By: Lisa Coleman
People, people, people… what is the problem? When did Americans become so obsessed with idiocy? When did we lose our sense of what it important and focus on what is ridiculously trivial? And in what universe is an advertisement from a Swedish Vodka company (that ran ONLY in Mexico) necessary topic on the evening news? Don’t we have bigger fish to fry? Aren’t there more important things in life? Don’t you think we may want to consider electing a president soon?
Here’s the short story…The manufacturers of Sweden’s Absolut vodka ran a very clever billboard advertisement IN MEXICO that had the slogan “In An Absolut World” placed over a pre-1848 map of Mexico that showed Arizona, California and a number of other states as part of Mexican territory. The history on that is that a war between Mexico and the United States from 1846 to 1848 started with Mexico’s refusal to recognize the U.S. annexation of Texas and ended with the occupation of Mexico City by U.S. troops.
When all was said and done, Mexico ceded nearly half of its territory to the United States, forming the states of California, Nevada, Utah and parts of Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Wyoming. Rumor has it that Mexicans remain sensitive about the loss and the location of the border, so the ad probably inspired a few chuckles and quite a number of smiles for those who saw it. Let’s be honest, holding a grudge since 1848 is only for the diehards.
I have yet to read anything or hear anything from the Mexican side of things, but apparently the ad has a good number of Americans in a twist. Even though the ad did NOT run in the United States, it was picked up by some media up here and everyone went a little crazy and Absolut pulled their campaign. Seriously…get over it!
I have been in some form of sales and marketing my entire life and I respect and understand what it takes to come up with a creative and original ad campaign. It’s important to always know your audience – hence the ad ONLY ran in Mexico. And, in the process of trying to design any campaign, the goal is generally to reach the greatest number of people, get them to remember your name and leave a lasting impression. So for all of you that got on a soapbox about this and gave it any importance at all, you inadvertently helped their cause. In my opinion, it was a very, very unique and clever ad. I liked it…a lot.
This wasn’t about immigration or anti-American sentiment, or hate, or borders… it was about VODKA. That’s it… VODKA. No big secret story, no hidden agenda… they just wanted to sell more VODKA. One of the greatest things about the Mexican people is they really don’t take themselves too seriously. Most have enough struggles in life without wasting time on matters of advertising.
In the scheme of things 1848 was a long time ago and my sombrero is off to all you guys and gals in Sweden that came up with this. In an Absolut world… I think you all need to relax and have a martini!