The world was an interesting place in the early 2000s. Taco Bell had ended its very popular Taco Bell Chihuahua ads (RIP Gidget) and was looking for a fresh face to help sell its various incarnations of the exact same thing.
One of their ideas that surprisingly did not catch on was using Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos as a spokesCEO. Maybe I was still caught in the dot-com optimism, but At this time this did not strike me as weird for some reason, but looking at it now it is a real head-scratcher.
The commercial opens in a boardroom, in what I assume are Amazon’s offices. A group of seemingly smart people are gathered around Mr. Bezos as he complains about having seen everything in the world of PDAs and Handhelds.
But wait! Here is a handheld you have never had before Jeff. It is Taco Bell’s new Chicken Quesadilla. Being a good CEO, he demands a demo. So the person I assume is the director of cheesy deliciousness steps up to the plate and grabs a handful and takes a bite. She then spend the better part of 5 seconds wordlessly appreciating this scrumptious new food and everyone is very impressed.
I am not sure how/why they got Jeff in this ad, but it makes for a great snapshot of the late 1990s and early 2000s. It was a time before the dotcom bubble popped and CEOs of a company that wasn’t even associated with Taco Bell could be the star of a commercial.