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Latin America: stable market combining different realities

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Latin America is a region with a rich cultural heritage, significant economic power, political importance, and environmental concerns. Its impact on the world is felt in various ways, and the region's future is closely linked to global development and sustainability.
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Updated: Jun 22

BrandTrends shares the Most favorite Entertainment brands in the autumn of 2022

[Article published in the Total Licensing Magazine / Summer 2023 Edition, Page 144]

Latin America is a region with a rich cultural heritage, significant economic power, political importance, and environmental concerns. Its impact on the world is felt in various ways, and the region’s future is closely linked to global development and sustainability.

The region has many emerging markets and is home to some of the world’s largest economies, including Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina; the three countries we will detail the licensing market in this article.

If those three countries don’t have the same language (Portuguese is the official language of Brazil), they all share a passion for soccer (football), as well as for music and celebrations. Brazil Carnival is famous around the globe, Argentinian tango is danced across countries and Mexican animations are well-known across borders, at the same level than its popular cuisine, including – among many others – tacos, enchiladas and guacamole.

The population of children under the age of 15 in those three countries sum up to 94.4 million (44.7 in Brazil, 39.9 in Mexico and 9.8 in Argentina) which represents huge opportunities for brands.

A stable market which combines different realities

Latin America’s consumer market exhibits similarities across countries. However, a lack of enthusiasm persists post-COVID, as evidenced by the low ratio of new brands compared to two years ago, with some of the three countries experiencing no growth at all; Argentina not to mention it.

The distribution of brands across age groups is significant and makes it difficult for companies to appeal to a broad audience, especially in Argentina, where there is a pronounced split between age groups and genders.

In all three markets, many brands have a similar level of attractiveness, with average scores for popularity, preference, and purchase intent, making it challenging for companies to stand out from the competition.

Additionally, the number of entertainment brands known is proportional to the children’s population, resulting in significant differences across the three countries, with Brazil leading with 320 brands, followed by Mexico with 240 and Argentina with ‘only’ 146.

A LatAm market hold by Marvel and Disney

The table below highlights the fragmentation of the market, with numerous brands achieving only an average level of preference.

However, Marvel emerges as the clear winner, outscoring the second-ranked Disney by a staggering 9.5 points, solidifying the superheroes’ supremacy.

This superiority is consistent across all three countries, with Marvel ranking first by a significant margin (+11.4 points in Mexico, +8.8 points in Brazil, and +7.5 points in Argentina), leaving the competition in the dust.

Disney secures the second position in all three countries, but the margin between them and the third-ranked brand is narrow (+2.7 points in Argentina, +2.0 points in Brazil and Mexico), making it a less comfortable position to maintain.

Despite their popularity, the followers struggle to establish a consistent ranking across territories. Thus, Peppa Pig ranks #3 in Argentina and Brazil but falls to #6 in Mexico. Similarly, DC Comics is #4 in Argentina and Mexico, but drops to #7 in Brazil.

The same holds true for Barbie and LEGO, with their overall good positioning masking significant performance differences. LEGO dominates in Mexico, ranking third, but fails to make it to the Top 15 in Brazil, whereas Barbie doesn’t even feature among the top brands in Argentina.

The rankings below illustrate how different are the 3 markets.

The local brands hold a large part of the ranking in Brazil with Monica’s Gang, Galinha Pintadinha and Mundo Bita. This leads to major differences for other brand’s performance compared to the other countries.

The second strongest difference in this country is owned by Netflix, which ranks #11 while the streaming service doesn’t appear in Argentina or Mexico. Again, this highlights how difficult it is for global contents to be visible in this country.

If the local La Granga de Zenon is in good place in Argentina, there is no additional representation of country’s specificities, all other brands are global ones. The key difference compared to the other country comes from The Simpsons, which ranks #14 in this country, while if doesn’t appear in the other ones.

In Mexico, the main specificity is linked to youngest kids and their ability to love brands at a highest level than older. Then, Paw Patrol and Play-Doh are well positioned. If the first one is also present in Brazil and LatAm rankings, the second one is exclusive to Mexico.

Video Games as a key point of interest Roblox and Minecraft’s good positioning highlights the challenges of the declining trend in the video game category, with Fortnite and FIFA Soccer Series completing the set in Argentina and Mario Bros in Mexico. This is an interesting observation, as the category faces diverse challenges around the globe. The never-ending pursuit of new content detracts from its appeal, and the emergence of new competitors in virtual reality and Web 3.0 exacerbates the difficulty of remaining competitive

Ownership and Licensing Opportunities

Navigating the Latin American market is no easy feat, given the disparities across countries and the lack of perceived brand transversality. As previously mentioned, this lack of dynamism makes it difficult to establish a positioning.

However, Marvel’s enormous competitive advantage proves that opportunities do exist. The key lies in universality and the amount and relevance of content. By providing multiple exposure opportunities and delivering consistent and innovative offers, brands can succeed across Latin American markets.

Given the sizable children’s population, brands must prioritize understanding their needs and expectations and develop approaches that resonate with this significant portion of the market.

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