Beyond traditionalism

Date of publication: March 13, 2018


For too long, Latin American markets in general, the Mexican one in particular, have been characterized as "traditional", a backwater of relative stillness with a few quirks that can be managed by avoiding a few taboos and promoting some degree of "tropicalization". Whereas it is true that such an approach was largely effective for decades, and Corona's strength inside Mexico was largely built on the celebration of local pride and traditions, our study suggested that far from being persuasive, the depiction of local culture in nationalistic stereotypes is not only losing appeal, in many cases it is feeding a growing exasperation. "Emergent Mexico" was originally conceived as a project meant to discover the roots of Mexican exasperation with certain forms of communication and certain brands. De la Riva wanted to find out why so many well-intentioned campaigns tanked under angry opposition from the audiences they were meant to appeal to. After extensive quantitative and qualitative ? both focus sessions and ethnography ? research throughout the country, plus analysis of Mexico's narrative by a network of semiologists in 10 countries, dlR not only found that the "traditional" approach had been overdone for too many decades and Mexicans were sick and tired of sombreros, and melodramatic families, it also found that a growing number of people were trying out alternative ways to break out from residual and even dominant codes; we found, in a word, that at least 20 percent of Mexicans are leading the way into emergent attitudes and codes.

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