If you watched any television programs during the 90's, then you probably remember the iconic Taco Bell Chihuahua. This little guy was undoubtedly a super-star canine of this era and was even responsible for introducing the Chihuahua breed to millions of people. But just what happened to the Taco Bell dog? It seemed like he one minute he was starring in a handful of popular commercials and the next minute he was gone. If you want to know the real truth behind this legendary Chihuahua icon, keep reading.
A Little Bit About The Taco Bell Dog...
During the mid to late 90's, the Mexican fast-food giant Taco Bell teamed up the advertising company TBWA to produce a commercial featuring a talking female Chihuahua named Gidget Chipperton. The voice of the Chihuahua was done by professional voice-over artist Carlos Alazraqui, who also did work in numerous television shows including Sponge Bob Squarepants, The Fairly Odd Parents, Rocko's Modern Life and Reno 911.
Originally, only one commercial was produced in which Gidget was depicted saying "Yo quiero Taco Bell", meaning "I want Taco Bell!" in English. Once the commercial was aired, it received widespread widespread praise and positive reception throughout the country.
Following the popularity of their initial commercial, Taco Bell then went on to create several more commercials featuring the same Chihuahua, Gidget. There was one in which Gidget says "Drop the Chelupa!", as well as another commercial where she said "Viva Gorditas!".
Why The Commercials Stopped
Taco Bell ended the series of talking-Chihuahua commercials during 2001. With the popularity of the commercials being so high, many people were puzzled as to why they stopped making them. While no one knows for sure, there are a few possible factors which contributed to the end of the Chihuahua commercial reign.
Some people believed Taco Bell halted the products of new commercials due to the death of Gidget. We know now, though, this wasn't the case. Possibly the greatest influencing factor which forced Taco Bell to stop producing their talking Chihuahua commercials is a significant drop in sales during the year 2000. In fact, the 6% drop which the company saw during the middle of 2000 is their largest sales decline to date.
Another possible factor is the controversy associated with the commercial. Many hispanic groups found it offensive and stereotypical to see a Chihuahua dressed in traditional Mexican clothing and speaking Spanish.
Other "Jobs" The Taco Bell Dog Had
The series of Taco Bell commercials wasn't the only work for Gidget Chipperton. After her stardom in the fast-food industry was over, Gidget went on to star in a Geico commercial, and she played in the blockbuster hit movie Legally Blonde 2. Gidget also had a spot on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
We'll Forever Miss Her
Unfortunately, Gidget passed away in 2009 after suffering from a stroke. While she may be gone from this earth, Gidget and her crazy antics will undoubtedly live on in the hearts of millions. Some people say she was able to do something which no other dog has ever accomplished - bring light and popularity to a breed, the Chihuahua. If you look the numbers of registered Chihuahuas, you'll see they increased dramatically when the commercials were being aired and decreased after they stopped.