Mexicali Fresh builds tacos not walls

Local Mexican restaurant group Mexicali Fresh is celebrating New Zealand’s cultural diversity in a new campaign via brand consultancy firm Y brand.

Featuring a series of videos with interviews with some of Mexicali’s native-born Mexican team, the campaign shares stories of Mexico’s food and culture, as well as what it’s like living as an immigrant in New Zealand.

The online release of the campaign coincides with Mexico’s Cinco de Mayo holiday, but also follows US President Donald Trump’s inflammatory remarks about Mexican immigrants

“Trump wants to build a wall, but we just want to build tacos,” Mexicali Fresh co-founder Conor Kerlin says.

“We want to help educate New Zealanders about the amazing culture and traditions of Mexico one taco at a time.”

Co-founder Tyler Kerlin adds it hopes to make a positive statement for a culture of inclusiveness and diversity, “the kind we have in all our restaurants”

“With growing talk of isolationism and anti-immigration policies, we think it’s vital to take a public stance as a business that knows New Zealand and the whole world are stronger with multi-culturalism,” Kerlin says.

The campaign is part of Mexicali Fresh’s ‘#freespeech’ series, which is a broader strategy devised by Y brand to position Mexicali Fresh as a progressive and socially responsible business.

Already, the ‘#freespeech’ campaign has included action on International Women’s Day in protest for women’s rights, and the restaurant group has also been working with Y brand to shift all its meat to free range organic.

Y brand director Judit Maireder says working with Mexicali Fresh for the past few years has been a great journey because the founders genuinely care about making a change and bringing their values to life throughout the organisation.

“That means our work is authentic and genuine,” he says.

Y brand works with a broad range of businesses to turn their values into positive action and believes it’s a proposition that works for the benefit of society, but also makes financial sense too.

Research by Havas Group shows that meaningful brands have outperformed the stock market by more than 200 percent. The research also shows that 75 percent of consumers expect brands to make a positive contribution, yet only 40 percent believe brands are doing so.

“A growing number of businesses are embracing a greater purpose. That’s really important to successfully appeal to modern consumers who are more socially-connected and attuned to business processes than ever before,” says Maireder.

“A lot of businesses talk about doing good, but it needs to be more than just writing your values on your office wall.” 

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