Forget the Way We Live, Latinos Are Changing The Way Die

Ofrenda del dia de los muertos 7Just in time for Day of the Dead, a mortuary in southern California is in the news for rebranding itself to better appeal to Latinos:

McLeod Mortuary, which has operated in Escondido for nearly five decades, earlier this year became the first business in the city to rebrand itself to appeal to the city’s rapidly growing Latino population.

The East Valley Parkway business has changed its name to Funeraria del Angel McLeod. It offers 24-hour wakes because they’re traditional in Latino families, and has added a kitchen to better serve Latinos, who typically have more expensive, elaborate funerals.

You know a group has arrived if they’re changing the way people die in this country. And speaking of Day of the Dead, could the holiday, celebrated on November 1-2, be America’s latest branding opportunity? Ad Age asks this question, calling it the most widely celebrated holiday amongst Latinos:

But even as these events proliferate across the United States, they seem to be virtually sponsor-less and have limited brand participation. A widely popular celebration at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles appears to have El Jimador Tequila as its sole sponsor. This year, the Hershey-owned Mexican candy Pelon Pelo Rico offered samples, but otherwise food and art booths were local “grassroots” vendors with no signature Corporate America brand activations in sight.

The article also notes that Disney is sponsoring the Smithsonian’s digital Day of the Dead page. If Disney can embrace death, can the taboo factor be left for long in America? Even New Yorker magazine has gotten in on the fun with this satirical piece about an alternative day school trying to embrace multi-culturalism through observance of the holiday.

Mountain Room Parents:

It’s late and I can’t possibly respond to each and every e-mail. (Not that it comes up a lot in conversation, but I have children, too.) As the skulls have clearly become a distraction, I decided to throw them away. They’re in the compost. I’m looking at them now. You can, too, tomorrow at drop-off. I just placed a “NO BASURA” card on the bin to make sure it doesn’t get emptied. Finally, to those parents who are offended by our Day of the Dead celebration, I’d like to point out that there are parents who are offended that you are offended.


Clearly there is nothing Latinos will not influence in this country.