Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
It used to be that multinational companies would try and force every country in the world to think like America.
I used to sit in meetings where U.S. marketing executives would fly over to different countries where I worked and explain that they should stop having local customs and merely adopt the American message.
For some multinationals, it took a while to grasp that local culture couldn't be ignored.
It also took American visitors a while too.
When it comes to fast food, Americans expected to find the same menu at, say, a Spanish McDonald's as they do in Albuquerque.
Yet, fast-food chains know that many of their most regular customers actually live locally.
Which leads me to Burger King's new approach in Mexico.
The chain is hyping its Mango Habanero King.
This is a somewhat spicy affair, something I judge from the highly impactful ad the burger chain just released.
It features American tourists in Cancún sampling this fine new burger.
It also features these tourists swooning, cursing -- warning: a little NSFW -- and tossing tantrums because of the embedded heat in the burger.
A sample of the reactions. This from an exasperated American:
I just want a nice plain burger, man. A nice plain burger.
Some might have snorted that if you want a nice, plain burger, it might not be wise to order a burger called Mango Habanero King.
Or how about this:
First the sun burns me! Then you guys burn my intestines!
Sir, is this your first time in Mexico?
My favorite perhaps, in terms of perspective, is the woman who offers:
It's worse than my ex-husband.
Which leaves one to wonder whether her ex-husband was hot or whether there's some other analogy she was reaching for.
Of course, the contrast with the local people explaining that this burger really isn't that spicy is beautifully played.
One can imagine that, for some Americans -- Burger King regulars -- this won't come across as flattering. If these people even want Burger King when they're on vacation, they are devoted souls.
One can also imagine that in Mexico, this campaign will resonate with joy. Especially given the slightly erratic current relations between the two countries.
Many might add that, when it comes to Cancún, America doesn't necessarily send its best and its brightest.
Some are permanently inebriated. Some are culturally myopic. And some are good people.
Many, however, make for perfect product endorsers.
I wonder -- if these weren't actors -- how many of these Americans signed their release forms before realizing what they'd be asked to do.
And I wonder how many were happy to just be themselves.