A Mexican airline’s January 2019 promotional campaign left observers (and some of our readers) wondering about the validity of an unusual discount it seemingly offered.
The advertisement, produced by Ogilvy, touted what it called a “DNA discount” incentive for travelers flying into the country via Aeroméxico. In a series of interviews, the airline sought to entice residents of the Texas town of Wharton, around 300 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border, to visit Mexico through the use of genealogy testing — the greater the percentage of “Mexican DNA” each resident had, the ad boasted, the greater the discount they would receive on a flight to Mexico:
Although the ad was first posted online in May 2018, it began garnering news coverage from American news outlets in January 2019 amid the U.S. federal government’s longest shutdown ever. The shutdown was spurred by an impasse between Congressional Democrats and President Donald Trump over Trump’s demand that Congress appropriate $5.7 billion in funding for U.S.-Mexico border-wall construction.
But while Ogilvy promoted the commercial on their website, it has not been promoted on Aeromexico.com or via the airline’s social media accounts, leaving open the possibility that the “DNA discount” concept was not something intended to be an actual product offering.
We contacted both Ogilvy and Aeroméxico seeking comment but have yet to hear back.
Gilmer, Marcus. “Mexican Airline Trolls Americans with Brilliant Ad.”
Mashable. 18 January 2019.
Marcus, Lilit. “AeroMexico’s New ‘DNA Discount’ Ad Goes Viral.”
CNN. 17 January 2019.
YouTube. “DNA DISCOUNTS Advertisement for “AeroMexico” Airlines.”
25 May 2018. https://youtu.be/2sCeMTB5P6U
Holley, Peter. “Trump Proposes a Border Wall. But There Already Is One, And It Gets Climbed Over.”
The Washington Post. 2 April 2016.