Taco Bell’s Chihuahua Gets Licensing Push

Yo quiero Taco Bell T-shirts?
Seeking to capitalize on the success of its current ad campaign from TBWA Chiat/Day, Taco Bell is kicking off a licensing and merchandising effort based on the talking Chihuahua seen in the ads.
TBWA C/D is also completing three to five new TV spots starring the talking dog to break later this month. After initially appearing in only one spot, the Chihuahua and his insistent demand, “Yo quiero Taco Bell,” have become the centerpiece of the campaign.
Beginning April 1, customers will be able to order talking Chihuahua T-shirts via a toll-free number posted in Taco Bell’s 6,500 restaurants, said Laurie Gannon, a representative for the Irvine, Calif.-based fast-food chain. The company has also signed deals to sell the T-shirt–which features the dog’s head on the front and Taco Bell’s logo and “Want some?” tagline on the back–at Wal-Mart, Kmart, J.C. Penney, Spencer Gifts, Miller’s Outpost and other retail stores. The shirts have been shipping to thousands of stores over the last few weeks, Gannon said.
Further licensing and promotional opportunities are being considered, said Gannon, who declined to give details. Taco Bell has also signed on as a promotional partner for the May 20 release of the film Godzilla.
Chuck Bennett, creative director at TBWA C/D’s Venice, Calif., office, who created the campaign with his partner, Clay Williams, said the agency will be selective in its merchandising and promotional strategies for the character. “We don’t want him to become Toonces, the driving cat,” Bennett said.