Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead): A Quick Look into Culture and Marketing

Filed Under: Hispanic / Latino


Jorge Martínez-Bonilla

Senior Vice President, CultureBeat

It is that time of the year when holidays start appearing on everyone’s radars, and traditions from multiple cultures meld into a vibrant integration of life, hope, gratitude and even death.

A centuries old tradition, Día de los Muertos and its pictorial allegories have grown in popularity in the US. Although innately Hispanic, it has grown trendy among non-Hispanics who find the distinctly Mexican calaveras and ofrendas cool. And truth is, they are cool.

But even cooler than what it offers in terms of Halloween costume ideas is the fact that a tradition that is so deeply rooted in Hispanic culture, both from Mexico and all throughout Latin America, is being embraced in our country. Embracing differences and respecting each other’s values is what has made, and will continue to make, this country strong.

Because of its proximity to Halloween, it is tempting to think of Día de los Muertos as the Mexican or Hispanic version of the spooky end of October celebration. In fact, although both share a European origin that traces back to past cultures and people, Día de los Muertos and Halloween are not at all the same.

Día de los Muertos is not a ‘scary’ occasion… but rather one to remember, honor, and celebrate the life of those who have passed before us. It is a remembrance of the origin and path that we all must follow and an opportunity to re-live and strengthen the bond with loved ones no longer around us. That is why prayer, meditation, colorful arrangements and ornaments, food and ofrendas are part of this celebration. Because it is that: a celebration of life, death and tradition.

After decades of introducing brands to Hispanic culture, humanizing and bringing to life the Hispanic consumer for our client companies; we reckon we must sound like a broken record when we say ‘family is important to Hispanics…’ but is it the truth! Día de los Muertos is proof of it: Family is such a pillar of the Hispanic collective and culture that death is insufficient to topple it!

Many brands and marketers are well aware of the potential of this holiday, so it makes sense that more of them are taking action to include this type of culturally significant holiday in their strategy to gain the image of being adepts with the Latino consumer and beyond. Those who embrace such holidays with respect and with a true understanding of its relevance will likely be more successful than those that simply squeeze it into their marketing efforts for the sake of trendiness.

We hope you enjoy the video our team has put together in recognition of the of Día de los Muertos. And please, share it with others!


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