COORS HISPANIC ‘GUEY’ AD SPARKS CONTROVERSY
Slang Meaning Hotly Debated: Creatively Clever or Derogatory?
By Laurel Wentz
Spanish speakers are debating whether a Hispanic spot from Coors Brewing Co. that hinges on a Mexican slang word is a cleverly insightful beer commercial that perfectly hits its demographic target or an offensive use of a derogatory term.
In the spot, running on both Spanish and English-language TV, young male beer drinkers in a bar toss around the word "guey" in the spirit of Budweiser's "Whassup" commercials. Coors has gotten some complaints, chat rooms are buzzing, and AdAge.com received several e-mails last week after running the spot, pointing out the word’s negative connotations.
To make the spot suitable for Anglo viewing, the agency added a camera card reading "Guey = Dude." But the word also has another meaning.
"Guey does mean castrated bull," conceded Catarino Lopez, creative director at Coors' Hispanic agency, Publicis Groupe-backed Bromley Communications, San Antonio.
For the linguistic purist, "guey" is derived from "buey," the Spanish word for ox, and can be an insult, implying stupidity. But for many young Hispanic males, "guey" has crossed over into everyday speech between men. In the Coors Light spot, the word is delivered with different inflections and intonations that convey greetings, offers of beer and appreciation of attractive women.
Noticia completa en Ad Age