Investment in advertising in Mexico is growing - but there’s still room for more. At present it represents 0.75% of GDP in the market but in many other first world markets that number is somewhere around 1.16. What’s more, according to PwC Mexico, advertising investment grew 10% in 2021 vs. 2020, despite the constraints of the pandemic.
Two years after the start of Covid-19 and still in the early stages of 2022, LBB’s Addison Capper caught up with local industry leaders from McCann, DDB, M&C Saatchi, MRM and Landia to find how the industry is recovering from the hard hits of Covid-19, why its production prowess continues to flourish, and why some brands are suffering from multiple personality disorder.
Alvaro Dopico, CEO and partner, M&C Saatchi Chilanga
The pandemic has hit our industry very hard over the last two years, although advertising investment grew 10% in 2021 vs. 2020, according to PwC Mexico. Something that was already happening increased, however a lack of loyalty on the part of advertisers to agencies. This has caused the industry to live more and more on project-to-project contracts, meaning that day by day we have to pitch constantly - this, I believe, has also been to the detriment of brands. What at first could be seen as a breath of fresh air for brands has now become something else - we have started to see brands without personality, or rather with multiple personalities, or even as a psychiatrist would say with multiple personality disorder. There is no consistency in the message - each year generates a new one without building on the last message and thus we are seeing a low-performance level of results.
This brings me to my second point which has to do with the fact that more and more is invested in sales promotion and very little, or nothing, in brand building. If the entire category all does the same thing, then it is perceived that the right thing is being done, but we see less and less differentiation between brands and this the consumer picks up on, and ends up choosing a brand to the detriment of another only by question of price.
M&C Saatchi has grown year by year since 2017. Today we are one of the agencies invited to the majority of the big pitches happening in the market. In the meantime, we have been consolidating our relationship with Toyota, and we remain the agency for Hot Sale (Mexican Online Sales Association) for the fourth consecutive year. We have just launched the iPhone 13 in seven markets in LATAM, including Brazil, and we are working on the new Sanissimo brand campaign for 15 markets, including US and Canada for the world's largest baker, Bimbo. We have also just completed the last campaign for Izzi - the most important Telecom Company in Mexico. We are very happy with the work that the agency has been developing and already, even at the start of the year we can say that we are on the right track to achieve another year of growth. More important for us, however, is to generate long-term relationships based on trust. And that that trust from the advertiser be reflected in great work together.
In Mexico, advertising investment grows year after year, but this represents only 0.75% of GDP. In first world markets advertising investment represents 1.16. This clearly says that there is less belief in brands, not that less investment is needed to achieve good sales results. We can see the truth of this in campaigns that end up being informative rather than trying to seduce people by telling them a story or something interesting to hook and entertain them.
Luis Gonzalez, creative VP, Commonwealth and MRM México
At Commonwealth McCann we are responsible for Chevrolet’s advertising and we have noticed a moderate rebound regarding car sales. We will launch six new top-of-the-line models in different segments in 2022. For the first year in history, digital will be more important and with a bigger budget than off-line traditional advertising. This has pushed us to be really clever with our targeting and retargeting skills.
There is always a risk of becoming really tactical and kind of cold when so many small formats are used, but we try hard to make sure we always have the right balance between a hard-sell tone and a more inspirational manner, much closer to our brand’s spirit.
TikTok is a highly engaged platform with endless creative possibilities. While there’s much potential for creative content for car related promotions, we’re seeing a lot fewer leads on this platform than others. We understand the platform and try to be as little intrusive as possible.
We are also anticipating huge changes that could be game-changing for us and the consumer experience on Facebook and Apple. This means we need to be patient and prepared to take the necessary next steps.
At MRM (McCann’s data, technology and digital business unit), we are about to have our first global creative meeting via Oculus VR. Things are changing really fast, but at the same time they are getting more fun than ever.
Thomas Amoedo, executive producer, Landia Mexico
I think the industry will have another year of growth. The ‘post’ pandemic optimism will continue to be present, generating a boost in consumers at a general level. A year where there will be a lot of competition due to the presence of several new players in the local industry, something that will motivate an increase in the quality of work and competition.
I see a 2022 with a lot of work. Fortunately, 2021 was a great year of consolidating relationships with our clients and this 2022 we want to focus on continuing to nurture these relationships and focus on how to provide a better service every time. We have made several new signings and restructurings that seek to always improve the customer experience with us, raise expectations more and more and achieve the best creative and productive executions.
Here, all this new enthusiasm around web3 and the marketing of the metaverse, I think has made people start to dare to try and learn more about technologies that were not being explored as much perhaps. I see a very big focus for brands to continue growing in this area.
100% our industry is growing. Production companies and agencies from many parts of the world are opening in Mexico, and I think that in general terms Mexico is in a cultural moment where the world is looking at it. Mexico has two great strengths when it comes to producing and reasons why people come from all over the world to film here. On the one hand, it is a huge country where practically any place in the world and any architecture can be recreated, with cities that can be colonial, European or modern, added to an international and cosmopolitan cast. And above all, there is a crew considered to be one of the most professional in the world, with a level of creativity and desire to do good work that always leads to finding solutions for production. Mexico is today the most sought after place by brands, directors and producers to carry out their projects, because here is the desire, the creative solutions and a sophisticated, diverse and unstoppable culture.
Sergio Briseño, VP planning, DDB Mexico
I would like to call 2022 the year of new grounds. Although we are still in a recovery phase, I feel that 2022 is for our industry the year in which we will have to implement the shifts the pandemic left us with: new consumption habits, technology in everyday life, the return to the essentials and the role that brands play in this environment. It has been a period that as consumers made us rethink our relationships with products, services and brands, and we will have to see how agencies and advertisers assimilate it and begin to respond to these new demands, not just at the discourse level, but with concrete actions.
Alfredo Alquicira, executive creative director, McCann México
Mexico is one of the most digitally savvy countries in the Latin American region, but we strive to do more. It is a regional advertising hub for many brands, so the competition between agencies is fierce; small networks and independent agencies pop up every year. The general trend is to do less with more, so data is fundamental to make the best choices with speed.
Creatively, Mexico had a notable year in 2021; some local campaigns received global recognition. Among them is Novartis ‘Dolor a mis Espaldas’ (Monster Pain) - it was a stand- out for us. A collaboration between Weber Shandwick, McCann, and MRM Mexico was named the sixth most relevant global PR case by the PRovoke media ranking.
For McCann Worldgroup México, this is the way to go: collaboration, integration, and data.