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Trends among the Top Ten Brands in the Caribbean

The year is 2020. Companies are battling for consumers’ attention and they are spending more and more to get it. Here in the Caribbean, guess how the top ten regional brands are spending their ad budget? Two words: Traditional media. Yes – newspaper, television and radio advertising are not dead in this digital era, they’re merely adjusting. Here are some key takeaways:

One platform good, multiple platforms better: We’ve already talked about KFC’s “So Good Strategy” when it comes to advertising. They are engagement masterminds in the digital sphere, but they are also smart enough to know not to put all their ads in one digital basket. Coming in at number one for the highest number of regional ads in the Caribbean across traditional platforms (upwards of 56,000), KFC is securing all of its bases. They maximise on each platform’s unique capability, thereby amplifying the overall effect of their reach, resulting in more purchase intent.

Do not adjust your TV ads, your live sports audience is watching: Watching live sports events has always been a social event and according to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2019–2023, it is: “an increasingly rare opportunity to reach large, engaged audiences.” So, is it any surprise that the Caribbean Premier League CPL T20 advertised heavily on TV? TV is the preferred media channel to showcase global sporting events like the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup thus targeting your audience there just makes sense.

Trying to establish brand trust? Stick to the traditional: From 2018 to 2019, trust in media increased with high levels of trust in traditional media persisting according to the 2019 Edelman study. Companies like Digicel, Flow Residential and Republic Bank among others on our list maintain their high brand reputations by advertising across traditional platforms. But what about events? Trends show that in the Caribbean radio is the place to make your event legitimised and talked about. This was the case with Carifesta XIV and Buju Banton’s highly anticipated, “Long Walk to Freedom Tour.” You know your event is going to be great when your favourite radio announcers mention them every hour on the hour. Additionally, promoting ads showcasing the fullness of Carifesta as an arts festival and Buju Banton as a veteran reggae artist takes advantage of the auditory nature of radio and its booming reach. Definitely, a strategy to keep in mind when trying to target your audience.

Sometimes your audience just wants to feel you: And smell you. There’s something inherent about our love for print media that just persists. Mornings don’t start without reading the daily newspaper. Yes, newspaper advertising continues to decline, however newspapers continue to sell throughout the Caribbean and with it a rich, potential audience. Consumers respond to the sensory appeal of newspapers, especially when it comes to aspirational ads. Ever created a vision board? Then you know, your ad may end up on someone’s goals for the entire year. Brands such as Courts, Caribbean Airlines and Unicomer are in on this little well-known secret and they’re not alone. In October 2019, French luxury brand Chanel increased their investment in Chinese print media in October by 143% month-on-month. Their reasoning? “The tactile experience and quality that print provides is still irreplaceable.” We felt that.

The world of advertising is ever evolving. Before you write-off one platform in lieu of another, ask yourself some questions: what does the data say? How are the biggest companies using it? What would be the best informed decision for my company?

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