Marketers Find New Oro in Old Mexico

By Published on .

There's the NCAA version of wrestling, where men in singlets toss one another about on a mat trying to pin and not get pinned. Then there's the WWE -- formerly the WWF version -- with Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold Steve Austin and the Rock. This is the more flexing and grunting and ego-driven antics version.

Then there's lucha libre.

The Mexican sport, complete with masked luchadors and theatrics that inspired the WWE, is hitting the big time north of the border with the release of the new Jack Black film "Nacho Libre." Black plays an orphanage cook who moonlights as a luchador to raise money for the orphans, a plotline that is -- almost unbelievably -- based on a true story.

Though this is lucha libre's big break in the movie industry, it's been flirting with the spotlight for years. Documentaries, TV shows, burlesque shows, cartoons and even a rock band have used the lucha libre phenomenon to target audiences. And of course, marketers don't follow too far behind. "Advertisers love to get their lucha on," says the San Jose Mercury-News. (Not kidding, they used that exact phrase.) Yes, apparently, the way to consumers' hearts is through flabby masked Mexican wrestlers. And let's face it, if that won't get your product flying off shelves, you were probably doomed anyway.
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