On Facebook, the Mexican sushi chain Sushi Itto is home to a new campaign: “Mexicanize a Japanese person.” I understand that cultural differences can be funny and awe-inspiring, and people seem to really be enjoying this publicity stunt.

From the Sushi Itto Facebook page.

The Japanese contestants completed “challenges” like eating spicy salsa in order to garner votes and a ticket to Mexico, while the participants here gave suggestions for “mexicanizing” each Japanese competitor, in order to win their own ticket to Japan.

Now that the chain has chosen a Japanese winner, Miyigawa, everyone is invited to meet him at one of their branches or, failing that, saythat they are his friends in order to get a discount.

From the Facebook page: “Sólo di “soy amigo de Miyigawa” en estas unidades y horarios, ¡y obtendrán un descuento en tu consumo! Los primeros 5 en llegar y mencionar “soy amigo de Miyigawa”, obtendrán 25% de descuento; los siguientes obtendrán 10%. ¿Qué tal? ¡Los esperamos!”

Personally, I think that this campaign is promoting stereotyping of other cultures (as seen in the challenges– Japanese people can’t pronounce Spanish, Japanese people can’t eat spicy food…etc) and using Miyigawa to promote their business. I mean, now you can even get a discount on your food just by saying, most likely falsely, that you’re his friend?

What do you guys think? Fun campaign, or has Sushi Itto crossed a line?