its run, the dog was the target of criticism from Hispanic groups, who accused the Yum Brands unit of trafficking in stereotypes. And in June 2003, a federal jury ordered Taco Bell to pay $30.2 million (plus another $11 million in interest) to two men who accused the restaurant company of stealing their idea for a marketing mascot and icon.