Saturday, April 5, 2008

Aztlan Rising?

Hat tip to Harleydog over at Prudens Speculari for bringing this amazing ad to my attention. All sorts of alarm bells went off when I read the back story.

As the L.A. Times puts it:

Mexico reconquers California? Absolut drinks to that!

The latest advertising campaign in Mexico from Swedish vodka maker Absolut promises to push all the right buttons south of the U.S. border, but it could ruffle a few feathers in El Norte...

...The campaign taps into the national pride of Mexicans, according to Favio Ucedo, creative director of leading Latino advertising agency Grupo Gallegos in the U.S. Ucedo, who is from Argentina, said: “Mexicans talk about how the Americans stole their land, so this is their way of reclaiming it.

It’s very relevant and the Mexicans will love the idea...”

The first thing that boiled up in me was where's the freaking map showing that Mexico "stole" the land from Spain when they revolted? Or the map that shows the land Spain "stole" from the Aztecs, Inca and various other indigenous pepples?

But that's not the point.

Good advertising engages the emotions and associates those emotions with what you are trying to sell. The target audience for this ad is Mexican. Obviously the execs in charge of the advertising campaign think they have a raw vein of emotion to exploit here. Ad execs, like all professionals, come in various shades of competency. In this case, it looks like the folks at Absolut have picked a firm that knows their work.

One of the key items to take away from this is that the ad agency exec interviewed specifically stated, regarding the topic of Mexican anger and claims on the land north of the Treaty line: "It's very relevant..."

Relevant? The results of a war that ended 140 years ago? To my Anglo self, that seems absurd. Hell, while the ashes of the War for Southern Independence may still burn bright in a few places down South, if you ran an ad for Dixie Beer showing a map of North America with the C.S.A. carved out along the bottom, you wouldn't get this kind of emotion on a wide scale - and I grew up in the South.

But it is not about what I think, it is about what Absolut's Mexican customers think. If this ad campaign is successful and if the ad execs are correct in stating that this is a "relevant" topic for modern Mexicans, then folks, I would say that this is a potential pre-cursor to significant ethnic tensions in what is currently the Southwest.

This sort of thing was a topic of discussion in Catastrophic Abundance and one of my exercises at the end of the book was to suggest that you research Aztlan. I have touched on the topic of a reconquista movement supported by Mexico in Socionomic Trendspotting for 2008, Future News Headlines, and California as Leading Indicator.

But "touched on" the topic is about all I've done or plan to do until the first bombings begin - or until this latest wave of immigration is firmly acculturalized in the U.S. With the U.S. entering a period of negative social mood and with the Mexican government facing a very serious problem with the ongoing collapse of petroleum output, I fear the result will be a polarized population and extremists supported by a Mexican government that needs to use such a reconquista as an outlet for the many intelligent and motivated young men and women who need something bigger than themselves to believe in and who would have zero economic prospects in a Mexico facing petro-collapse and economic disaster.

Absolut Vodka has tapped into a stream of anger, separatism (from the U.S. point of view) and ethnic partitioning. This is straight out of the socionomic playbook for downtrends and conflict. If we really are headed into a period of negative social mood, then expect this story to grow from a mere dispute over advertising and national pride to the kind of thing where bullets and IEDs get exchanged.

For those of you who who live in the Southwest and are not of Hispanic ancestry, keep an eye out for how the trend is moving and have some plans in place to cover worst-case scenarios. I don't want you to think we are inciting ethnic tension here at FutureJacked - that is not the case. The elites of the world like to partition us off into various groups of "us" versus "them" as a way of keeping people distracted from the great economic and social engineering issues of the day. That said, the default to tribalism and "us" versus "them" works great because it is a hard-wired mechanism in the human brain. To wish it away, to ignore it, would be stupid.

Keep your eyes open. Watch the trends. Try to extrapolate trends out and think about ways to plan for a future that might be much more violent, much more ethnically oriented and much more worked up about redressing ancient grievances by taking it out on you.

Watch for Aztlan Rising.

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