Ask not for whom the Taco Bell tolls ... it tolls for thee


In a marketing category crowded with creepy plastic Burger Kings, endlessly cheery Ronald McDonalds and spelling-disabled Chik-Fil-A cows, it's sometimes hard to remember what true fast-food royalty once looked like. It's been a long time since the late Dave Thomas and Clara Peller trod the boards. But Gidget, the gentle-yet-firm Taco Bell Chihuahua, was the real thing: the commercial face of the brand who inspired not just hunger, but joy; not just commerce, but compassion.

Although Gidget's softly accented voice was provided by Argentine actor Carlos Alazraqui, her eyes were what sold the goods. Somehow, looking into those big, brown pools of sympathy, viewers knew she wouldn't sell them a bum burrito or a chintzy chalupa. Like any good pitchman (or pitchwoman, or pitchdog), she put herself on the line, using her unspoken integrity to capture the hearts and inspire the trust of a generation of fast-food consumers.