Tacos, Tequila, and Tactical Marketing: Cinco de Mayo’s Influence on Advertising Strategies

Get ready for the fiesta because Cinco de Mayo is finally here! As the time of year for this vibrant celebration is upon us, businesses across all different industries have been gearing up to seize opportunities presented by this occasion. Not only is Cinco de Mayo a historical stamp but it also offers a unique platform for brands to celebrate culture while tapping into the enthusiasm of consumers to give their strategies a fun boost.

Let’s get one thing straight – Cinco de Mayo is NOT Mexican Independence Day (which falls on September 16th). It actually marks the day the Mexican army, who were the underdogs at the time, emerged victorious against the French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. While it is a relatively minor holiday in Mexico, since the 1960s, the United States has transformed it into a staple celebration of Mexican culture and heritage. While many people associate it with reflecting on history, exciting festivities, and delicious foods, this day offers a unique outlet for marketers and advertisers.

What started as a cultural celebration within Mexican-American communities, Cinco de Mayo evolved into a profitable platform for corporate America in the 1980s. In 1989, the Gambrinus Group, which brought Corona and Modelo beers to the States, started the Cinco de Mayo marketing craze when they created an ad that urged Mexican Americans to celebrate with a Corona beer in hand. Nowadays, Corona might as well be considered the official beverage of the holiday!

Ever since, businesses can strategically leverage the occasion with Mexican-inspired products and merchandise through targeted campaigns and strategies. This shift reflects the intertwining of culture and commerce, opening a unique window of opportunity for brands and their consumers.

Marketers and brands seize the festive energy of Cinco de Mayo to connect with consumers, increase their sales, and grow their engagement. Here’s how businesses harness this celebratory day:

  1. Festive Packaging: Businesses strategically leverage advertising tactics to enhance their brand presence, making themselves appear relative to Cinco de Mayo. For instance, step into any store and you’ll likely find yourself surrounded by decked-out food packaging, margarita mixes, and Mexican-made beers showcased front and center. This holiday has become a hotspot for food and beverage brands aiming to increase their sales, with many offering exclusive details and eye-catching packaging to entice customers. Offering promotions like “buy one, get one free” or discounted products can encourage customers seeking to indulge in the festivities to make a purchase.

  3. Social Media Campaigns: Brands can use the power of social media campaigns, utilizing platforms to forge meaningful connections with their audience and ignite enthusiasm for the occasion. Expect to come across sponsored posts where influencers are seen enjoying festive drinks decked out with garnishes or showcasing branded merchandise. These influencer campaigns effectively heighten the holiday’s antics, saturating feeds with enticing images and endorsements that resonate with their followers. As brands share their experience and recommendations, they play a significant role in boosting consumer interactions and driving sales on Cinco de Mayo.

  5. Introducing FOMO: Cinco de Mayo marketing initiatives often tap into the phenomenon of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). Whether through captivating visuals and live footage of vibrant gathers or promoting limited-time offers, businesses aim to evoke a sense of urgency, compelling consumers to partake in the celebration. This tactic not only stimulates immediate interest but also fosters a sense of community and shared experiences, as party-goers are encouraged to enjoy the rich cultural celebration. When brands infuse their messaging with elements of excitement and anticipation, they connect with their audience by linking their offerings to the lively spirit of Cinco de Mayo.


Whether you’re celebrating Cinco de Mayo on the rocks with salt, cracking open a cold one, or swimming in a bowl of chips and salsa, take note of the marketing tactics around you. Are you seeing these strategies in the products you’re consuming or outings you’re attending? While it’s crucial to remember the true meaning of Cinco de Mayo, as a business owner or brand manager, explore authentic ways to engage with its cultural significance… and of course, enjoy the festivities responsibly!

Even though Cinco de Mayo only comes around once a year, every day is an opportunity to grow your business and its marketing efforts. Inertia’s services and team of experts are only one click away. Visit our contact page or reach us at 888.552.IDEA.


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