Oct 28

Mexican Advertising

Mexican advertising has a amusing, desperate, shameless quality to it.

This one is really an inspirational message: “We know that you have to eat occasionally during your rabid shopping frenzy, but don’t give up – we know you can do it!”

Notice those bottles of hard liquor in the background of this fast food joint. You want fries with that?


I find this desperate appeal as repellent as the man who wrote the lyric.  Note Ms. tourist cramming useless kitsch into her overflowing suitcase.  Forget it, babe, you’ll never make it close.


I suppose that kitsch lady will have to buy more bags, like this next woman.  It’s so refreshing to experience a foreign culture; the exchange of ideas is invigorating.  As provincial as I am, it would never have occurred to me to transport a guitar in a duffel bag. I’d like to hear the sound it makes as it goes through baggage handling. Remember the old american tourist commercial?


Next, a ruthless attempt to get your cash by blatantly pushing drugs.  In Mexico, you can buy anything you want without a prescription, but still, she has a stethoscope, so it has the imprimatur of the medical profession.  Of course you really need 5 cubic feet of oxycontin for legitimate medical reasons.

Maybe I’ll get inspired by the previous ads, buy so many pills that I can’t even close my suitcase, get blasted out of my mind and stagger slack-jawed through the mall, unable to resist hypnotic commands to buy everything in sight. Or maybe I’ll get some medical-grade meth to fuel my foaming acquisitive session. This being Mexico, you can get pills as big as the ones on the sign, something large enough to require a violin case for transportation. Don’t worry though – the Bacardi you bought from the fast food place makes it go down easy. Come on – we know you can do it.

Don’t forget, no matter how much meth you buy, it stops being legal the moment you cross into US airspace. You had better eat it all on the plane, or immigration’s dogs will rip out your spleen. *


Finally, here is the video screen of a money conversion machine.  This woman has clearly reached a state of unblemished tantric perfection, the pinnacle of her heart’s desire, and perhaps has experienced a shattering orgasm as her converted money issued from the machine’s orifice. She might even have been blessed by God for this holy act; note the halo-like rays emanating from behind her head.


When I reached the states and was asked if I had anything to declare, I was honestly able to say “no.” The officer said “really?  You didn’t buy a single thing?” and it was true.  Not even oxycontin.

* I have seen a couple of immigration dogs.  They’re not all German Shepherds; I once saw a 10-pound shaggy little terrier.


3 Comments so far

  1. spleeness October 30th, 2009 2:10 PM

    haha!! This is fantastic. I think the oxycontin explains the guitar in a duffel bag phenomenon, which is otherwise unexplainable.

  2. mexican friendly guy August 19th, 2010 3:18 AM

    politely…you are such a hater man!! you are not even close to the real intentions that the mexican people have on the american tourist, and believe me, those intentions are very good, you are always very welcomed here, wheter you spend money or not. Our goverment does not invest on a better customer service education because we are having other priorities regarding our own people, we are not as rich as your goverment is, so we cannot afford better advertisements, we are not trying to rip you off, in these advertisements we’re telling your people that your money can be good enough to buy a huge variety of goods and services. If you have something to ask, be confident and send me an e-mail I’ll be more than happy to help you to understand my country and our ways.

  3. Dan August 19th, 2010 4:29 PM

    Mexican Friendly Guy,
    Thanks for commenting, and particularly for taking care to add “polite” at the beginning. You have taken me in totally the wrong spirit. My post is an attempt at humor in the same vein as:

    http://www.engrish.com (written largelyby Sinophiles who have traveled or lived in China or Japan for years and love it there)
    http://www.stuffwhitepeoplelike.com (which any white American should be able to read and laugh at himself)

    Or, the famous Monty Python sketch about a Hungarian in the U.K. using a phrase book to get along and saying that “My hovercraft is full of eels” instead of “When is the next bus?”

    Not that I’m as funny as all that – but my point is, it’s good-natured ribbing. I loved the way I was treated in Mexico, and I don’t fault the Mexicans one bit for trying to comb every bit of cash out of us as possible, as long as they do it nicely – which they did. I’ve been to Mexico several different places and times, and Mexicans are just like anyone else – trying to get along, doing the best they can, and dealing with their daily challenges while trying to maintain their dignity. That is precisely why it’s funny – because not being familiar with some cultural subtleties, the people who made those signs aren’t aware of how funny they look, or perhaps of how revealing they are of some small piece of Mexican culture.

    Vive le difference, and may we continue to laugh at ourselves as well as others.

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