The world of advertising is a dynamic, even enigmatic sometimes. With the combination of
general economic trends, advances in the media landscape and more, advertising trends are
becoming more important and interesting to look at, and it’s no different here in the Caribbean.
Which means that, if you’re working in advertising, content creation or media, you’ll want to
take notice. What better place to start than these three perhaps unexpected things that you
need to know about advertising here in the Caribbean;
1. Print isn’t dead yet.
You’ve all heard the news; print media, like newspapers and magazines, are dying fast. And while it’s true that print media consumption has gone down in most of the world with the growth of digital media, regional companies are still spending for print ads like their brands depend on it.
In the last quarter of 2018, nine of the top ten advertisers in the region spent more on newspaper ads than on radio.
This doesn’t change the fact that the other player in the traditional media space, television, is doing just as well. Which brings us to our other point...
2. Ad spending isn’t dying either.
Some parts of the Caribbean, like Trinidad & Tobago, have been experiencing long term economic slowdowns that lead many to believe that folks are spending less and less on advertising. But, the truth is that the last two years have seen consistent ad spending from most of the region’s major players. In fact, countries like Trinidad are on the path to slow and steady increases in expenditure.
This doesn’t say anything about the state of the economy itself, but it does say a lot about how
different brands and companies are spending to battle market challenges. While many companies may be cutting down on some things, like advertising, some are deciding to spend more to stay on their consumer’s minds. This includes telecommunications providers C&W
Communications, which has recently expanded into other parts of the Caribbean, as well as
their rival Digicel. It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that, in these financially
challenging times, regional banks like First Citizens and Republic Financial Holdings
are also among the region’s top advertisers for the last quarter of 2018.
3. Digital media is still an open playing field.
Larger Caribbean brands are playing in the digital space, of course, but are still comfortable
engaging with the media that they know and trust. It’s the reason why we can see the trends in newspaper and radio ad spending that we do. This isn’t a bad thing for anyone folks spending in legacy media are still getting their money’s worth, and brands experimenting with new media have a chance to make their name in a still mostly untapped territory.
It’s also true that there’s still a lot to measure in terms of the impact that digital media marketing has on consumers. Maybe that’s why brands are still playing it safe with traditional media ads. But, all the same, there are lots of options for advertisers to choose from, and those working in media can benefit from a healthy advertising space on both sides.
Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Caribbean advertising, but they are
some interesting facts to look at. While the region is advancing to keep up with the larger
world, there are some things happening that are distinct to us and defy the expectations of
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