Every time my friends go off on trips across the globe, I always ask them to be on the lookout for Mexican food, for the obvious reasons. A friend just came back from Europe, with a stop in London, and this is a photo he just sent over, of Old El Paso's advertising campaign in England.
The semiotics of the shot just BOGGLE THE MIND.
Firstly, you have the brilliant synthesis of Mexican food as being a natural part of England. They're no exotifying of the food, no gross stereotypes as in the past: Mexican food is just something to eat for the weekend, during a fiesta or whatever the bloody 'ell Brits call their shindigs. You also have bilingualism in the campaign: “Bring on La Fiesta.” Spanglish! In England, where not even a century ago, Spaniards were barely better than the Irish!
Then there's the focus of the shot: the gloved hand with fancy bracelet, hinting that even Queen Elizabeth II needs her Mexican food. And then there's the food itself: it's not a burrito, but rather something called a “fajita roll.” Although burritos are available in England, fajitas are the current obsession of Europe, just like tacos were the big thing a decade ago. Given it seems Europe is 30 years behind Mexican food trends, they should get into Kogi in about, oh, 2050.
Old El Paso, by the way, is huge in Europe. Check out this Swedish commercial…