Tequila Patrón Brand Purpose Frito-Lay

6 of the best Cinco de Mayo campaigns of 2022


By Kendra Barnett, Associate Editor

May 3, 2022 | 9 min read

Now more than ever, consumers are telling brands: “basta de tonterías” – cut the bullshit – when it comes to cultural appropriation. So this year, in honor of Cinco de Mayo – a celebration commemorating Mexico’s 1862 victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Pueblo – brands are ditching the offensive costumes and celebrating the rich stories, culture and flavors of Mexico. Here are some of the best Cinco de Mayo campaigns of the year.

Woman wearing 'Hecho en Mexico' shirt

Modelo is encouraging fans to ditch the offensive garb and opt for authentic, artisan-made Mexican decor and accessories / Modelo

Modelo supports Mexican-American artists and craftsmen

Modelo is making it easy for consumers to ditch the sombreros and celebrate genuine Mexican culture through its Cinco Auténtico campaign.

Meet the Merchants Modelo Cinco de Mayo campaign

The beer brand, which was founded in Mexico more than a century ago, debuted the Modelo Mercado, a limited-edition online market filled with authentic decor and handmade goods created by seven Mexican-American artists and small businesses. From April 26 through May 2, fans were encouraged to shop for beautiful, hand-embroidered textiles, one-of-a-kind ceramics, hand-painted wooden sculptures and more through the shop via Modelo’s Instagram page. All purchases were made through direct partnerships with the independent merchants.

Plus, as an extension of its Cinco Auténtico campaign, the beer brand has given out its own version of Michelin stars – dubbed ‘Cinco Stars’ – to the best local Mexican restaurants. Consumers are encouraged to support these local spots by dining in or ordering out.

Patrón goes high fashion with special-edition sneakers

For the second consecutive year, popular tequila maker Patrón has teamed up with streetwear designer John Geiger in a collaborative campaign.

Geiger has created a limited-edition pair of his GF-01 sneakers (which are the subject of an ongoing legal battle between the designer and sportswear titan Nike) inspired by the tequila and its homeland of Jalisco, Mexico.

Geiger for Patron

“I’m consistently inspired and impressed by Patrón. I loved working with them last year on our streetwear collection,” said the designer in a statement, referring to the 2021 clothing line that drew inspiration from Patrón’s limited-edition Mexican Heritage Tin packaging.

“This is another collaboration truly driven by passion,” he said. “It was only fitting to go bigger and better for Cinco de Mayo with an epic sneaker drop that takes the designs we created with them last year to the next level. I was really inspired by the green that you’ll see in the leather detailing, evocative of the heart of Patrón, the agave piñas from the fields in Jalisco, Mexico.”

The special-edition Patrón x John Geiger GF-01 sneakers retail for $250 a pair.

“Sharing a passion for craft and bold innovation, Patrón is excited to be teaming up with John again to bring this unique offering to life in time for Cinco de Mayo, a moment that is all about gathering with great company and great cocktails,” said Chloe Lloyd-Jones, vice-president marketing of Patrón Tequila, in a statement.

Tostitos taps Danny Trejo and Sofia Reyes to remix Cinco de Mayo classics

Tostitos doesn’t want the party to stop. The Frito-Lay-owned snack brand has teamed up with two Mexican stars, actor Danny Trejo and pop artist Sofia Reyes, in its Fiesta Remix campaign, a multichannel effort that will run through the summer.

In a cheeky 30-second spot, the two stars showcase new spins on party staples. Instead of a standard serving of queso to go with their Tostitos, they opt for a queso fountain. Reyes suggests ditching the traditional mariachi band in favor of a remixed pop version. Finally, they settle on Tostitos Scoops rather than original Tostitos. The video ad debuted across the brand’s social channels.

To keep fans partying all summer long, though, the brand has cooked up a variety of ways to get them involved. In particular, it’s leaning into TikTok. Tostitos teamed up with Millennial Lotería – a millennials-inspired parody of the classic bingo-like Mexican game – to create a special TikTok effect. The game recasts traditional Lotería cards: La Dama becomes La Feminist, El Catrín becomes El Hipster and Las Jaras becomes La Hashtage. As part of the fun, users can participate in nine challenges through the TikTok effect. By participating, users are entered into a sweepstakes for a chance to win a Tostitos Fiesta Remix Party Pack on Cinco de Mayo, which includes a year-long supply of chips and even a 5-carat gold Tostitos Scoop necklace.

Fans can also visit tostitos.com/fiestaremix to check out the ‘Fiesta Remixer,’ an online experience that includes curated Spotify playlists and a quiz that offers personalized suggestions for snacks, beverages and music that will amp up their fiesta.

Topo Chico invites fans to swap out cringeworthy apparel for free hard seltzer

Like Modelo, Topo Chico Hard Seltzer is done with the stereotype-enforcing, culturally appropriative wear that has long typified Cinco de Mayo celebrations in the US and around the world. This year, the brand is encouraging fans to swap out their cliché garb and decor for free hard seltzer – no strings attached.

Topo Chico Swap Shop truck promo

From April 27 to May 8, consumers can head to Topo Chico’s digital pawn shop at topochicohardseltzerusa.com/swapshop or text an image of their item plus the word ‘CINCO’ to 73255 to get a free pack of Topo Chico Margarita Hard Seltzer via rebate.

“The only thing that should be cheesy about Cinco de Mayo is the queso, so Topo Chico Hard Seltzer is stepping in to do something about all those cheap, stereotypical party accessories,” said Matt Escalante, vice-president of hard seltzers at Molson Coors Beverage Company, in a statement. “At the Topo Chico de Mayo Swap Shop, fans can forget about the mediocre margaritas and tchotchkes and celebrate Cinco de Mayo in a refreshed way with Topo Chico Margarita Hard Seltzer.”

The Topo Chico Margarita Hard Seltzer was introduced last month. The brand, which has traditionally made sparkling mineral water, is a challenger in an increasingly crowded hard seltzer category. The brand’s Margarita Hard Seltzer variety pack is available across the US, and includes four flavors that the brand says “draw from beloved versions of the iconic Mexican drink”: Signature Margarita, Tropical Pineapple, Prickly Pear and Strawberry Hibiscus.

Smirnoff partners with chefs to create bites that pair with spicy-sweet sips

Smirnoff vodka is challenging tequila and mezcal brands this Cinco de Mayo.

The Diageo-owned brand has tapped two chefs – food blogger and cookbook author Esteban Castillo and pastry and dessert chef Jocelyn Delk Adams – to create a handful of new recipes that pair with the brand’s Spicy Tamarind and Poco Pico products.

Esteban Castillo making spicy shrimp skewers with Smirnoff vodka products on the table

The recipe line-up includes plates such as BBQ beef sliders and shrimp skewers. A campaign featuring brightly-colored creative and short recipe videos promotes the dishes, alongside a range of Smirnoff products inspired by classic Mexican flavors. These include Spicy Tamarind-flavored Smirnoff Ice and Spiked Sparkling Seltzer and Ice Smash, as well as the brand’s Poco Pico products, which come in spicy-sweet flavors such as Mango Chili, Pineapple Jalapeño and Spicy Margarita.

New sotol brand Cardenxe celebrates ancient Mexican traditions

Sotol is an ancient type of Mexican distilled liquor made from Dasylirion, a plant that belongs to the asparagus family. A less popular spirit than its agave-based cousins, sotol is seeing something of a resurgence in demand.

Cardenxe sotol

Cardenxe, a new artisanal, small-batch sotol line, launched last week – just in time for Cinco de Mayo celebrations. Cardenxe sotol is “terrior-inspired, with flavor profiles derived from different landscapes in northern Mexico.” It comes in two varietals, Sotol De La Sierra and Sotol De Desierto, which respectively scored gold and silver medals in the 2022 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. The Sotol De Desierto is inspired by the desert; it features earthy cocoa notes and a vegetal aftertaste. The Sotol De La Sierra, meanwhile, comes from Madera, a mountain town in the northwestern state of Chihuahua – its profile, derived from the forest, is both herbal and floral, with notes of eucalyptus, moss and nuts.

The brand is named for Canto Cardenche, an ancient genre and practice of music rooted in themes of sorrow and love that is native to northern Mexico. The term ‘Canto Cardenche’ itself comes from cardenche, a type of cactus referred to colloquially as the ‘cactus of love,’ which is native to the region and often grows near Dasylirion, the sotol plant.

“Our mission is to elevate two very unique Mexican traditions that risk disappearing – that of sotol and of Canto Cardenche,” the brand’s co-founder Luigi Ambrosi said in a statement. “We decided to create a brand of sotol that brings forth a movement, inspired by the message of love and beauty that the cardencheros like to sing about.”

The sotol is now available in the brand’s online shop and at retailers in the New York City area.

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Tequila Patrón Brand Purpose Frito-Lay

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