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Home » Brands close to their consumers at year end » Who sponsors your fears? Collector’s edition

Who sponsors your fears? Collector’s edition


Luis Fernando Alejos talks about brands close to their consumers at year end.


Luis Fernando AlejosWeb Presence Manager at The Purpose

Luis Fernando AlejosWeb Presence Manager at The Purpose

Guatemalan writer, artist, and communicator with a diverse professional trajectory that includes journalism, interactive marketing, editing, and editorial production. Responsible for more than 700 articles on entertainment, health, technology, culture, social commentary, and corporate events in print and digital publications.


Who sponsors your fears? Collector’s edition

I'm quite certain that, coming round next Christmas, Guatemalans will have hundreds of brands in their pockets and their hands; lighting their faces and being part of their "news feeds". I'm referring to smartphones, those portable small computers that often make us forget the telephone and its traditional concept: a device to make and receive calls (as well as text messages).

Depending on the demographics that we're talking about, this holiday season Apple and their iPhones and iPads will be held by children and adults. If we address those individuals with an Android or other OS phone, there are plenty of brands (like the desserts and salty treats that we happily devour): Lucas, a Guatemalan brand; ; Alcatel, GoMobile, Huawei, LG, Samsung, Sony, VeryKool, Motorola, BMobile, Blackberry, Nokia, ZTE. And of course there will also be a Windows phone user.

Let's take it slow. We're still not including apps, those hundrads of applications that will keep us distracted, busy or numb: Facebook (and its messaging separate app), Instagram, Twitter, Whatsapp, Pinterest, Vine, Snapchat, Tumblr, Deezer, Spotify, iTunes, etc.

"Consumers change the way they dress, buy different types of food, seek out festival tickets, outdoor shows, they travel, etc.; applying discounts to these categories is an excellent seasonal preemptive marketing technique, which will produce a sales volume increase", wrote Martín Osorio in América Economía.

Other media outlets discuss current global tendencies: "This year is showing a growth in colaborative consumption and a shared products and services culture, something to which mainstream brands are already responding to".

Alone in a crowd, home alone. Christmas brings along a movie cycle that matches emotions and conflictive facts that most of us go through, not only in the last part of the year: anxiety, debt, family, visits, loneliness, vulnerability. Home Alone has a specific place for me, as well as its first sequel: Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. Beyond its booby trap sequences and great timed voiceover scenes, as well as an underlying chilhood revenge undertone, I remember them for their unapologetic use of product placement.

Yes, I'm talking about that marketing tool which allows for brand presence to certain products in television, films and... in the worst case scenario, music (Jay-Z, I'm looking at you). One of Kevin McCallister's brothers doesn't hide his lusftul thirst, which can only be quenched by a Pepsi can. His family also picks American Airlines as the airline to accidentally forget their son at home during Christmas.

Product placement in the sequel is also evident, even the fact of replacing one brand name soda for another. I bring this up because... beyond the holiday depictions in film or television, there are individuals that don't have a specific brand preference when it's time to alter their lifestyles (or simply exist) during Christmas and the New Year. I then imagine the role that endorsements would be like for our mistakes, fears, disillusion or simple habits (happy moments are easier to match with the brands that fuel us):

Which lingerie would you try to please yourself your girlfriend?

Which liquor will lead you to start making mean jokes at your company Christmas party?

Will Kleenex would be the actual tissue that will comfort you during a lonely evening?

Which bank will you choose to play Russian roulette?

Will Netflix or the bootleg DVD vendor be your dealer, when feeding your audiovisual hunger?

Everyone knows the itch that must be scratched, as well as the better way to do so.


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