Mixing Languages in Advertising—An Idea Whose Time Is Over
July 23, 2007, 01:30 AM
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I’m following up on Peter Brimelow’s blog on Republican Florida Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart's speech to La Raza about the importance of perpetuating the Spanish language among generations of U.S born children and grandchildren of Mexican descent.

Peter stated—correctly—that Hispanic extremists like Diaz-Balart and National Council of La Raza’s senior vice president for research, advocacy and legislation Cecilia Munoz, use Spanish as a form of segregation. Instead of encouraging the mastery of English—which served both Diaz-Balart and Munoz well—they promote clinging to Spanish.

In a related issue, Tecate Beer, brewed in Baja California, is running a telling radio advertisement.

In a dialogue between two men speaking with heavy accents, one asks for a �Tecate Beer.� But his buddy reprimands him and insists he calls for a �Cerveza Tecate.�

And, as the exchange continues, the �cerveza� guy claims that referring to Tecate as beer is like asking for ketchup on your taco.

This is marketing so anything goes. Mixing English and Spanish is not new…but it remains supremely irritating.

Three questions occur to me:

  • Wouldn’t Tecate be better off promoting its product among Americans who may not be as familiar with it as Mexicans are?
  • And, to that end, wouldn’t the company be better off using exclusively English to get its message across?
  • Why demean English and all-American products like ketchup?

Interestingly, Tecate had a major advertising flap a few years ago. University of New Mexico students protested as â€?racist and sexistâ€? Tecate ads claiming its beer represented â€?Finally—A Cold Latinaâ€?