Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Taco Bell: Offensive Cuisine?
Who remembers the Taco Bell commercials in the 90s? The chihuahua became Taco Bell's mascot as he was featured in numerous commercials saying "Yo quiero Taco Bell!" in a heavy Spanish accent. I always wondered what happened to the commercials, but it appears as though they ceased after 2000. It was rumored to be due to Gidget's death, however it was due to Latino advocacy groups that lobbied against the campaign. Now Taco Bell has moved to more neutral campaigns of "think outside the bun" and "the drive thru diet."
What sparked my interest in this topic came from a late night Taco Bell run, what they now market as the "fourth meal." My friend and I discussed how Taco Bell's food taste is processed and vile, that it is not considered Mexican food, yet does not attempt to come off as authentic thus not making it offensive. However, it raised an interesting issue as to how one's adaptation of a particular cuisine when not executed properly can be exhibited as offensive because it still maintains the label of that particular cuisine. It seems as though that after the "Yo quiero Taco Bell" campaign, Taco Bell no longer attempts to sell its food as Mexican food, but instead as an alternative to hamburgers.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this.