Margaritas “Pigeons”

Is the world — or, at least, New England — ready for a testy papier-mache cockatoo as restaurant-company mascot? We’ll soon know, thanks to a campaign in which Providence, R.I.-based agency Nail Communications collaborated creatively with the Margaritas Mexican Restaurant regional chain. Hector, the cockatoo in question, is not to be trifled with, as we see in this video when he voices his contempt for the pigeons who happily eat some stale breadcrumbs (“This is why no one respects you!”). Hector himself is more partial to chimichangas from Margaritas. It’s a little odd for a restaurant chain to employ a mascot whose manner is inhospitable, since restaurants generally want to convey a sense they’ll at least pretend the customer is always right. But it’s not a bad way for a small brand of Mexican-food eateries to establish a distinct identity in a crowded  category. Lots of people like to feel they’re doing something wild when they eat a spicy cuisine, and Hector’s brusque manner will help make them feel they’ve done something daring when they dine at a Margaritas outlet. In a roundabout way, Hector’s gruffness flatters potential customers by tacitly suggesting they’re bold enough to patronize a restaurant that has adopted such a rough-edged aura. –Mark Dolliver