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CORONA: Miguel’s Jr. ‘spokeschip’ has a delicious sense of humor

Burritos aren’t easy to draw. Neither are tacos.

That’s one of the reasons Miguel’s Jr. has a talking tortilla chip as its cartoon mascot.

That’s what Bruce Mayo, creator of Reynaldo the “spokeschip,” said in a phone interview.

Mayo is creative director with PlainJoe, an advertising agency in Corona that specializes in design and interactive media.

Reynaldo was an early project for PlainJoe, which was founded in 2004.

He is a simple triangle with eyes, the bridge of a nose and two lines indicating a mustache.

“I think that was before The Most Interesting Man in the World, but that was what I was going for,” Mayo said, referring to Dos Equis advertising campaign that uses a sophisticated gentleman to hawk beer.

RELATED: Miguel’s Jr. plans campaigns to win new customers

House-made hot sauce is one of the main claims to fame of Miguel’s Jr., a family owned fast food chain based in Corona.

Early on, Mayo made a cartoon featuring Reynaldo and the hot sauce. It plays on cash registers in Miguel’s Jr. restaurants.

“The hot sauce was more famous, but he had a temper,” Mayo said.

Like the way some people consume hot sauce, Miguel’s Jr. uses humor in its advertising, but sparingly.

Stephen Rezner, director of marketing, and a group of colleagues “just kind of kick stuff around” and come up with whimsical messages for posters and signs.

One is “Here since your first mullet,” displayed on a billboard on the north 215 freeway near the Miguel’s Jr. in Grand Terrace.

Javier Vasquez, president of Miguel’s, said the billboard reminds people that the company has been in Grand Terrace since 1981.

We can be more humorous in the Inland Empire because people know our brand. …” he said. “We wouldn’t do that necessarily in other markets.”

Reynaldo is good to have around because Miguel’s founders, Mike and Mary Vasquez, are media shy, according to Javier, their son.

“We wanted to create some kind of ability to speak to our customers along the lines of being humorous,” Javier said. “We have a real story, real founders that tell a story for us. We’re not a made-up brand.”


*Originally posted here.

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Mel McGowan
P: 949.892.7004

PlainJoe is a multi-disciplined design studio connecting story across 3 dimensions:

  • Spatial Storytelling: Architecture & Environments
  • Digital Storytelling: Interactive Media & Web
  • Strategic Storytelling: Brand & Identity