MEXICO

As girl’s 15th birthday party goes viral, companies get in on the joke

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A Mexican family’s video invitation to their daughter Rubí’s 15th birthday party got a few more RSVPs than they expected.

The homemade video by the Ibarra-García family shows Rubí flanked by her father, Cresciendo Ibarra, and her mother, Anaelda García, as her father explains what guests can look forward to at the party, including a meal, different local bands playing and a horse race. He ends the video by saying, “You are all cordially invited.”

The video was relayed on social media and went viral. A Facebook event for the party was created and now has more than 1.3 million people attending and 384,000 who have marked themselves as ‘Interested’ in attending the event.

The ‘quinceañera’ party is a tradition in Mexico, much like America’s ‘sweet sixteen’ parties. It represents a girl’s coming of age, and is typically extravagant, with the birthday girl often wearing a tiara and a Disney princess-style ball gown.

Companies have been quick to jump on the trending bandwagon before the fuss dies down.

Interjet, a low-cost Mexican airline, was one of the first to capitalise on the buzz around the party, offering a 30 per cent discount to those travelling to the “event of the year”.

“Are you going to Rubí’s 15th?”

Mundo Joven, a travel agency for young people, set a challenge to get to 1.5 million followers on their Facebook page, after which they would offer Rubí a fully paid trip.

“We have a gift for Rubí! Help us to meet her”.

Spotify Mexico has created a playlist for Rubí to play at her party. And yes, it does have the Macarena.

And in a bit of a stretch for the birthday party of an underage girl, even a condom company has got in on the act, saying “We’ve got the condoms for your 15th Rubí”. Alongside their advert on Facebook, they made sure to publish a lengthy, stats-filled post about underage sex and pregnancy. It didn’t stop an avalanche of horrified comments, however.

The Ibarra-García family seem mostly amused by the party’s success across social media. Several memes have sprung up, including one suggesting that Rubí’s 15th birthday party will have more attendees than a Queen or Metallica concert:

La Joya is a village in Villa de Guadalupe, a municipality in the San Luis Potosí state in central Mexico. Authorities are already worrying that the town of only 130 inhabitants won’t be able to receive the tens of thousands of people that could follow through on their social media promise to attend. The area does not have a hospital, nor drinking water, and the nearest hotel has only four rooms.

After the number of names on the guest list skyrocketed, the local MP for the area, Roberto Alejandro Segovia Hernandez, announced that police would be deployed to the village and the Ibarra-García family’s house just in case thousands of people did attend and overwhelm the small town.

“Some of the first images are coming through of the security for Rubí’s 15th”.

Some people have even manufactured counterfeit tickets for Mexico's largest event – and Rubí herself was quick to warn people against shelling out for the fake passes.