March Madness is but a memory, and the Easter Bunny has delivered his final basket. So, who – or rather, what – will fill the marketing void? If you answered “Cinco de Mayo”, give yourself a hand. The holiday, which commemorates Mexico’s 1862 victory over France (and not Mexican Independence), has grown in popularity, and not just among Latinos. Brands like Avocados from Mexico, Honda, Taco Bell, Major League Baseball, Corona, and others are throwing mucho dinero behind Cinco de Mayo campaigns aimed at the general consumer — Americans of all creeds and backgrounds who love chips, guac, and beer.
What was once a niche, largely manufactured holiday has become a U.S. staple, observed by more than just college students. When this annual Mexican fiesta rolls around, merchants report a dramatic uptick in sales that can be directly attributed to this branded event. Professional baseball teams, amusements parks, and food and beverage companies experience a similar phenomena as consumers take to the outdoors for sporting events and barbecues that signal the official advent of summer.
How will this year’s Cinco de Mayo promotions play out? Brands are deploying a variety of tactics to capture the hearts and minds of the general consumer as well as the growing U.S. Latino base. Avocados from Mexico is hosting a live Twitter chat with Latina actress and activist Eva Longoria, while Taco Bell will unveil it’s “hottest” hot sauce yet and give away free biscuit tacos. But the biggest corporate sponsorships will come from beer and liquor producers, like Corona and Jose Cuervo, both of whom host dozens of festivals around the country and roll out Cinco-centered print, TV, social, and digital campaigns that dwarf virtually all others.
At Nostrum, Inc., we know we’re lucky: we work in a dynamic industry with exceptionally smart clients and partners. But we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention our Southern California location, where authentic Mexican food is as ubiquitous as the palm-lined streets. So, when the Fifth finally arrives, we’ll be out there, enjoying a delicious dish of arroz con frijoles and on the lookout for Cinco-centered advertising that hits the mark.