My Favorite Caribbean Ads


I'm a bit of a commercial sucker.

Give me a laugh or a catchy jingle, and chances are I'm going to remember the product and eventually buy it.

Now, this isn't exactly my area of expertise. I'm simply a consumer who notices, remembers and even buys products advertised on the tube. But if they are catching my eye, chances are they are catching your clients' as well.

So, I thought it would be interesting to share some Caribbean ad efforts I've enjoyed in the last year, which might explain why you've been receiving inquiries about these destinations or why you soon will.

Surprise, surprise, Sandals Resorts is the leading advertiser among recall, according to a representative we spoke to at Nielsen IAG, a syndicated research company that measures the effectiveness of television and Internet advertising. In case you’re like me and didn’t know what "recall" was, the Recall Score is the percentage of TV viewers who can recall within 24 hours the brand of an ad they were exposed to during the normal course of viewing TV. When looking at nationally airing Caribbean tourism ads airing since April 1, the most recalled ad is from Sandals, specifically the ad that features the line, "First I saw the water and thought 'wow,' that must be the reason I came down here; then I tasted the food.” The top-ranking Sandals spot generated a Recall level nine points higher than the average Caribbean tourism ads. These results are based on over 2,500 surveys conducted since April 1, according to the Nielsen representative.

Sandals is a huge advertising spender, from money invested in trade publications like ours to television ads, and even has its biggest agents drive around in trucks plastered with its logo. Plus, it doesn’t hurt when a gem falls in its lap like it did during these past Olympic events when Usain Bolt, the Jamaica track and field star, in an interview following the shattering of a world record said on national television that all he wanted to do was visit Sandals. Bolt, in case you’ve been living in a cave, has instantly become Jamaica’s next Bob Marley when it comes to celebrity status. Sales of Puma, the sneaker brand he wears, skyrocketed after his triumphs. Having him plug Sandals will lead to a recall lasting way more than 24 hours and costing a lot less.

Puerto Rico is among the other select few Caribbean destinations and resorts that advertise nationally. While the stats aren’t as good as Sandals, Puerto Rico tourism still cannot be ignored. If you are a baseball junkie like myself, there is no way to avoid it. Puerto Rico tourism sponsors most nationally televised baseball games so, in between balls and strikes, you might hear some famous broadcasters telling you about the destination. In fact, before the game, when the baseball players are reading the lineup, a big old Puerto Rico Tourism logo is staring you in the face on the right side of television screen.

Another ad that caught my eye, and ears for that matter, was the recent Atlantis resorts commercial showing people splashing away at the famous Bahamas property’s water park to an altered version of “Anyone Else But You,” a song made popular by the Oscar-nominated movie Juno. I couldn’t get that darn song out of my head for a week, so I guess it worked. This is just a small sampling of some Caribbean television ad efforts. Keep your eyes out for more so that when clients come asking about the destination featured in the commercial, you can tell them which commercials accurately portray the getaway they will experience and which ones they should Bolt from.