Global Brands Local Content


On the first page of the Slovak chapter of the publication, you are greeted by a rough-looking gentleman in black jacket, with a tattoo peeping out from under his collar and a thick gold chain around his neck. Patrik Vrbovský, better known as Rytmus, is one of the most popular Slovak celebs, who is followed by 10% of the population thanks to (or despite) his explicit rap lyrics. Brands realized the underlying marketing potential in the rapper’s popularity, e.g. the financial sector, which is known for its rather reserved communication approach. As a result, the Roma artist who grew up in a block of flats in the small town of Piešťany, became the face of the financial education campaign of Tatra banka (part of the Austrian Raiffeisen Bank) called Tatra Academy, targeting young people.

CEE markets have their own Kendall Jenners and Mark Fischbachs: the latter has received 7 billion views with his horror game reviews and, consequently, became the most popular gamer influencer in 2017 according to Forbes. The editors of the CANnual Report were intrigued to see which brands use local influencers and other content marketing tools the most keenly, so – due to the lack of solid content marketing measurements tools –, we confronted the challenge and created the ranking of the content marketing advertisers of the region, based on our own methodology.

We asked the local content marketing experts of weCAN to provide us with the list of the 5 most active brands on the local market. We searched for brands that use the available toolkit in a visible way, reach a target audience of tremendous size, and, as a result, bring content marketing to the level of mainstream advertising formats that becomes even commensurable with them. After this, we compared the lists provided by local experts and prepared a ranking which is led by brands that use content marketing tools as part of their communication in the countries of the CEE region in the greatest number. We then compared this result with the lists of brands and sectors that spend the most onto ads in different media types.

The Most Active Sectors: Soft Drinks, Telecommunications and Cosmetics in the Lead

As it turns out from the estimate of content marketing experts, the soft drink sector is through the roof in terms of content marketing: such brands are in the top5 in 11 countries. Electronics and telecommunications rank as second – they appeared on the list in 8 countries – and they are followed by the cosmetic sector (highly active in 5 countries). The first three places of the content marketing ranking are occupied by product types whose target audience is very active in the digital space due to their age or interests.

The retail, bank and alcohol sectors come fourth (they made it to the top5 in 4 countries). It might be the case that alcohol brands turn to content marketing tools willingly, because they provide them with an alternative to traditional media with all its restricting measures related to alcoholic beverages ads.

If we set this list against the top sectors in terms of media spending, it is only the telecommunications sector that is present in the top3 on both lists. Hence, it is fair to say that those involved in the telecommunications sector make the most of the potential of content marketing. In contrast with this, the retail sector – where the biggest players, retail stores, spend the most on ads in each CEE country – lags behind other product types significantly in terms of content marketing. It is evident that these stores are inclined more to traditional forms of advertising and have a bigger faith in sales promotion leaflets thrown into mailboxes on a weekly basis than in online platform-based videos presenting products on sale.

The biggest difference between the two lists is related to the pharmaceuticals sector. While pharmaceuticals rank as third on the list of the largest spenders in the CEE region, they only hold the 7th place in content marketing (they only made it to the top5 in Ukraine).

The financial and the food sector rank the same in both lists which shows that they are significant market players regarding their total ad spending as well as their content marketing engagement. However, the content marketing king, the soft drink sector is only the 6th in terms of total media spending. Hence, we have reason to believe that soft drink brands allocate an increasing slice of their total marketing budget to content marketing – a lot more proportionally when compared to the largest media spending sectors.

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