Mexico launches push for U.S. tourists

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[Mexico City] The Mexico Tourism Board is breaking an $8.2 million North American TV, print and online campaign this week depicting Mexico as a place visitors can not only see festivities but become part of them. Three of the five spots were directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, director of some of Mexico's best-known films including "Amores Perros," and a friend of tourism board Chairman Francisco Ortiz. Spots by WPP Group's Y&R, Mexico City, with the tagline "Beyond your expectations" are cleverly aimed at different demographics. In different commercials, an American woman passing by is invited to join a family wedding, a golfer asks the caddy who found a lucky ball lost on his last trip to play golf, and a group of older women are charmed by a kindly local guide. In one spot, an executive back in his U.S. office gets a music-filled call from his new friends in Mexico and breaks off to book a trip back to Mexico. Americans account for 70% of the 20 million annual visitors who earn Mexico about $11 billion a year from tourism. The new campaign includes an $845,000 Spanish-language TV component for the U.S. Hispanic market, with the tagline "Return to Mexico the best possible way: on vacation."