Inventivemug Marketing The Origins of the Frito Bandito

The Origins of the Frito Bandito

The Frito Bandito was a fictional character and mascot to advertise Frito’s corn chips in the mid-20th century. The character was created by marketing agency Tracy-Locke. The Frito Bandito serves as a historical example of how advertising and marketing have evolved to become more aware of and responsive to issues of cultural sensitivity, and then racial stereotypes.

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History of Frito Bandito


  • Origin Medium:-V. Commercial Animation
  • Advertising:- Fritos
  • First Appeared:- 1967
  • Creator: – Tex Avery

Frito Bandito was a fictional character, and then mascot in advertising Frito’s corn chips in the mid-20th century. Bandito was created by the Foote, Cone, and then Belding Agency and first appeared in Fritos commercials in the 1960s. Frito Bandito was portrayed as a caricatured Mexican bandit with sombreros, bandoliers, and then a thick Mexican accent. He often carried a bag of Fritos chips as if they were stolen loot.

The character’s catchphrase was “Yee, yi, yi, yi… I’m Frito Bandito!” The catchphrase and the overall portrayal of Frito Banditos were seen as racially insensitive, and then offensive. The character perpetuated harmful stereotypes of Mexican people and then was criticized for promoting negative stereotypes and cultural appropriation.

Due to widespread opposition and criticism, Frito-Lay, the company behind Fritos, then decided to retire the Frito Bandito character in the early 1970s. They recognized that nature was offensive, and no longer aligned with evolving social norms. Frito-Lay has since tried to distance itself from the character, and then its past advertising campaigns by focusing on more culturally sensitive and inclusive marketing strategies.

Functions of Frito Bandito

The Frito Bandito was a fictional mascot used to advertise Frito corn chips from the 1960s through the early 1970s. Created by the marketing agency Dancer Fitzgerald Sample. The Frito Bandito was a controversial character due to its stereotypical portrayal of Mexicans, and the use of offensive stereotypes. In 1967, Frito-Lay, the company behind Fritos corn chips, and then ceased using the Frito Bandito as its mascot in response to criticism.

The primary function of the Frito Bandito character in its advertising was to promote Frito’s corn chips and to create a memorable, and then catchy image for the product. However, its use of racial stereotypes led to criticism and accusations of cultural insensitivity, and then ultimately resulting in its discontinuation as a mascot. It’s important to note that today’s standards consider this character offensive, and then culturally inappropriate.

Modern advertising strives to be more culturally sensitive and inclusive, and then avoids the use of offensive stereotypes in promoting products and brands.

End of Frito Bandito

Frito Bandito is popular with 85% of Mexican Americans, according to a Foote, Cone, and then Belding survey of four cities in California and Texas. In response, IMAGE and NMAADC protested the Bandito advertising at regional television stations. The first stations to outlaw the character were KPIX, KRON, and KNBC in San Francisco, California, as well as KNBC in Los Angeles. Following the reasonableness principle, and then the groups lobbied the Federal Communications Commission for unrestricted airtime to reply to Frito Bandito.

In 1969, Frito-Lay unveiled W.C. Fritos, a new cartoon mascot based on comedian W.C. Fields. By July 1970, the business had discontinued using Bandito advertisements in California, Oregon, and then Washington in favor of Muncha Buncha advertisements. Which featured a cartoon group of Euro-American cowboy bandits. In 1971, and then Frito-Lay called an end to the Frito Bandito campaign.


Frito Bandito is widely regarded as a problematic and offensive ad campaign from the past. It serves as a reminder of the importance of cultural sensitivity, and then the need for companies to be mindful of the impact of their advertising on different communities. Over time, and then Frito-Lay has evolved its marketing strategies to be more inclusive, and then respectful of different cultures and backgrounds.



Q.1 Who was the Frito Bandito?

The Frito Bandito was a fictional character created by Frito-Lay for their advertising campaigns in the 1960s and early 1970s. He was portrayed as a Mexican bandit who spoke with a heavy accent and wore traditional Mexican clothing.

Q.2 What was the purpose of the Frito Bandito character?

The Frito Bandito was created to promote Frito corn chips and other Frito-Lay products. The character appeared in television, and then print advertisements to encourage people to buy Fritos.

Q.3 When was the Frito Bandito retired?

Due to its controversy, Frito-Lay decided to retire the Frito Bandito character in the early 1970s. The company recognized that the nature was offensive and discontinued its use in advertising.

Q.4 How did Frito-Lay respond to the criticism?

Frito-Lay acknowledged the criticism and apologized for any offense caused by the Frito Bandito character. The company took the character out of circulation and stopped using it in advertising campaigns.

Q.5 What is Frito-Lay’s stance on cultural sensitivity in advertising?

Like many other companies, Frito-Lay has evolved its advertising and marketing approach to be more culturally sensitive and inclusive. They have recognized the importance of avoiding stereotypes and promoting diversity and respect in their advertising campaigns.

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