Landon Donovan Tries to Trick the Mexican Migra

Before you cringe -and call the Latino stereotype police, I’d like to tell you that the following ad -pitching Grupo Televisa’s Gana Gol lottery game- was created, written and filmed in Mexico… by Mexicans.

And no, I don’t think it’s offensive. [I actually find it funny, especially when Donovan calls the border agent “leeeeero”… ja, ja, ja.]


Schwarzenegger to Outsource Imprisonment of Mexicans… In Mexico

You can say anything about California’s governor but you cannot deny the guy’s gotta head full of brilliant ideas.

In his most recent political -and economic- potential breakthrough, the Governator is proposing to pay the Mexican government to house the estimated 20,000 undocumented immigrants that are incarcerated in California. Why, it’s simple!

“Think about it. We pay the Mexican government to build the prison in Mexico and then we have these undocumented immigrants be down there in prison. With their prison guards and all this, it’s half the cost to build and half the cost to operate the prison. We gain $1 billion right there that could go into higher education.”

Of course! Just imagine the world of possibilities: Mexican prisoners will get better food and hopefully better treatment (because they will be watched by their “own people”) while Californians will get a better access to higher education. This, in turn, will create better educated people, so hopefully in the future they will not screw up when picking their elected officials.

This is a win-win situation, people!

It’s NOT the Network. It’s la Fiesta Total!

I suppose my career counselor was right when he said advertising was not for me. Otherwise, how could I possibly explain my failure to conceive a creative piece like the one below? Showing mariachis and folkloric dancers to show your cellphone provider has coverage in Mexico??!

Shame on me.

Still, there are other creative pieces I like much better, at least in their use of the ubiquitous Mariachi, including French’s, Lucas and CNN Expansión. [Not to mention, of course, political campaigns like that of Miss Meg Whitman in California.]

Brilliant! P&G Will Teach Latinas How to Save Money While Still Buying Pricey Detergent

You might not know this but according to Buenhogar Magazine a very prestigious institution, 31 percent of Hispanics have more expenses than income every month, (perhaps because we just keep buying Buenhogar every month?), which is, like, really bad because it’s hard to balance your checkbook when that happens.

But worry no more: Procter & Gamble’s Tide brand has teamed up with Mexican journalist María Antonieta Collins (pictured) to impart a series of seminars to teach Latinas how to get the most value for our money “by better managing our everyday finances,” [and still plunking down upwards of $7.99 for a heavily-advertised detergent, I suppose.]

“Based on my experience […] I understand firsthand the importance of proper budget management and learning to live within our means, and I am thrilled to be working with Tide to share this knowledge with Hispanic women across the country,” Collins told whoever wrote the press release.

So now you know. Stop whining about those pricey detergents, and be sure to mark down your calendars. Open to the public, the seminars will be taking place starting January through June in several “Hispanic dense” cities including, of course, Miami, New York, Dallas and Los Angeles.

Palestinian Entrepreneur Finds ‘Neat’ Way to Lure Hispanic Customers to Service Station

Question: How would you lure more Mexican customers to your Memphis-area gas station?

Answer: Offer additional services such as check cashing and money remittances to Mexico… and then use the Pemex brand -and logo- to give the business a truly local feel.

That is exactly what Haitham Alyousef, a Palestinian immigrant in Memphis, did when he incorporated Pemex Inc., a service station offering everything, from long distance calls to money remittances and “Hispanic foods.” According to the local press:

“Alyousef and his business partners enjoy reminders of home, and believe Mexican immigrants feel the same way.”

Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) is said to be considering a lawsuit, but they should just relax. Asked by a local reporter about why he stole the Pemex logo, image and name, Alyousef simply replied:

“I thought it was kind of neat.”

Alcohol Good. Diets Bad. Spanish Advertising Rocks!

I always knew my Madre Patria one day would come to my rescue.

Spanish authorities are imposing an advertising ban on certain beauty products and services before 10 p.m., mostly because there a lot of people over there obsessed with losing weight at all cost, developing eating disorders and resorting to all types of methods of slimming, like not eating or vomiting.

According to Advertising Age:

Ads for diet products, some beauty treatments and plastic surgery are now officially considered more dangerous for young people than commercials for alcohol, which can be advertised from 9 p.m.

Let’s also not forget that it was also Spain which decided in 2007 that the mannequins in stores like Zara or Mango would not have proportions smaller than a U.S. size 6. And in 2006, Madrid was the first city to ban ultra-thin models from its fashion week runways.

So, thanks Spain! I’m going to forget all about the nip and the tuck and just focus on the  sip, sip, sip!

And This is How Mexicans Will be Celebrating the Centennial of Our Revolution. ¡Ajúa!

Meet Fernanda and Isabel Calles Carranza, great-granddaughters of revolutionary leaders, who are celebrating the centennial of the Mexican Revolution by -what else?- posing nude for Playboy.

According to EFE, the twenty-something sisters were “convinced” by the magazine’s publishers to appear in the February edition of Playboy México, which has confirmed that:

Fernanda and Isabel Calles Carranza “will show off their beauty in a lovely pictorial to kick off the 2010 festivities.”

Oh, yeah! that’s lovely… not to mention über-revolutionary!

Photo: EFE

Hat tip, again, to my un-paid, eagle-eyed Mexico correspondent Keith Dannemiller.

UPDATE: Some lady named Alejandra Elías Calles has come forward to sour the party for everybody (particularly this blogger) claiming these damiselas are nothing but a scam. I will, of course, keep you posted, because, well, I have nothing better to do.

Don’t Know Latin America’s Major Capitals? No Worries: AT&T Will be There for You

I watched this commercial for the first time Sunday night (during the NBC broadcast of the Golden Globe Awards) and then it hit me: technology will always be there for us, no matter how challenged, ignorant or forgetful we become as a result of, well, all these technological advances.

Don’t know the capital of a major Latin American country? No worries! Your cellphone company will make sure to get you out of a jam.

Latino Presidential Hopeful Scheduled to Appear on Gringo Telenovela

Antonio Villaraigosa, the guy Rush Limbaugh mistook for a “shoeshine guy,” has found an innovative way to make himself relevant in these days and times: he will make a special appearance on All My Children, the legendary ABC soap opera, now in its 10,290,000 episode.

According to The Huffington Post:

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and City Council President Eric Garcetti will both shoot episodes at the show’s new production studio near downtown Los Angeles this month. The episode featuring Villaraigosa is scheduled to air Feb. 17.

No word yet on how the Mayor plans to combine his presidential aspirations with the absorbing world of telenovelas and the unbridled passion he has shown to feel for Hispanic newscasters.

California Lures Mexicans to Activities Other Than Fruit Picking

Because you can never get enough Mexicans in California, the state’s Travel and Tourism Commission has launched an all-Spanish-language Web site to “help lure more Mexicans to The Golden State.”

Visita California informs my people about the many wonderful things we can expect to do in the Golden State, including sun-bathing, surfing, golfing and -of course- rafting.

According to Caroline Beteta, CTTC president & CEO and chair of the U.S. Travel Association:

“This new Spanish-language Web site is part of one of the ways we hope to make planning a California dream vacation easier and more compelling to this important market.”

I suppose Ms. Beteta is talking about the “other” important Mexican market; and not the one charged with cleaning their hotel rooms and picking their fruit…

I wonder.

Mel Gibson Goes to Mexico. Veracruz Prison Brouhaha Ensues

We were all too distracted -and shocked- at the events unfolding this week in Haiti, but I thought you might want to know that your favorite Australian filmmaker is pissing up a lot of people in Veracruz, Mexico.

As it turns out, Mr. Gibson had an entire prison emptied so he could start filming some kind of movie, never mind the families of the inmates now have to travel an additional 50 kilometers to pay a visit.

And, as it happens so very often in my beloved country, the authorities gave Mr. Gibson carte blanche to do whatever he pleased. Yet, the governor of Veracruz, Fidel Herrera, insisted this week in saying:

“Inmates were cleared from a prison last week in Mexico’s Veracruz state for security reasons and not to allow U.S. actor Mel Gibson to begin shooting.”

Yeah, right!

Hat tip: Keith Dannemiller

Oh No! ‘La Migra’ is Now After Our Chicharrón!

Sorry, guys. If you thought you could continue to bring in your deliciously greasy chicharrón from Mexico, think again. Starting this week, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection is enforcing new rules that are making it harder for you to bring these delicacies into the United States. Why?

According to U.S. officials, the ban is meant to target “exotic animal diseases originating in certain parts of Mexico.”

They gotta be kidding me! since when are Mexican puercos exotic? have you ever seen one?

Anyhow, I’d be more careful if I were you: the penalty for not declaring your chicharrón at the border can be up to $1,000 for personal importation and up to $250,000 for commercial importation.


Sonia Sotomayor Joins Sarah, Michelle, Hillary and Caroline as Cartoon Superheroine

Because I’m sure you were dying to know: Sonia Sotomayor’s ascension to the U.S. Supreme Court will hit the comic stores in April 2010, as Bluewater Productions prepares a new series featuring the Neoyorican judge. The pitch:

The Supremes have a new member! Meet the latest justice to don the black robes of America’s highest court. Sonia Sotomayor rose from humble beginnings in a Bronx housing project to become only the third woman and the first Latina to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court. Relive her historic journey in a comic book biography that’s ripped from today’s headlines.

With this, Sotomayor becomes the first Latina to appear in Bluewater’s Female Force collection: Other “luminaries” include Hillary Clinton, Barbara Walters, Caroline Kennedy and Lady Gaga.

I guess we should congratulate Sonia for yet another mainstream achievement.

Should we?

Hey, Latinos in America: Get Off Your Tía’s Couch and Make Yourselves Count!

As of 2010, this blogger is making a personal commitment to support every single initiative aimed at having Latinos take part on the upcoming Census. Why? Well, that’s the least I can do after having read a very disturbing -and quite embarrassing- revelation about my people in the international press.

Asked by The Economist why Latinos continue to be left out in U.S. Census statistics, the executive director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, Arturo Vargas, put it simply:

“If you live in a garage or on somebody’s couch, as many Latinos do, it is easy not to be counted.”

So there you have it. Get off your tía‘s sillón or step out of your pana‘s garage and make yourself count!