Festival Intelligence: Alcohol brands lead Mexico’s charge to digital | M&M Global

Festival Intelligence: Alcohol brands lead Mexico’s charge to digital

Latin America is often cited as lagging behind the majority of the world’s advanced economies when it comes to closing the digital divide. Compared to its global counterparts, it has a very traditional ad landscape with TV reigning supreme, yet rising internet penetration and smartphone adoption rates are putting LatAm on track to become one of the most dynamic marketplaces for advertisers.  

LatAm is the fourth largest ad market in the world and will account for 6.1% of worldwide media ad spend in 2018 at $38.04 billion, according to eMarketer. Yet digital leaps forward are set to propel an uptake in paid media across the region which is expected to rise to $44.35 billion by 2022 – with mobile’s share in particular climbing from 13.9% this year to 25.8% by 2022.

With less than one month to go until the Festival of Media LatAm 2018, we delved into this year’s FOMLA awards shortlist to uncover what trends and insights are driving creativity in the region.

The majority of the 113 shortlisted entries come from Mexico, where more than a quarter (27%) of campaigns were derived. Argentina and Colombia follow next, each representing 15% of the shortlist. Brazil accounts for 9% of entries and Puerto Rico 8%. Work from Chile, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Peru, the US and Uruguay also made the shortlist.

Given Mexico’s performance on the FOMLA Awards 2018 shortlist, it seemed apt to dig a little deeper to find out what learnings can be taken from the market. The third largest ad market in LatAm after Brazil and Argentina, Statista forecasts that ad spend in Mexico will amount to $4.21 billion in 2018, up from $2.9 billion in 2010.

Breaking down the campaigns by advertising sector, food & beverage brands represent 50% of overall entries from Mexico; 80% of which are alcohol brands. Put aside the fact that we know Mexico has a long history of beer and simply judging by the work from the FOMLA Awards, we could even go as far to argue that alcohol brands are leading Mexico’s digital marketing evolution.

This is supported by the fact that F&B is the second top industry on Facebook with one of the highest combined communities of fans (92 million) in Mexico, according to Social Bakers.

Given that free TV remains the largest ad medium in the country, it’s surprising to note that while TV formed part of the media mix in some campaigns, it was digital and social media that took the lead as mediums of choice. Digital, right now, is the engine of investment in the advertising industry in Mexico, according to the IAB, growing 34% in 2017 and representing 30% of total media investment.

From use of influencers to PR and video content, a range of media channels and creative techniques were implemented spanning online, print, OOH and ambient media.

Haruyo Rodulfo, CEO of Wavemaker Mexico and a judge for this year’s Festival of Media LatAm Awards, said: “In Mexico we are daring step by step to invest more in programmatic, video and social networks and to make synergy to get our offline partners to improve their online proposal, to meet the needs of the market. That ultimately results in something very proactive and collaborative”.

Another key trend shows that F&B brands in the region are taking on a higher purpose – from tackling social issues such as racism and prejudice, equality and women, to CSR. These case studies highlighted the power of a strong insight from which inspiring campaigns were born. In addition, campaigns that were aligned with brands’ own heritage and values created the most meaningful connections. There was also a strong focus on Mexican pride and consumer empowerment.

With vast cultural differences in markets across the LatAm region, it’s important to understand the next generation of consumers, their beliefs and values. The key for brands in breaking through will be collaboration to leverage social conversations to empower consumers and drive positive change.

We put the spotlight on two Festival of Media LatAm Awards 2018 shortlisted entries, which highlight this trend:

Lo Chingón Está Aquí | Cerveza Victoria | MediaCom | Mexico

Shortlisted for: Best Branded Content, Best Campaign for a Local Brand, Best Communications Strategy, Best Integrated Campaign, Best Launch Campaign, Impact Award


Eighty per cent of Mexicans are “Morenos” – with brown skin. They are the native people of the country but had become a marginalised part of society. So Cerveza Victoria, Mexico’s oldest beer brand, which has long championed the country’s history and heritage, set out to bring attention to this injustice. The challenge was to confront Mexicans’ behaviour, showing them that racial discrimination against Morenos rejects the very notion of who Mexico is as a country. By doing this, it would inspire change by creating a surge of public support for the introduction of a new law requiring brands to accurately represent Mexican diversity in advertising.

The campaign started with mobile phone footage of a Western-looking actor berating a director for expecting her to stand behind a Moreno in an advert – a small snapshot of everyday prejudice seen in Mexico and in the industry. This kind of “hidden camera” video of deplorable behaviour had become widespread in Mexico, lending an authenticity to the campaign. MediaCom unveiled this on Facebook and soon it went viral across all social media platforms, being shared over 1.5 million times in just 19 hours. National news jumped on the movement, spreading the message across the entire country and beyond.

With outrage at fever pitch, the agency released a second video on Cerveza Victoria ́s Facebook and Twitter feeds, showing the actors coming together and explaining “not all beauty is white – advertising made you believe that.” Alongside its public messages, the brand also pledged real change. Cerveza Victoria committed to only use Mexican talent in its advertising in order to celebrate Mexico’s diversity and foster a climate of inclusivity in this important area of culture.


Mexico De Capitanes | Captain Morgan | Carat | Mexico

Shortlisted for: Best Communications Strategy, Best Integrated Campaign


One thing in 2018 is bigger than football in Mexico – the elections. On July 1st almost 88 million voters generated the most significant social and cultural event for generations. It became one of the defining features for Mexican Millennials and Gen Z as many of them voted for first time in their lives and media and social networks augmented the responsibility that came with their decision. With it came the realisation that both Millennials and Gen Z are profoundly disenchanted with the political establishment and urgently seeking a leader to bring change and hope.

Agency analysis showed young people are mainly longing for relevance towards their values and life-style. A feature that no ordinary politician can offer yet young voters were clearly looking for a cultural connection with a leadership. Carat looked away from the dividing politicians and academics. It embraced the principle that the best way to generate positive involvement into politics is by turning the political debate into a fun that could drives participation and could be shared. Hmm… a leader that has the credentials to talk to Millennials and Gen Z, is genuinely fun, relevant and is the one who usually kick starts everything positive: It had a role for Captain: Henry Morgan!

The Captain has always been giving the positive examples how to have fun in an original way and be socially responsible about that. He possesses the emotional and cultural characteristics of a leader relevant to the new generations. The Captain now set his compass towards new communication challenge – create awareness about the importance of the vote in a funny and relevant way, which saw him register as a candidate for the presidential race. He ran for president under the slogan of “POR UN MEXICO DE CAPITANES” (“A MEXICO TO ALL THE CAPTAINS”).

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply