23 September 2007


You hear the typical oompah-oompah rancheras about drinking and revenge and the vaquero's sorrowful ballads about losing his pretty woman. You hear the radio announcer shout names of songs and the name of the station as if he were broadcasting a soccer game. And then you hear some interesting commercials.

This Western Union commercial, paraphrased from its original Spanish, was played on Mother's Day:
Voice 1 -I wanted to send a greeting to my mother in Coahuila.
Voice 2 - My beautiful wife and son are in Jalisco, and I wanted to say hello to to them.
Narrator - If you want to do something special for your wife or mother this mother's day, wire money through Western Union!

The following commercial did not identify the name of the speaker, the product, or the company. The narrator spoke in a British accent:
Do you want to know how to get rich? When I was 17 years old, I bought my first property - without a penny to my name! Now I am wealthy! Call this number to get your free tape, and find out how you, too, can get rich!

Think about who is primarily listening to this radio station. Most likely, Mexicans. Tejano music is border music, so most likely Mexicans who have recently immigrated to this country. And even more likely, struggling to get by. The Western Union commercial is obvious. Wiring money back to relatives left behind in Mexico is common, and Western Union is one of the largest businesses providing this service. (If you're reading this and believe that the Mexicans are depleting our economy, I would like to point out that it is not only the Mexicans who are taking their money south of the border. You might want to consider that red-blooded Americans contribute to this depletion as well. Read Mike Davis' article.)

Getting back on topic - it's the second commercial that was most interesting. It stinks so much of scam, it does not even bother to identify itself, except by an accent that is strangely reminiscent of Robin Leach. It's simply banking on the fact that the listeners might be desperate enough to make money by any means. That the listeners might not be able to discern between a legitimate product or a mysterious free cassette tape that will make you rich! Without a penny to your name!


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