Monday, April 7, 2008

The Absolut Vodka Mexico Ad Fiasco

I thought I'd give pause and write about a rather timely issue - the Absolut Vodka fiasco.


This ad has created a bit of a controversy here in the States. The ad taps into nationalist sentiment in Mexico and the idea that the southwestern US was stolen from Mexico. Unfortunately, racists like Lou Dobbs have taken issue with the ad and used it to their advantage to fan the flames of the immigration issue here in America.

This LA Times article explains the ad was created by the the Teran\TBWA agency. The article goes on the quote Manny Gonzalez, vice president and managing director of Hill Holliday Hispanic/abece, a Miami-based ad agency specializing in the Latino market, as saying "I think the Absolut ad campaign is terrific. For Mexican eyes only, that is".

Unfortunately, I think Mr. Gonzalez is a tad bit wrong. First, a potentially controversial ad is never going to be seen by only one set of eyes. Secondly, as brilliant as the ad may be (colorful, engaging, invokes nationalism and better times, etc.), it's not a terrific ad campaign because of the outcome - the negative publicity and controversy in the US market.

Ultimately, I think Absolut might wish they didn't go this direction. Hindsight is always 20/20 but someone at Teran\TBWA or Absolut should have seen this whole fiasco coming.

44 comments:

Antonieta said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Antonieta said...

I had to erase my original comment bc of grammatical mistakes.

I hope that the ad is running only in Mexico since it would seem a bit insensitive to run it here. Moreover, ABSOLUT and their ad agency must have done sufficient research to believe that the ad would be well received by the target market.

I get the fuss... but back off! Every country has the right to run their ads as they see fit... don't they?

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