Even if you tried, 2020 will definitely be unforgettable. The world has seen such drastic measures taken to combat COVID-19, stay at home orders, unemployment, crashed economies and we can list so much more. Every industry that could be possibly thought about is currently finding survival tactics in this pandemic.
At Media InSite, we took a deep dive into the advertising industry. We wanted to understand the who, the where and the why within (4) Caribbean countries being Jamaica, Barbados, Guyana and of course Trinidad and Tobago. How were they affected? Recently, Media InSite completed a report comparing the effects on traditional advertising for Q2 of 2019 versus Q2 of 2020 and the findings were exceptionally interesting and impactful. If you love data, this is for you!
Whilst we are never short of news stories and big headlines, across our targeted markets, media houses have seen drastic declines in their advertising activities. How will this affect the future of traditional media, we will just have to wait and see. As we jump into our data, Barbados topped the charts as we noticed a sharp AND the greatest decline of 54%, which is equivalent to MORE THAN half of its ad count.
From our findings, Jamaica as well as Trinidad and Tobago were close to a 40% decrease in their media houses’ advertising activities. This is definitely understandable where Trinidad and Tobago is concerned as the Prime Minister took swift actions in closing the country’s borders and implementing a somewhat nationwide lockdown to many industries. Many businesses were closed with the uncertainty of reopening hence marketing being one of the very first things to be cut. ‘Why market our brand or products if we’re closed!’ some would exclaim.
Surprisingly, media houses in Guyana did not experience the harsh realities as those mentioned. Whilst there was a decrease, we noted a relatively small decline of 26.5%. We’re guessing that their advertising activities are combating COVID-19 at best.
As suspected, when we explored traditional advertising in specific business categories, we noticed expositions and public events were the ones hit the hardest in all (4) countries. An interesting point found would be the decline in Local Government advertising in all the countries EXCEPT for Jamaica. What could be the reasoning behind this?
Continuing on a positive note, generally speaking we grasped that commercial banks did not decrease advertising enough to land them spots in the top 10 decliners with the exception of First Citizens in Trinidad and Tobago.
Scotiabank alongside Republic Bank in Trinidad and Tobago and NCB in Jamaica surprisingly increased their advertising activities, meanwhile we saw a major decrease of 56% with the banking sector in Barbados. Definitely not business as usual for our neighbouring Barbados and its commercial banks.
As we climbed over to the insurance industry, there was no (1) sharp decrease within the markets. We saw Sagicor Life with decreased activities while Sagicor Corporate and BCIC increased theirs in Barbados. Meanwhile in Trinidad and Tobago we also noted significant increase to Sagicor Corporate advertisements. In Guyana just as Barbados, there was an increase in 3 companies and a decrease of 5 other companies cutting back on their ads. Fluctuating Guyana?
With the telecommunication sector being the last area we zeroed in on, we found some great details. Trinidad and Tobago found themselves being the ONLY country out of the (4) with all mobile and residential services advertisers increasing their advertising activities. In comparison, Flow Barbados topped in declines with a whopping 66% decrease in residential services ad count.
The changes noted are drastic as are our new normal. Innovative ideas would be the solution to maintaining that good balance to traditional advertising. Our media monitoring services will continue to serve us with great details. Count on us to follow up this report as we are eager to see how these activities transcend into the rest of the year for these companies, markets and industries. You are guaranteed to remain in the loop as we continue to highlight all the intriguing findings within the advertising sector.