Taco Bell Marketing Essay

This essay has a total of 1067 words and 5 pages.

Taco Bell Marketing

Yo quiero Taco Bell!


Two young men ride in an older BMW car while listening to 80's music and happily munching
on fast food from Taco Bell. Above the back seat sits a bobbing plastic dog. Suddenly, the
young men look in their rear-view mirror and to their surprise realize that the plastic
dog has been replaced by a little pointy-eared Chihuahua with bulging eyes. This dog is
very much alive, and he will do just about anything to get his little canine teeth around
some of that delicious food. In his quest for ultimate satisfaction, the Chihuahua speaks
out, "Yo quiero Taco Bell!" - translated into, "I want Taco Bell!" It was a cute dog,
whose catchy phrases like this one had captured the imagination and excitement of many
Taco Bell consumers. Their marketing campaign was a success because the dog was able to
connect with their targeted market of young adults who primary thinks about food, sex, and
parties. Every new commercial was widely discussed across school courtyards. At one point,
the dog's catch phrases had even become a part of human vernacular. Taco Bell achieved
this level of success by connecting their advertising character with the audience through
humor and satire reflected in the stereotypes coming out of the quasi-Mexican image
presented in the commercials and by exploiting the Chihuahua's cute image to appeal to the
viewers.

After the launch of the first Chihuahua commercial and its rapid cute image appeal to the
broad based market, it became apparent that Taco Bell's marketing campaign was right on
the mark. The dog, named Dinky, characterized by its bulging eyes, innocent expressions,
tiny size, irresistible Spanish accent, and its catchy phrases like, "Here lizard, lizard,
lizard" and "I think I need a bigger box" was simply adorable. Dinky's image was
trustworthy; after all, a dog is a man's best friend. In turn, the voice of Taco Bell,
shadowed by the cute advertising character that people saw through their television tube,
exploited the audience's emotions to appeal to the person's subconscious rather than the
physical mind itself. In Jack Solomon's essay, Masters of Desire: The Culture of American
Advertising, he states that, "The success of modern advertisings, its penetration into
every corner of American life, reflects a culture that has itself chosen illusion over
reality."(170). Taco Bell's Chihuahua commercials is just another example of how today's
advertising campaigns are targeted to appealing to the viewer's subconscious emotions
because ad-created images of a product, such as trustworthiness and companionship found in
Dinky's character, show a pattern of selling better than the product itself.

The cute Chihuahua, that so happens to take the viewer's breath away with its adorable
look, also connects with the audience through laughter by reflecting the stereotypes of a
quasi-Mexican image. A simple smile from the viewer opens a lot doors for the marketers.
Behind one of these doors is an opportunity to engage the viewer in the commercial,
establishing a link between them and the brand. Taco Bell's use of a Chihuahua, rather
than a famous mainstream artist, to portray Mexican people and culture reinforces the
stereotypes that Mexican people are dirty, uncivilized, and small in stature because a dog
Continues for 3 more pages >>




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