An Agency’s Best Friend

Dog Helps TBWA/C/D Land a Kraft Project
LOS ANGELES–Thanks to its popular talking Chihuahua, TBWA/Chiat/Day has won its first creative assignment from Kraft Foods.
The Playa del Rey, Calif., agency has picked up an estimated $10 million creative assignment for Kraft’s Taco Bell Home Originals line of frozen foods, a representative for the Glenview, Ill.-based client confirmed last week.
“This is a special assignment awarded to [the agency] based on the strength of their ‘Yo Quiero’ campaign,” the representative said. She declined to speculate on whether TBWA/C/D will pick up the creative portion of the account permanently, but confirmed that incumbent Young & Rubicam, Chicago, is no longer involved on the business. Executives at TBWA/C/D declined to comment.
Foote, Cone & Belding, Chicago, is handling media buying. In addition to Y&R and FCB, Kraft’s other roster shops include Ogilvy & Mather and J. Walter Thompson.
TBWA/C/D, which introduced the popular talking pooch in ads for the Taco Bell fast-food chain in 1997, is breaking a new TV spot for Kraft on Jan. 18.
In the spot, a shopper encounters the Chihuahua sitting next to an endcap display of Taco Bell Home Originals with a sign that reads, “Free Dog With Purchase.” The spot then cuts to the dog accompanying the woman to her car in the parking lot. “You have cable, don’t you?” asks the dog.
It’s not the first time the agency has won a new account with help from the dog. It recently was awarded an estimated $30-40 million ad assignment to promote the restaurant chain’s tie-in with the upcoming Stars Wars prequel The Phantom Menace [Adweek, Dec. 7].