Clever Marketing Tactic? Absolutely

The ad above depicts a pre-1848 map of the US/Mexican border as it appeared before the Mexican-American war, when California, Arizona and other states were part of Mexico's territory. The words "In An Absolute World" are emblazoned across the map.

This ad ran only in Mexico and needless to say, most gringos are pretty pissed off over it.

First, a little history:

The Mexican-American war started in 1846, when Mexico refused to acknowledge the US's annexation of Texas. By 1848, Mexico City was occupied by US troops. To avoid being completely wiped out and annexed by the US, Mexico ceded nearly half of its territory to the United States, in a peace treaty known as the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. This treaty ended the war and eventually formed the states of California, Nevada, Utah and parts of Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Wyoming.

However, even today, the war - known as "the War of North American Invasion" in Mexico - is still a sensitive issue.

The blogs talking about the Absolut ad have been heating up for a while now. On March 31st, blogger Laura Martinez posted it on her blog as a comment on the recent loss of her mother. One thing led to another, which led to the LA times running an article about it and after that point, all hell broke loose.

Now, each side has turned the whole argument into a shouting match over immigration.

Still, you have to wonder what the intention was of the Absolut ad. Was it to make Mexicans feel angry that the US took over the land? Is Absolut suggesting that Mexico take the land back?

Or is it merely a tactic to make Mexicans feel nostalgic for a by-gone era and convince them to buy more Sweedish vodka?

Absolut has since pulled the ad and apologized over the weekend, saying, "As a global company, we recognize that people in different parts of the world may lend different perspectives or interpret our ads in a different way than was intended in that market"

However, this vague statement has only polarized the sides arguing about the issue even further.

The website has started up, using this ad to help their efforts to promote immigration reform. They are also circulating a petition to get people to boycott Absolut vodka.

Personally, I'm a Belvedere guy, or between paydays, any dirt cheap brand will do in a pinch.

What do you think about this? Post your comments below.

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