!Ask a Mexican!

Illustration by Mark DancyDear Mexican,

On a recent trip to San Diego, a famous radio station there aired numerous ads for Mexican wine, chocolate and even public-service announcements encouraging the younger generation not to sniff paint. All of the ads were credited to the Mexican Chamber of Commerce. Why would they broadcast Mexican propaganda in the U.S. in English? —Whitey Friedman

Dear Gabacho,

Business savvy, Whitey. The Mexican government knows gabachos will never bother to learn Spanish outside of the words “pinto,” “Mexico” and “Drinko por Cinco.” So when Mexican companies want to do business in los Estados Unidos, they create English-only ad campaigns. For instance, the Mexico Tourism Board launched an $8.2 million ad campaign last summer to entice gabachos down south. The Mexican actors in these commercials, according to Advertising Age, invited American tourists to their weddings, worked as caddies or led tours, all in the name of displaying what the board described as “the country's unmatched hospitality.” They were pretty fascinating commercials, and not just because Amores Perros director Alejandro González Iñárritu directed three of them. The Mexicans spoke almost no Spanish—about as much as a Coto de Caza housewife uses to boss around María, actually. Same thing with those San Diego commercials. Mexico is a wonderful country with amazing produce and people—so why would Mexican companies turn off American consumers by reminding them that Mexicans live there?

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