El Dia de los Muertos, Mexico's Day of the Dead on Nov. 1 and 2, is increasingly popular in the U.S. even as a growing number of young Hispanics are U.S. born but embracing their heritage. The annual celebration honoring dead family members and friends is a more festive and colorful holiday than you might think. Constellation Beer Brands' Modelo Especial and Chicago agency Upshot showcase elements of the holiday, from grinning skulls to altars, as if we were there. (And it's nothing like Halloween.)
In online spot "Facepaint," a young woman skillfully paints her face to represent a white skull with colorful features, as unseen people around her drink Modelo Especial and strum a guitar.
Another online spot, "Ofrenda," depicts the ofrendas (Spanish for "offering") or altars that are lovingly prepared to honor family members and friends who have died, with pictures, flowers, small gifts, a candle, favorite possessions and food on a table covered with tissue paper cutouts called papel picado. In this ofrenda in someone's living room, we see photos of an older man and his dog, and objects including a watch and pipe. Someone lights a candle and adds a hat, and distributes beer to unseen visitors who are listening to music playing on an old turntable. In a final touch, a bottle of Modelo Especial completes the altar scene.
One of the Dia de los Muertos' most important symbols, the edible sugar skull or calavera de azucar, appears on Modelo bottles and promotional materials here.