Taco Bell’s creative director on building up a cult brand

When Christopher Ayres started as Taco Bell’s creative director, he didn’t realize just how passionately some people loved the fast-food chain. “I didn’t even know how fervent the fandom was,” Ayers says. But that enthusiasm is what allowed the brand to lean into a playful persona that doesn’t take itself too seriously. “I think that’s what gives us the permission to be fun.”

Ayres was part of the company’s major 2016 rebrand, which transformed a dated ‘90s logo into something more modern and minimalist. The updated logo was flexible enough to let Taco Bell, the fast food brand peopwle long associated with stoner food and their college days, play around with different identities in recent years. There was the chic, Instagrammable Bell…

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