Absolut Chaos: Mexican vodka ad enrages anti-immigrationists

absolute mexico

Many of you may be aware of the Absolut Vodka advertisement campaign theme, “Absolut World.” These advertisements use the slogan “in an Absolut World” to describe one’s ideal circumstance. One “Absolut World” ad shows a pregnant couple that consists of a slim, smiling mother and a strait-faced father with a bulging belly. Another personal favorite shows a politician standing at a podium delivering a speech with his nose stretched out like Pinocchio. Clearly, in this world these circumstances are impossible, but Absolut Vodka gives us a glimpse into an alternate world where pregnant mothers and disenchanted voters see justice. One recent advertisement from the “Absolut World” campaign has been the center of intense controversy. The ad, shown above, depicts a map of the United States, which places a significant portion of the American south-west within the territory of Mexico.

The map is a throwback reference to the Mexican-American war which took place between 1846 to 1848 after Texas seceded from Mexico. In the ensuing war the United States sent troops to Mexico City and forced her southern counterpart to relinquish half of her territory, thus forming the states of California, Nevada, Utah and parts of Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Wyoming. As the above advertisement suggests, in Absolut’s ideal world this acquisition would never have taken place.

Critics have lambasted the Swedish Vodka company for running the advertisement, with one blogger writing “I have poured the remainder of my Absolut bottles down the sink.” Many more disgruntled Americans and anti-immigration activists are calling for boycotts. The main critique of the advertisement is that it endorses “Reconquista” (reconquest) – an ideology that many Mexican immigrants use to justify their presence in the United States. The idea behind “Reconquista” is that immigrating Mexicans are simply taking back what was stolen from them in the Mexican-American war. Absolut tapped into this prevalent ideology, by creating their “Absolut World” advertisement to fuel profits in a Mexican market. The ad never ran in front of a United States audience.

“In no way was this meant to offend or disparage, nor does it advocate an altering of borders, nor does it lend support to any anti-American sentiment, nor does it reflect immigration issues,” a spokeswoman wrote on Absolut’s Web site said. “Instead, it hearkens to a time which the population of Mexico may feel was more ideal,”

Absolut has since pulled the controversial ad. What do you think about this controversy? Was Absolut justified in running the campaign or are the angry Americans justified in their disgust over what they see as propaganda?

7 Comments to ‘Absolut Chaos: Mexican vodka ad enrages anti-immigrationists’:

  1. print ads on 9 Apr 2008 at 6:58 pm: 1

    Borrowed interest. Dos Equis Beer has done the same exact ad: http://adsoftheworld.com/media/print/dos_equis_beer_geography

  2. miguelina rodriguez on 9 Apr 2008 at 11:49 pm: 2

    personally: this is some witty ish, finally some SUBSTANCE in our idiot boxes (via an alcohol beverage, but it’s here in our faces nonetheless) it’s no coincidence i was in utah when i ran across this add, a country that is part of this ‘contested space’. fair is fair, the revanchist need to suck it up and stop with their ‘manifest destiny’ attitudes. it’s about time folk say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! enough land grabbing, the pre-colonialism (aka Gentrification) sweeping this country is nothing new. it goes back to the lewis and clark expedition and this country’s forefather’s obsession with conquering the ‘wild wild west’…
    enough with the bullying, those being ‘bullied’ for many years are starting to wake up and stir ish up. deal with it U.S.. white folk are THE immigrants, enough with the reverse psychology: you made your bed 200, 300, 400 years ago and now you start to fall into a slow, deeepp sleep into it…
    ache

  3. Pierce on 10 Apr 2008 at 1:02 am: 3

    Migue! thanks for weighing in. It was actually your facebook picture that linked me to the article.

    What I think is so interesting is how outraged people are over this ad. Doesn’t the average American realize that this land was not empty when Europeans got here? it was inhabited by millions of Mexicans, descendants of Aztecs, and other native civilizations. I guess they see it as anti-American. Particularly in light of the anti-immigration sentiment to Mexico-America relations.

  4. Britney on 10 Apr 2008 at 8:44 am: 4

    I heard about this ad awhile back and I was slightly shocked by the outrage many Americans displayed as a result of this ad. When I first saw it, I simply laughed. The mere fact that many people are outraged leads me to believe that America still has not recognized their wrongdoing with Mexico nor will they ever recognize their wrong in anything.

  5. Jake on 10 Apr 2008 at 9:09 am: 5

    What I think is so interesting is how outraged people are over this ad. Doesn’t the average American realize that this land was not empty when Europeans got here? it was inhabited by millions of Mexicans, descendants of Aztecs, and other native civilizations. I guess they see it as anti-American. Particularly in light of the anti-immigration sentiment to Mexico-America relations.

    VERY WELL SAID! THE DAMN CRACKERS CAME HERE FROM EUROPE AND BACK STABBED ALL THESE AZTECS AND MEXICAN DECENTS.

    The mere fact that many people are outraged leads me to believe that America still has not recognized their wrongdoing with Mexico nor will they ever recognize their wrong in anything.

    what they dont realize also is that this Southwest end of USA is a Mexican Minority, and it will not change! it will only get larger!

    Welcome To Meh Hee Co!

    Good Advertisement! the white man is just scared to show our people how strong mexico Was or actually IS!

  6. Pierce on 10 Apr 2008 at 1:36 pm: 6

    an interesting point, Britney, Why can’t Americans acknowledge historical wrongdoing? They think it makes them Anti-American or anti-patriotic. The US has a grimy past-and present! that doesn’t mean I don’t love it. The south is racist, but I love the south. Some of the most revolutionary Black people i know, still shout out, BROOKLYNN! with pride. Even though they know NY and the greater US does them and their community dirty. Is Absolut Anti-American just because they depict a scenario that exposes the United States’ wrongdoing?

  7. Ishmael on 10 Apr 2008 at 3:32 pm: 7

    I have not seen the ad, but the above map is interesting. The Spanish Conquistadors killed/enslaved the inhabitants of Mexico and other territories siezed by Spain. In an “absolute” world, Mexico would not even exist. And as for the Aztecs, they were even worse than the Spanish.
    PEACE BE WITH YOU

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Published on April 9, 2008 at 2:28 pm. 7 Comments.
Filed under history,international relations.