Creativity 50 2013: Brian Niccol

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He may be president of Taco Bell now, but Brian Niccol has overseen the chain's marketing and innovations departments since 2011, when he moved from Yum brands' sibling Pizza Hut. Since his arrival, Taco Bell has rolled out a slew of new products, including its more upscale product line, the Cantina Menu, and the blockbuster Doritos Locos Taco, its biggest launch ever. The original Doritos Taco was introduced last year; the Cool Ranch taco made its debut in March; and the chain expects to unveil the third iteration, the Flamas taco, later this year. 

It's no secret that in the fast-food business new products bring customers in the door, and the Doritos taco line has had a huge hand in a significant sales turnaround in the last year—a welcomed one after a protracted decline.What comes next from Taco Bell? The chain said that it will roll out new dollar-menu items and new Cantina products, but we're most curious about whether a fourth Dorito baby will arrive. 

What comes next from Taco Bell? The chain said that it will roll out new dollar-menu items and new Cantina products, but we’re most curious about whether a fourth Dorito baby will arrive. Mr. Niccol has brought creative spark to the brand’s advertising, too, and signed off on the debaucherous seniors Super Bowl spot; ads featuring Spanish covers of cheesy love songs; and a surprise gigante Doritos Locos Tacos delivery in Alaska.

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