Día de Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a rich tradition with roots tracing back to pre-Hispanic civilizations such as the Aztec and Maya, who held deep-seated beliefs about the afterlife and ancestor veneration. With the arrival of Spanish colonizers in the 16th century, these ancient customs blended with Christian practices, particularly All Souls’ and All Saints’ Day, evolving into the modern-day celebration. Today, Día de Muertos is recognized as a significant cultural heritage of Mexico, celebrated from October 31 to November 2, during which families create ornate altars, or “ofrendas,” decorated with photographs, mementos, and favorite foods of the departed as a way to invite their spirits back to the mortal world. The celebration is a blend of somber remembrance and joyous celebration, symbolizing the culture’s acceptance and reverence for the cyclical nature of life and death, and has been inscribed by UNESCO on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Brands have embraced this cultural celebration with innovative marketing campaigns that blend tradition with creativity, fostering deeper customer connections. Here are some standout examples of Día de Muertos campaigns that resonate with audiences.
KFC’s ‘Los Retornados’ Chickadilla:
KFC’s ‘Los Retornados’ campaign elegantly delves into the tradition of Día de Muertos, using narrative as a compass to traverse the boundaries between life and death. Alongside ‘The Returnees,’ individuals sharing their brushes with the beyond, this campaign encapsulates the essence of this profound celebration. As viewers are led on a journey of remembrance and honor, the veil lifts to unveil the ‘Chickadilla,’ infusing a playful zest to the solemn tribute, in true spirit of the celebration that honors the deceased amidst a lively festivity.
Patrón Tequila’s ‘Con Mi Familia’ Initiative
Embracing the heart of Día de Muertos, Patrón Tequila’s ‘Con Mi Familia’ initiative blossoms across over 200 UK venues in a month-long tribute to the rich Mexican celebration. Through a tapestry of immersive art exhibits, bar takeovers, and ‘hero’ events in major metropolitan centers, Patrón curates a voyage into the vibrant traditions that cradle this celebration. Every stroke of artwork, sip of tequila education, and burst of signature cocktail flavors crafts a unique and vibrant expedition into the celebration of life, death, and the cherished memories that bridge the two realms
Doritos’ Dia de Los Muertos Ad:
In a tender ode to Día de Muertos, Doritos Mexico unveils a touching animated narrative, enfolding viewers in a family’s heartwarming rendezvous with their late uncle, now accompanied by his newfound partner. The ad tenderly navigates the essence of this day – a spirited celebration of life and a tender remembrance of loved ones, echoing the themes that reverberate through the hearts of many, making every crunch of Doritos a tribute to the enduring bonds of family and the joyous embrace of memories.
Nike’s “Con Mi Familia” Collection
Nike’s Día de Muertos collection, “Con Mi Familia,” is a stylish ode to the tapestry of family ties and the cherished memories that flutter between the realms of the living and the departed. Each of the four sneakers in the collection is a canvas, portraying elements of Día de Muertos with a fashionable twist, offering a stride along the vibrant trails of tradition, memory, and celebration that define this cultural holiday.
Modelo’s AR Experience:
Modelo’s AR experience unfurls a digital realm where tradition blooms amidst the modernity of augmented reality, in honor of Día de Muertos. As users interact with iconic imagery of marigolds, an ofrenda, and La Catrina cradling a Modelo Especial, they are transported into a virtual celebration, where tradition breathes through the veil of technology, captivating the essence of Día de Muertos and inviting a modern-day toast to the vibrant tapestry of Mexican culture and the everlasting dance between life and death.
These Día de Muertos marketing campaigns beautifully capture the essence of this holiday. From heartfelt stories to interactive experiences, these brands have succeeded in honoring the traditions of Día de Muertos while creating memorable connections with their audiences. What’s your favorite campaign?