You may already know that the Chihuahua who appeared in the Taco Bell “Yo Quiero Taco Bell” dog toy commercials was a female Chihuahua named Gidget. After her Taco Bell role ended, Gidget continued acting and appeared in the movies Legally Blonde 2. Gidget died in 2009, of natural causes, after a life of 15 years.
Dispute over rights to market chihuahua
A recent legal case has brought the famous taco to the center of controversy. In January 2009, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a ruling regarding a dispute over rights to market the chihuahua. The suit alleged that Taco Bell had stolen a concept developed by two Michigan advertising men. They claimed that the concept was first proposed six years ago and later taken to an ad agency.
The ad campaign featuring a talking Chihuahua was wildly popular. It also inspired several spinoff products. Taco Bell, which began using a cartoon spokesdog in 1997, denies that it stole the idea. The company said it used the real Chihuahua in the commercials because it received several requests to use a real Chihuahua.
The parties first discussed whether to use the Psycho Chihuahua in their advertising campaign. The parties agreed to a meeting, during which they discussed the potential use of the Chihuahua in advertising. However, the parties failed to agree on a license agreement. In the meantime, the parties continued to discuss how to use the Psycho Chihuahua and the Taco Bell brand in their ads.
The lawsuit against Taco Bell was brought after the Chihuahua and the Taco Bell logo are very similar. The lawsuit alleges that Taco Bell should have known about the similarities between the two. The defendants, however, argued that Taco Bell’s contract with the advertising agency indemnified them from liability for trademark infringement. In the same case, the defendants sought to disqualify Irell & Manella, a law firm that Taco Bell had hired for the case.
The lawsuit was filed in May 2003. The case focuses on whether the two companies had similar ideas for the commercial. Both companies claim that the two ideas were independently developed, but there are some differences between the two campaigns. In the case of the Taco Bell commercial, the Chihuahua is not physically aggressive, it is not stealing Taco Bell food, and it does not have a master. However, the chihuahua and Taco Bell commercials have the same food.
Plaintiffs also contend that Taco Bell’s ads were inspired by the Chihuahua character, but they did not have input in the creation of that character. Moreover, Taco Bell’s advertising agency did not have any access to the Plaintiff’s ideas, and its representatives did not have the right to use Psycho Chihuahua materials. The court disagrees with this argument and finds that Taco Bell had no rights to use the character without compensating Wrench.
Although Taco Bell’s legal team denied that it breached an Agency Agreement, they admitted that the commercials were broadcast and approved. The district court noted that the commercials were approved by Taco Bell even after the Wrench lawsuit was filed. It added that the advertising agency continued to approve Chihuahua ads for broadcast.
Success of “Godzilla” commercials featuring chihuahua
The success of a recent “Godzilla” commercial featuring a chihuahua is not surprising, as the little dog has become an iconic part of popular culture. The commercial, which aired on TV, was created by a team of advertising experts from Hershey’s and the TBWA Chiat/Day unit of the Omnicom Group. The commercial, which is being run on television, has received wide praise, and it may serve as a shot in the arm for licensed products.
The “Godzilla” commercial features a Chihuahua chasing a bull to get a Taco Bell meal. In a previous commercial, the chihuahua grabbed a Taco Bell bag and swung Godzilla by his tail. But in the April 1997 commercial, the Chihuahua was less aggressive than in the previous commercials.
The commercials are proving very popular in the United States. People have started to see Godzilla as a global icon. Although there have been many sequels and bastardizations that lacked artistic achievements, audiences have remained loyal. The original Godzilla and King Kong were childhood cornerstones for many generations.