The ad by the Swedish Absolut Spirits Co. features an 1830s-era map where Mexico includes California, Texas, Arizona and other southwest states. The U.S. border lies where it was before the Mexican-American war of 1848 and before the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo saw the Mexican territories of Alta California and Santa Fe de Nuevo Mexico ceded to the United States.
The campaign taps into the national pride of Mexicans, according to Favio Ucedo, creative director of the leading Latino advertising agency in the U.S., Grupo Gallegos.
"Mexicans talk about how the Americans stole their land," the Argentine native said of the Absolut campaign, "so this is their way of reclaiming it. It's very relevant and the Mexicans will love the idea."
This is not the first ad campaign targeted at what some Mexican activists call the "Reconquista" movement of those who dream and work toward the day when the American Southwest will be reconquered. To them, illegal aliens crossing the U.S. border are merely returning home.
In 2005, a Los Angeles billboard advertising a Spanish-language newscast showed the Angel of Independence, a well-known monument in Mexico City, in the center of the L.A. skyline, with "CA" crossed out after "Los Angeles" and the word "Mexico" in bold red letters put in its place.
SKYY Vodka weighed in in support of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo: In 1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo officially ended the Mexican-America War (1846-1848). With the signing of this treaty, the U.S. gained control of what was to become the Golden West, including California, Arizona, Utah, Nevada and parts of Colorado and New Mexico. Today, SKYY Vodka spoke out against suggestions by Absolut Vodka to disregard that treaty, as well as the joining of Texas to the Union in 1845, as depicted in Absolut's recent advertising.
"Like SKYY Vodka, the residents of states like California, Texas and Arizona are exceptionally proud of the fact that they are from the United States of America," said Dave Karraker, SKYY Vodka. "To imply that they might be interested in changing their mailing addresses, as our competitor seems to be suggesting in their advertising, is a bit presumptuous."
In the ad, an "Absolut World" is depicted where the map of North America is re-drawn with Mexico claiming much of the Western United States, negating the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, as well as the Gadsden Purchase (1853), and the independence of Texas (1836).
"Don't get me started on the Gadsden Purchase," continues Karraker. "I think the folks in Tucson and Yuma would be rubbed the wrong way if they hear this landmark deal was somehow nullified as suggested by Absolut, a Swedish-owned brand."
From the April 14, 2008, Prepared Foods e-Flash