Saturday, January 13, 2007

Acceptamos Publicity

I saw a Pizza Patron outlet once up north a long time ago and as quickly as I said, "Huh?" I forgot it. I've never seen a commercial for them and just recently noticed that one is popping up in the shopping center anchored by the new Wal-Mart on McColl Road. But who needs commercials when you pull a stunt like this.

The powers that be at Pizza Patron need to pat themselves on the back, then reward the lower level VP who came up with the idea to accept Mexican Pesos at their restaurants. Brilliance on parade!

Since the move was announced, Pizza Patron has been the topic of conversation on talk shows, headlined on news websites, and featured in both local and national news broadcasts. Why? All because they announced that they will accept pesos for payment for goods and services. Sounds like an extra-large, deep dish, double every topping, publicity bonanza to me. Did I hear someone say, "extra anchovies?"

With Pizza Hut, Domino's, and also ran Papa John's beating the crap out of each other using multi-million dollar attack ad campaigns, Pizza Patron simply yanked the chain of the immigration debate pit bull and got its attention. It didn't cost them a centavo and it got their name out there, for better or worse. My dad, who knows a little something about advertising, said to me once, "Bad publicity is still publicity." I can't disagree with that.

Naturally, we've been subjected to knee-jerk reactions from the rabid Mexihaters. "This is 'Merica and they ain't got no bidness takin' that there dirty Mesican money!" Pizza Patron has actually recieved death threats for this. Are you kidding? Death threats? C'mon Grand Wizard, come up with something fresh, like oh, I don't know, say, buy pizza from somewhere else.

I've also heard the ridiculous retorts from the overly sensitive Hispanics trying to represent La Raza and counter those idiotic remarks with their own stupidity. "This is America and we're Mexicans and if we want to pay in pesos, that's our business!" Hey Juanillo, fifth generation U.S. citizen, you wouldn't take a peso if I gave it to you!

Having had their ethnic sensibilities offended by both Pizza Patron, each other, and now me, the two sides fail to see the point. This has nothing to do with, "reaching out to the Hispanic community," as a Pizza Patron spokesman put it. It has everything to do with the exposure.

I mean really, we're talking about pesos. You know, the highly devalued Mexican currency our grandfathers used carry around when it was still a stone's throw away from the green back. When was the last time you saw anyone trying to pay for anything on this side of the Rio Grande River with pesos? I know that everytime I'm cut off at a check out line at La Plaza Mall by a pushy Mexican national, I never see him pay with pesos. A glance into his Louis Vuitton wallet reveals a wad of dead U.S. presidents, Bana-something credit cards, and a national voter ID card(a novel concept), but nary a pobre peso.

How about Mexicans in Mexico? I frequent Nuevo Progreso once a month and have never seen a peso in a cash register over there. Give a vendor the choice between taking pesos or dollars and see what happens. He may not speak English, but laughing is laughing in any language. You don't hear them bitching about our money over there do you?

So, while Pizza Patron bathes in their fifteen minutes of fame, they'll need to keep a close eye on that exchange rate for the two customers who, most likely on a dare, pay for their pie with pesos. Meanwhile, the rest of us will get on to forgetting about them again until they announce that they've gone the way of Popeye's Chicken here in the Valley. Buena suerte, senores.

When it comes to currency and ethnicity, relax folks. It's not our business what the seller decides to take for payment as long as they take what we give. But remember, the almighty dollar speaks, no screams, in both English and Spanish and does not discriminate no matter what predjudice the buyers or sellers bring with it.


Blogger LostInTX said...

Well, well, well..rock 'em sock'em Edinburg.. nice to see you in blogland. :)

BTW.. pizza patron's have been here in Austin for quite a while but I haven't ventured over to the east side to eat there. Austin's really getting to me as I've stopped eating at most chain restaurants and have started eating at local joints. You know I've always been a tree hugger at heart.

5:04 PM  

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