Absolut Vodka Mexican Ad Controversy: Seriously?

Absolut Vodka Mexico AdAbsolut Vodka has gotten itself in trouble with an ad aimed at Mexican audiences. The Absolut ad features the tagline, “In an Absolut World” and shows a map of Mexico and the United States… only Mexican territory includes California, Arizona and other states that once belonged to Mexico before the U.S. took the land over in 1848.

The ad has evoked criticism from some Americans, and after a slew of complaints, Absolut withdrew the ad. As a marketing director and an American, I find it sad that people get so worked up over something like this. Sure, some people living in those states may not like that “in an Absolut world” they would be living in Mexico, but come on? Who cares?

Whenever something offends someone, I think they should ask themselves these questions:

  • How has it impacted my life and will it affect my life in the future?
  • Is this something that I believe the general public would not want their children to see? (not just your personal opinion)
  • Of all the things I have to do today, is complaining or getting upset about this thing a priority in my life?

Of course, if you honestly answer those questions, this Absolut ad should fall so low on your priority list that it isn’t even worth a second thought. If it is a high priority for you, then I’m sorry for you, brother.

From a marketing perspective, I think the ad is great:

  • The Absolut ad was released in Mexico only, where, apparently, sentiments are still strong about the lost territory. Absolut was targeting the emotions of its audience, and it struck a chord.
  • The ad is visually appealing and eye catching.
  • The ad isn’t inappropriate in any way or form (and, in fact, for a hard liquor commercial it’s actually quite tame)
  • Shouldn’t the ad be in Spanish, though?
  • The ad is not intended to, nor will it, incite violence.

I am an American, but I am ashamed when people become worked up over such things as this. I’m sure in every country people complain about something, but it’s still embarassing. Do you think the “This is Our Country” song that plays with Chevy commercials play well in Mexico or other countries where immigrants derive from?

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: Miscellaneous