Monday, September 24, 2007

Mancha de platano

About 14 or 15 years ago, a newspaper ad for Clorox Bleach was published in the local newspaper back home. It was a branding ad wishing Puerto Ricans Happy Holidays from the Clorox family of products.

The ad was beautiful and powerful in its simplicity: a full-page ad with a white background, a picture of a single green plantain in the center, and the following copy at the bottom: Esta es la única mancha que no queremos sacar (this is the only stain we do not want to remove). A reference to the term tener la mancha the plátano (which literally means to have the stain of the plantain, symbolically that which makes us Puerto Rican and is indelible), the ad was eloquent and very successful at tugging at the heartstrings and our sense of pride, so much so that when it came out I tore the sheet from the newspaper and taped it to the wall of our apartment, where it joined other assorted post cards and clippings that covered the walls.

I wish I still had that ad, so I could show it to my daughter. There is a lot of crap in advertising, but every once in a while someone hits it out of the park. That was one of those times.


  1. I love/hate when an ad gets me like that...sometimes the songs in ads on tv make me cry, and I feel a mushy and embarrassed that the Man got me with his advertising...

  2. i spend a lot more time than most browsing photos... if i can i am going to look for this for you... it is here... it is just a matter of finding it.....

  3. Oh, paisley, if you happen to find it I would be so grateful! I have googled it several times, but I have not looked in photo websited.

  4. Lo recuerdo. Muy lindo anuncio, nos tocó la fibra. Yo tengo mi mancha de plátano... y a orgullo.