September 29, 2007

Bud Light's Spanish Billboards: "As Good As The Honky Woman Checking You Out"

"As good as the honky woman checking you out"

There's pandering to the Spanish-speaking Mexican community in Denver, and then there's this:
I love you, man: Bud Light knows what Mexicans like: beer and white women.

At least, that's what a choice billboard at Colfax Avenue and Monroe Street seems to indicate, with its pronouncement that the beer is "tan buena como la güera que te está mirando." For those not in the know, the word güero is on par with gringo, a term used by Mexicans to refer to their pasty neighbors to the north. Güera, then, would be the female form of this, and this cocksure little ad plays off that to speak to Denver's ever-growing Mexican community, basically proclaiming that Bud Light is "as good as the honky woman checking you out."
That offensive sign--imagine one with a different racial epithet (the fallout from "nappy-headed ho" anyone?) or the various "honky" variants "cracker" and "whitey"--has disappeared in less than two weeks, and the new one is much tamer:
Honky if you drink Bud: Two weeks ago, Off Limits offered an impromptu Spanish class, noting that a Bud Light billboard in the heart of hispterdom, at Colfax Avenue and Monroe Street, promised that the beer was "tan bueno como la güera que te está mirando" – essentially, "as good as that honky woman checking you out." Now the billboard is touting the same light beer, with a new, less filling message. "Tan buena como viernes de quincena," it now reads, in a reference not to a woman checking you out, but that welcome mid-month Friday paycheck.
Either someone in Bud Light's marketing department continued the trend of English-oriented companies' proclivity for mucking up Spanish translations:
Still, for odd beer translations, it doesn't come close to the blunder that the Coors Brewing Company made more than a decade ago, when the Spanish version of its "Turn It Loose Tonight" slogan translated to "Take a Dump Tonight" — or, even worse, "Suffer From Diarrhea."
Or the marketers simply figured that the only readers of their billboards--their Spanish-speaking target market--would find the catchy ad "funny", and would be totally ignored by English-speakers in Denver or simply go untranslated, and therefore, under the radar.

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