Ayer en el Barnes and Noble practicamente me desmayo del gusto y grito de la emoción al enterarme que tenemos Scrabble en Español. Lo pusieron en la mesita del “Hispanic Heritage Month” al lado de puros libros “latino minded” y algunos en español.

Que buena onda de los HASBRO, esta gente sí sabe.

"Goce de la diversión que le brinda el juego Scrabble. Acepte el reto de aprovechar al máximo las 7 letras para una acertada combinación de juego de palabras, competencia y diversión."

De qué manera les puedo explicar que ni siquiera tuve que pensarlo dos veces para comprarlo. Y bueno, alguien se preguntará si de verdad vale la pena comprar la versión en español cuando tienes el Scrabble de toda la vida. Pero sí vale la pena y créanme de veras que cuando ví que traía la Ñ me dio mucha felicidad. Y por si fuera poco, también nos dieron la LL. ¡Ni me acordaba de la LL!! Tendré que usarla mas seguido. Lo único que no tiene son acentos, pero como todas las letras son en MAYUSCULAS pues no nos vamos a fijar mucho en eso.

QUIBO??? Tan sólo por esta letra, la letra más representativa del espaÑol, vale la pena tener este Scrabble.

Además, soy de la idea de que cualquier cosa que convenza a las compañías “americanas” de que los latinos en Estados Unidos compramos, consumimos y leemos en español es bueno. Apoyemos la causa y el consumismo pues!

Para estrenar, invité a mi Mama Lilia a jugar. A sus 91 años tiene mejor vocabulario y creatividad que yo y nos divertimos mucho. Era la primera vez que ella jugaba y ahi quedamos mas o menos iguales. Claro que tengo que tomar en cuenta su comentario de “Pues está bueno el juego pero es más bien para cuando está muy frio y no puedes salir y se te antoja un chocolatito caliente, que no?”

Now everybody can understand tv novelas en español con subtitulos

Good article on the LA Times today (Click here to read) about Telemundo subtitling novelas for the younger, hipper kids on their mun2 channel. Según ellos, they don’t really speak or understand Spanish, so the producers/programmers thought the subtitles would make it easier for them to understand the drama, the passion, the tears and the joy that don’t translate on screen. Frankly, I don’t think Spanish language novelas need translation. Aren’t they universally understood? Pero bueno, it’s all about bringing in the younger viewers and new audiences to the shows.

Here’s a tip, if they really want to engage the kids on mun2, they should subtitle them with all the acronyms they use for texting. Then they would really get it!… Like: JK, KOTC, LOL, F2F, TMB, DIKU, JFF, BFF, BBS, OMG, and SLAP.

Or as we used to say in a pre-digital, didn’t we use to talk to each other before? world: Just Kidding, Kiss On The Cheek, Laugh Out Loud, Face To Face, Text Me Back, Do I Know You, Just For Fun, Best Friend Forever, Be Back Soon, Oh My God, Sounds Like A Plan.

Now those are subtitles I would really appreciate everyday just to understand what people are saying these days.

BBT (Be Back Tomorrow!)

Fiestas Patrias marketing LA

Another year. Another mega event in a downtown plaza. Another effort involving time and money for “celebrating” Mexico in LA with the same marketing tricks. (Free samples of sugary juice anyone? Just stand in line.)

Yet still it makes me wonder. Don’t our people deserve a little bit more support throughout the year? Not just during Fiestas Patrias, not just with the “Bicentenario” excuse this time around.

How about a little bit more $$$  for education, for health, for opportunities in the future? Looking at the people attending the event, thousands of them,  I wish we (the marketing people) could come up with a better formula for promoting brands while creating ways to improve the quality of life everybody deserves.

Just saying.

Walking by herself at Fiestas Patrias event in Plaza Olvera. 9/19/2010

Jarritos yum!

Without trying to sound too much like a commercial, I got a box of Jarritos sent to me this week. Guess what? They are delicious.

Yo no sé como le hacen, but they got the natural flavors right. They’re not too sweet and not too carbonated. And now you can pretty much find them at more supermarkets all over. They’ve been sold in Mexico since the 1950’s (according to wikipedia) and are the most popular mexican soft beverage drink in the US. Now they’ve gone all modern and jumped on the social media scene, with a fun promotion called “Jarritos Nation” where you claim your Jarritos for your corner of the world and win prizes. You can also follow them on FB, twitter and even flickr.

Once the box arrived, hice mi propia “cata” de Jarritos con mi familia, aprovechando el long weekend get-together. Todos los sabores nos gustaron. The best thing about them is that they are “naturally” flavored. Meaning, they only use natural cane sugar. No High Fructose Corn Syrup is used here. And that is a BIG deal. You’ve probably heard all the effects that regular soft drinks have on your health. Sodas are basically bad for you, any way you look at it. Hace daño. Es malisima!! And typical sodas are loaded with HFCS’s, so you’re drinking yourself a ridiculous amount of processed sugar each time you have a sip. Pero bueeeno, cada quien sabe lo que toma.

At least Jarritos isn’t as loaded with sugar. But they’re still good. Favorite flavors so far: Tamarindo, Jamaica, Piña. De veras que no se cómo le hacen, pero el tamarindo is the best tamarindo flavored drink other than the real agua fresca you’ll find at any taquería. I‘d written previously about their “Mineragua” and their cool name. Now Jarritos Tamarindo siempre estará en mi lista del supermercado.

Puro sabor mexicano, Jarritos style. Try them all!

¿Qué onda con el vitamin water?

Running through the downtown metro station transfer when I saw this poster for Vitamin water.

Made me stop in my tracks…what did I just read?

Como que Que Onda Last Night? I guess we all need our vitamins in the morning.

Dice el poster, “QueOndaLastNight water” y no le entendi hasta que pensé “AAAhhh! ESA onda.”

OKokok. I give them credit for trying and for using Spanglish in their marketing.

Promise to look more closely and take a better picture soon.

Drink your vitamins! By the way, did you know Fifty Cent (the rapper) owns part of the company. Nice, right?

Eva Mendes presents “Vida for España” at Macy’s

Fans turn out to support and meet Eva Mendes, who was all smiles as she presented her "Vida for España" collection.

Add another checkmark to the list of credits for Eva Mendes, actress, model and now designer. Last week she made an appearance at Macy’s Home Store South Coast Plaza to introduce her new tabletop* collection “Vida for España” by Eva Mendes. Yes, Spanglish used yet again for brand names all around. (* By the way,  what do you call “vajillas”? I was kind of stumped when thinking about a translation, anybody have another word?)

Turns out, Eva is quite a crowd pleaser and the event had a great turnout. Some fans even arrived at 9 am to get in line. The paparazzi went nuts!  She was very sweet, signed every autograph, posed for pictures, even had a chance to say hello to family friends, Macy’s personnel and Costa Mesa police officers who were only so happy to be there.

During the one-on-one interviews for media outlets, Eva spoke in perfect Spanish, con acento cubano, and I think everybody was surprised to learn how down to earth she is.

She mentioned the inspiration for the designs came from her memories growing up and how her mother made sure important moments were celebrated with nice settings and wonderful food. “No teníamos muchas cosas, ni mucho dinero para comprar cosas elegantes, pero lo que teníamos era especial y mi mamá hacía que todo luciera bonito. Y eso es lo que quiero, que las cosas sean accesibles para todos, porque las cosas finas no tienen porque ser caras y todo el mundo debe poder comprarlas.”

The collection is exclusive to Macy’s. You can see it at Macys.com. It runs between $16 and $50 dollars, good for everyday use and also for entertaining, is hand painted and very colorful. Personally I thought it was kind of inspired by the Talavera designs from Puebla, Mexico, although someone later pointed out that it looks like something you would see in Istanbul or the Middle East. It’s a sign of the times, when the buzz word is “multicultural” and you can’t quite place where something is from, but you still like it.

I think the only objection of the day was the outfit. The photographers were setting up for the diva and sexy back shot, but no luck. Se quedaron con las ganas…

¿Que pasó Eva? Looking totally innocent and demure in her Christian Lacroix dress, there was no sexy Eva in sight. Maybe the papz were a little disappointed.

At the Supermarket: Productos con Funny Names

This week during one of the regular supermarket runs, I came across a few products that made me do a “double-take.” I love finding new things at the stores, but these spanglish name applications came together in a way I think their brand managers didn’t imagine. All apply Spanish meets English double entendre…y el doble sentido se me hizo very clever!

Case in point: when looking for chicharrones con chilito, one will always look for the “picosito” taste. But when the name includes the “PICA” factor and mixes it with the  “CHONES” part…then you have a whole new semantic message.  Of course the semantics I’m referring to are from northern México (soy de Baja California, norteña de corazón), where you sometimes replace “chones” as slang for calzones, or underwear…pero solo de cariño. Ejemplos: Se te ven los chones! Or ‘Ay que feos chones te pusiste…’

So this name could sound funny to someone along the border, “Quiero unos Picachones… Que sabrosos esos Picachones…Como pican!”

If we were travel down south of the border, pero hasta el sur de México pasando fronteras, we’d eventually end up with our neighbors, los salvadoreños, who have their own ideas and other interpretation of names. Me llama la atención que les gustan mucho nombres americanos, de preferencia presidenciales. Algunos nombres comunes para niños son Lincoln, Nixon y Clinton… como para verse mas internacionales (pero ese es asunto de ellos).

But lo and behold, que voy viendo en el beverage section este producto importado de “el pulgarcito de América” haciendo uso del recurso USA. Y les quedó chistoso: Su soda se llama “SALVA COLA”.

¿A poco no está como para tomarle fotos? A definite double take. And then we can think of slogans for a tie-in advertisement of both products, something like:

“Después de unos Picachones, una SalvaCola.” Oh the possibilities!

Habrá que probarlos, después les digo que tal.

You just can’t make this up! For a tasty snack, first try the PICACHONES…then go for the SALVACOLA.

Another item caught my eye, and forgive me for indulging. Este es mas mellow pero igual de original.

Los genios de Jarritos, que tienen las mejores sodas ANYWHERE, ahora salieron con su agua mineral de venta en USA. Y se llama MINERAGUA!!

Esta sí la probé y me gustó mucho. De ahora en adelante, pura Mineragua de sparkling water.

From now on, sólo quiero Mineragua. Love the name and it’s better than Perrier.