The Pace Picante Cowboys
Salsa hardly has any mascots to be paired with. Among the search I did on Youtube, I discover this series of commercials advertising Pace Picante Salsa. Manufactured by the Pace Foods company that was first established back in 1947 by David Pace. It was a small family business until it grew to a big industry decades later it was acquired by the Campbell Soup company. To this day salsa was their top product. Around 1985 they started these ads which revolve around cowboys expressing how Pace Picante is the prime choice when it comes to salsa. After extensively looking for every single commercial on this series I present to you the Pace Picante Cowboys for this week’s article.
The original commercial starts up in the middle of no where with a tagline “Somewhere in Texas”. We see a group of cowboys having their selves a camp dinner along with an open bright crackling camp fire. One of them is pouring some salsa on a tin plate of chips. One of them asked the chef “Hey Cookie, more Picante sauce!” I wonder if the writers of “Disney’s Atlantis” got the idea of the character Cookie from this commerical? They’re both westerners and both cooks. Except Cookie from Atlantis was known for cooking up some rather unappealing meals from his own food group consisting of fat, lard, bacon, and whiskey. Anyways the Cookie in this ad holds ups another jar of salsa which isn’t Pace Picante but decides to hand it to the hungry cowboy thinking he won’t know the difference. The cowboy however isn’t pleased that he got non-Pace Picante sauce and says in disgust “This ain’t Pace Picante!” Cookie annoyed says “What’s the difference!” The cowboy then gets up and explains to the chef with “Cookie Pace Picante sauce is made in San Antonio, with fresh vegetables, spices by people who know what picante sauce is supposed to taste like!” One of the other cowboys observes the contents of the non-Pace Picante sauce and then informs his pals with “this stuff’s made in New York City!” All of the cowboys gang up around the chef and shouted out “NEW YORK CITY?!” After that one of them says “Get a rope” hinting that they’re going to lynch the chef for buying New York style salsa. The ad concludes with an announcer that says “Pick up the original Texas picante sauce. Pick Up the Pace” Which was the catch phrase for these ads.
Originally these ads had New Jersey in place of New York City at the time these ads were new. However New York City had a better ring to it so that over shadowed the phrase “New Jersey” within the years that followed. They made a couple other cowboy themed commercials around Pace Picante sauce along with other gimmicks such as “Cops eats salsa at a diner” related commercials. Those I’ll do another time, for now I’m only focusing on the cowboy theme commercials of the salsa. A few years ago Pace Foods revived these ads with a slight change to the gimmick which just shows three cowboys looking at a cowboy from New York City and aren’t please to have him around cause he either has a horse that functions like a car or grooms the horse’s hair with hair salon items. I won’t show those commercials cause they’re just dumb in my opinion.
I really enjoyed these commercials and it made me wonder why salsa never had that many mascots paired up with to begin with. The one thing I learn from these ads is that you should never bring New York style salsa to a rodeo, ranch, or farm other wise you’ll get punished by the locals. I bet they won’t allow Mitch Robbins from City Slickers to be invited to any meal times not when he’s from New York yet he did try to prove he can be a cowboy as well as a New Yorker. Anyways enjoy the commercials below and for next week will be an old Mastercard commercial on various mascots.