Pizza Patrón has been informed that its new advertising campaign would not be permitted to air on a number of major radio networks. According to a company news release, the decision came just weeks ahead of the radio spots' planned premiere on March 31.
The Spanish language ads feature different personalities who expound why they are "chignon" enough to try the company's spicy new LTO pizza, named La Ch!#gona.
According to Real Academia Española, the official royal institution responsible for overseeing the Spanish language, the definition of the word "chignon" is defined as follows: chingón, street slang. Méx. "Said of a person who is competent in an activity or knowledgeable in a specific area."
"The decision to ban the spots over the name La Ch!#gona doesn't make much sense to us,"Andrew Gamm, brand director for Pizza Patrón, said in a news release. "We are being selectively censored to protect the Mexican listeners from so-called potentially 'offensive' language. These same networks regularly feature songs and talk-show dialogue that is much more risqué than anything we are doing."
Richards/Lerma, the Dallas-based Hispanic branding and creative agency, was hired by Pizza Patrón and asked to create spots that speak "Mexican" to the brand's core, Mexican-born customer base.
Aldo Quevedo, principal and creative director for Richards/Lerma, defended the strategy behind the ads saying, "Mexican slang and humor are very particular, and we applaud Pizza Patrón for connecting with their core consumers at a very deep level, avoiding stereotypes."
Edgar Padilla, marketing manager for Pizza Patrón and the creative mind behind the La Ch!#gona campaign, said "colloquialism," "picardía" (street-wise humor) and "censorship" are common traits in Mexican culture.
"These same characteristics are essential to the foundation of our campaign whose objective is to speak directly to our customer's heart. We understand and know who we are targeting and make no excuses — Pizza Patrón is a brand for La Raza (the people)."