Thursday, June 14, 2007

Do the right thing

I'm from California, so I'm used to heavy-handed public service announcements discouraging smoking, beating your wife or drinking and driving. We're all about that. When my friend visited from Wyoming and saw some of our run-of-the-mill anti-smoking ads, I think it cemented her initial assessment that Californians are wackos.
Here in Mexico, the social crusaders take another approach. They put the warning right in with the commercial, which leads to some pretty funny juxtapositions. For instance, any beer ad will have a short message in capital letters across the bottom reading something along the lines of "TODO CON MEDIDA/DRINK RESPONSIBLY." What cracks me up is that the warnings go far beyond "The surgeon general really thinks you shouldn't smoke like a chimney."
For instance, shampoo commercials usually have a message reading: "SALUD ES BELLEZA/HEALTH IS BEAUTY."
Coca Cola ads (and I think I see about 10 a day) often have the messages: "HAZ DEPORTES" or "HAZ EJERCICIO." A Fresca ad: "COME FRUTA FRESCA." Yeah, those people may look like they're having fun tossing back calorie-laden sodas, but don't forget - eat healthy food! And one of my favorites? Delaware Punch - "COME UVAS Y VERDURAS/EAT GRAPES AND VEGETABLES."
Wow, thanks for that inspiring message. You know what? I'll do that.

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