The Taco Bell Chihuahua was the mascot for popular Mexican food chain Taco Bell. The chihuahua, who was named Gidget, represented Taco Bell in many of its TV and print advertisements and eventually became so popular that toy figures of the dog made. The campaign, which was run by the advertising agency TBWA, lasted from 1997 until 2000.
Gidget was the Taco Bell dog for the majority of the campaign, but there was previously another dog, Dinky, cast for the role. Before the shooting started, however, Dinky was swapped for Gidget, who was supposed to play Dinky’s girlfriend. Gidget began shooting commercials in 1997 and continued until 2000, with only a stand-in dog named Taco to fill in for her.
Gidget the dog was born in 1994 and she was 3 when she began working for Taco Bell. Using special effects, Gidget’s appeared to be talking in the commercials with a voiceover by Carlos Alazraqui. Her main catchphrase was “¡Yo quiero Taco Bell!”, but had some other popular lines, like “Viva Gorditas!” and “Drop the Chalupa!” Her work with Taco Bell became extremely popular, but in 2000 the campaign was ended, and in 2003 Taco Bell was sued for using an idea pitched to them by two men from Michigan, whom were initially rejected.
After Gidget stopped working for Taco Bell, she did a couple stints working for Geico and the movie Legally Blonde 2. She stopped working after 2003 and remained in her trainer’s care until 2009, when she had a stroke and was subsequently euthanized.
Taco Bell Chihuahua Voice Actors
- Taco Bell voice actor: Carlos Alazraqui
- Geico voice actor: Carlos Alazraqui
- Robot Chicken parody voice actor: Seth Green