Social Media Marketing – Advertising and Marketing in Ja on a Shoe-String


When it is a question of money, everybody is of the same religion – Voltaire

The title seems in itself seems to be almost a suggestion. But I would posit the fact that it is really a mirror of the reality that recently burst to life when Jamaica was made aware by Clifton “Clif-Twang” Brown that , quote “the bus can swim” as fellow blogger Kelroy notes in his article “Refixing” Humorous Jamaican News clips big hit on Youtube.

Albeit a distraction from his intended message with regards to the plight of the people living in the community of Robertsfield, St. Andrew and the lack of a Bridge to cross the Yallahs River for over sixty (60) years when it is flooded, his publicity has now manifested itself in other ways.

Not to mention being legally correct as it relates to swimming buses as Attorney-at-Law Gavin Goffe in his column Legal Notes printed Wednesday June 22nd 2011 in the Jamaica Observer notes, effectively becoming a licensed sea craft in a mish-mash of the River Rafting Act and the Road Traffic Act.

Clever Devil indeed! To paraphrase Jamaica parlance in his colourful twang “de bus can swim”! On another hand, the clever “refix” video has brought some recognition of his plight to Television Jamaica, especially after the video appeared on CBS.

Television Jamaica, local television station, did interviews with both DJ Powa, the “fruity Loops” creator of the viral video and Clifton Brown, the unwitting Star. They were both featured on Television Jamaica top rated morning time program, Smile Jamaica on Tuesday June 21st 2011AD and on ER (Entertainment Report) on Friday June 24th 2011AD.

In both interviews, Clifton Brown seemed to resent his new found fame, which is understandable, as his problem relating to the Robertsfield, St. Andrew is serious. But his fame, clearly powered by Video Social Network website YouTube, has caught the eye of Telecom Provider LIME.

According to the Jamaica Star, dated Saturday June 25th 2011, LIME has already approached Agency 20Seven CEO Zachary Harding to secure the services of Clifton “Clif-Twang” Brown for commercial spots.

To quote Agency 20Seven CEO Zachary Harding: “The discussions have gone extremely well with his managers ‘Skatta’ Burrell/ Downsound Records and we are both very confident that we will have something in place in short order. The importance of influential members of the society is something that we [recognize] has tremendous commercial value, and we are working to ensure that all parties get the best deal possible”.

Mr. Brown seemed a bit pleased, in-between signing LIME employee autographs, as apparently he will be getting some form of monetary compensation out of it, quote: “I feel 100 per cent. I am ready tomorrow. Mi appreciate it. I stop at LIME today and I take picture with every worker. I ready to share my love with LIME”.

I wish him luck on this new adventure, albeit I am confused how this will pan out, St. Thomas Pan or otherwise!!

It seems that the Corporate World has finally caught wind of the power of Social Networks, as this viral video hit so vividly illustrates and as the Jamaica Observer’s Sunday article Writer Wayne Marsh, an Internet Marketing Consultant (is there such a thing?) dated Monday June 26th 2011AD so succinctly opines.

Corporate and SME (Small and Medium Enterprises) blocking Social Networking websites at their workplaces fearing loss of private internal information do so at their own peril. This as they are cutting themselves off from possibly the fastest growing means of self promotion and direct customer contact in Jamaica since the invention of the dub cassette and the Video Camcorder!

Definitely, Social Media, which is spread by Social Networking Platforms, may be a cost effective way for companies to market their products on a shoe-string budget.

Thus, lo and behold to the Gods, Social Media Marketing is born.

Even though only 25% of the Jamaicans have a computer, 15% have Internet access and only 38% of the population goes online at least once a day as stated in the article Jamaica’s Low Net Penetration – Broadband Internet A Universal Right, the fact that 71.7% of Jamaicans use FaceBook and Twitter means that Social Media Marketing is viable.

It also explains how easily an uploaded video can go viral, via FB postings, re-tweets of links to said popular “refix”-ing video and blog postings as in the article “Refixing” Humorous Jamaican News clips big hit on Youtube!

Whether it is a viral YouTube video, a Facebook and Twitter page, or even a Tumblr Blog, Social Networking Platforms have the traffic and eyeballs that the Marketing Department of various companies desire and it is cost effective too.

The experiences of local Jamaica Fast Food Chain Island Grill and their massive flowing on their Facebook page demonstrate this quite visibly, moving Island Grill from zero to local Jamaican Fast Food Social Marketing Hero!!

Especially now that FaceBook has hit almost six hundred thousand (600,000) registered members who claim Jamaica to be their home, based on a report by Local Internet Marketing Consultant Sandor Panton.

Please note that listing Jamaica as the country you reside is not absolute proof that you really reside in Jamaica. This can only be proven via either phone verification with Geo-Location based information as well as IP Address information combined with Geo-Location based information.This aside, this is some serious stats, as it suggests that about 20% of Jamaica’s close to three million (3,000,000) strong population is an active member of FaceBook!

So to the reader of the above statistic, Caveat Lector!

However, the recent growth spurt of FaceBook indicates as much, as unofficial results reported by ZDNet and TechCrunch produced the following statistics:

  • Facebook achieved five hundred million (500,000,000) regular users worldwide in the Summer of 2010AD.
  • FaceBook currently has seven hundred and fifty million (750,000,000) regular users worldwide
  • Facebook added approximately two hundred and fifty (250,000,000) users between the Summer of 2010AD till the Summer of 2011AD
  • With the exception of 2010 to 2011, on average one hundred million (100,000,000) people joined Facebook each year since Facebook launched in 2004AD
  • Growth is accelerating in the Developing world but slowing down in the US

Equally impressive, FourSquare, LBS (Location Based Service) has seen a rise of its membership to ten million (10,000,000) as of June 20th 2011AD.

With it has come more recognition, with people attracted to using LBS despite the fear of being tracked.


It helps Millennials [ages 16 to 28] and Generation X’ers [ages 29 to 45] gain discounts at their most frequented hangouts. Plus with the security features inherent in FourSquare’s Platform, one is made to realize that it is really up to you to choose real friends in order to avoid issues related to stalking and date rape.

Or worse, getting involved in Social Prostitution as described in my article Social Network Prostitution: FOMO drives Millennials to “Inboxing”.

Social Networking is becoming the latest party craze in Jamaica as well. This as the Jamaica Observer Entertainment Section published Wednesday, May 18th, 2011AD reported on a story about a party named ReTweet, a concept based around Twitter that has begun to incorporate elements of the fast-growing FourSquare into their event.

Even the Gleaner Company- sponsored Dream Weekend series of eight (8) parties namely is taking advantage of Clifton Brown newly minted viral video fame:

These parties are:

  • Flavours
  • Twisted Spiritz
  • Beer Vibes
  • Xtremme Wet N Wild
  • Yush
  • Daydreams
  • Smirnoff Xclusive
  • A mystery eighth event

Set for Friday July 29th 2011AD to Monday August 1st 2011AD, Dream Weekends organizer Kamal Bankay has made use of Clifton Brown’s popularity, utilizing his voice in a clever introduction video about Dream Weekends.

Dream team member Kamal Bankay, who travelled to RobertsField in Mavis Bank on Friday June 17th 2011, spoke on the concept to the Jamaica Star dated Wednesday June 22nd 2011AD, quote: “We were the first to cross the river and found Clifton Brown. Every year we do some form of social parody to promote Dream Weekend and when I saw the video of Clifton I saw the perfect opportunity. So we went to Mavis Bank and asked everybody for him, [because] after the TVJ broadcast he was well known. Clifton Brown was a very good natured person and had no problem doing it.”

Effectively these are examples of Social Media Party!! New Party concept as well, folks!!

So it’s settled then. The following observations can be made:

  1. Social Media can be used by the Marketing Department of companies, both Corporate and SME (Small and Medium Enterprises) to promote themselves.
  2. Advertising, may in the future, be a viral video, as soon as someone figures out the mechanics of how it should work!!
  3. And then there is this thing called Social Media parties, coming to a venue near you!!

Jamaica has yet to fully take advantage of Social Networking, being as smartphone penetration is still too low to take advantage of LBS-flavoured Social Networking.

Guess Jamaica, has, via this most visible and memorable of accidents, discovered the popularity of Social Networking as it relates to Advertising.

Social Media Marketing just got a big jump start, folks, thanks to Clifton Brown!

And as for Mr. Clifton Brown, he is getting used to his fame, one day at a time, as his life is now forever changed, thanks to his own accent. This as with an endorsement from LIME, he may be able to do more than just have his bridge fixed.

For as far as I am concerned, it just goes to show that when it comes to money (and fame), we are all of the same religion, Voltaire be damned!

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Lindsworth is a Radio Frequency and Generator Maintenance Technician who has a knack for writing about his work, which is in the Telecoms Engineering Field. An inspired writer on themes as diverse as Autonomous Ants simulations, Power from Lightning and the current Tablet Wars.


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