A Strange Online Marketing Practice in Brazil

One of the main advantages of online marketing over the use of offline media is the ability to track the effect an ad campaign has: whether it reaches the goal it is supposed to, gets close to it or is way off. If you analyze your data wisely, you will often find aspects of campaigns that can be optimized on a logical basis in the pursuit of better performance.

Nevertheless, online enterprises with enough cash available still choose to invest in offline media here in Brazil. Here are a couple of examples I saw while watching TV last weekend:
a) Trivago, a lodging search website owned by Germany’s Expedia, explains its concept in a TV ad which I saw on a random cable TV movie channel.
b) I saw this half minute piece by GoDaddy on the same channel.
Also, many online based companies advertise in São Paulo’s subway network. For instance, right after 2018’s Carnival, several loan comparison sites began to compete for commuters’ attention there. The logic is quite simple. Many Brazilians spend more than they can buying Christmas presents, then comes New Year’s Eve and more spending. And the whole country is sort of idle until after the Carnival. That’s when people who spent more than they should have start to wake up to the new year and organize their financial situation.

As an online marketer, I find it difficult to understand why an online service or product needs to be advertised offline. Luckily, I have Bruno Rothstein, a well seasoned strategic media planning director, as a good friend of mine. According to him, the average Brazilian is not very prone to buying products or services from unknown brands. Therefore, the TV becomes a branding shortcut. “If this Trivago thing is being advertised on TV, they probably have some reputation” – might some Brazilian TV watchers think, even though this is obviously a fallacy. Anyway, it’s an undeniably quick way to reach a massive portion of the Brazilian population at once.

To wrap this post up, I still disagree with this approach. It may work for big companies with a lot of cash to throw away, but it is definitely possible to convert your potential Brazilian clients with much more tightly targeted online campaigns that have the huge advantage of being trackable and, therefore, optimizable.