The great Barbados Rihanna – St. Lucia Tourism commercial shoot-out. Survey says…

Watch them both folks: Barbados Tourism Authority vs St. Lucia Tourism

Which commercial is more likely to produce tourist visits?

and now for St. Lucia’s tourism video…

What do you think?



Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Rihanna

43 responses to “The great Barbados Rihanna – St. Lucia Tourism commercial shoot-out. Survey says…

  1. BW

    St. Lucia’s commercial want to make me leave Bim for St Lu! ha ha!

  2. 51

    The st Lucia ad is too long. I actually prefer the Riahanna video. it’s the second time I have viewed it and it is growing on me. It might be the soundtrack but I kinda like it…Christ this must be the first time I have not totally slagged of the BTA for their efforts, I must be mellowing in my old age.

  3. G7

    The St. Lucia commercial is targeted to tourists who are likely to come for a vacation. I am unconvinced that Rihanna’s fans have either the money or the inclination to go on a Caribbean vacation.

  4. zapper

    Good point about Rihanna’s fans G7. I have doubts that she is worth whatever we’re paying her.She was convenient but that’s about it. The commercial shows zero creativity as far as I’m concerned. It’s a wonder they didn’t have her rolling around naked moaning in the sand. It would be just as likely to attract tourists. What kind of tourists would be attracted to the Rihanna advertisement? 15 year old boys. and no women who control the family finances.

  5. mercedes

    rihanna bta

  6. Neither ONe

    St. Lucia ad was too long, terrible music, and what’s with all the couples? Too much amateurish innuendo about a vaction for sex was in bad taste, but seeing the beauty of St. Lucia makes ME want to jump over for a visit. Rihanna made a music video to promote her song as far as I can tell. It has nothing to do with tourism to Barbados. It is most certainly not targeted to the Barbados tourist market. I give both of them B-.

  7. Well Well

    St,Lucia is a very beautiful island, the natrually healthy foods and rivers are to die for.

  8. peltdownman

    The length of the video is irrelevant, because for advertising purposes, the video is edited to give 15 or 30 second bites. A video of that length has unlimited opportunities to do just that. Apart from a glimpse of Cherry Tree Hill where Rihanna is playing the innocent little girl, it shows virtually nothing of what Barbados has to offer. I agree with above posters that it is more a Rihanna promotional than a Barbados promotional.

  9. David Gibbs

    Yes, the Barbados Tourism promo. is absurd. No thought has been given to the potential market. It does nothing to promote Barbados. Even demented old men know better than to think that they will come to Barbados and find Rihanna frolicking half naked on our beaches. No wonder that the industry is on the decline.

  10. Dean Russell

    They are both pretty good ads, but it is really hard to compare the 2 and pick a winner.

    The St. Lucia ad is over 7 mins compared to Barbados’ which is under 2 minutes. St. Lucia basically used the time to show you all of their various attractions. You can’t do that effectively in just under 2 minutes, as they didn’t even show Rihanna in Harrison’s cave. Barbados’ ad used Rihanna’s start power just to promote our strengths.

    I think both will be very effective, since St. Lucia is very beautiful (more so than Barbados) and Barbados, in using Rhi’s star power (the magnitude of which is lost on many of you) will also attract tourists.

  11. yatiniteasy

    Exactly my thoughts Dean Russell, comparing a 1.5 min TV commercial with an almost 8 minute video (which would be impossible to pay for as a tv commercial) is comparing oranges and apples.
    While beautifully shot and edited, the St Lucia video is sort of cheesy with the all white tourists buying coconuts and trinkets from the dark natives.These scenes make me think of promotional videos from the 70`s.Very patronizing.
    Rihanna has put Barbados on the map,(anyone watch her at the Grammys last night?) and its wonderful that the BTA is using her multimillion dollar image to promote Barbados.
    Its also silly to think that people will think they will see Rihanna if they visit Barbados..that is not what “imaging” is all about in the advertising business.

  12. Name.

    One is an advert for Rihanna

    the other is an advert for a tropical vacation “Paradise” as the target market will see it.

  13. Cameraman

    The Barbados video is an excellent promotiomal tool for Rihanna. I look forward to seeing a promotional video with Rihanna presenting the unique Barbadian attractions that will attract the type of visitors valuable to Barbados.

  14. 192

    As RiRi would say, the BTA ad is “bare c**t”.

  15. peltdownman

    @yatiniteasy/Dean Russell
    As I stated above, making a 7-minute video does not mean that it is a 7-minute advert. The advertising agency will edit parts of it together to make a 15 or 30 second advert. A few years ago Barbados did the same thing. It gives them scope to change the adverts without having to shoot new video. It ain’t rocket science.

  16. yatiniteasy

    Peltdown…I know that, but the readers were asked to state which “commercial” is more likely to produce tourist visits, so my comments still stand.The two as presented cannot be compared,because one is a TV commercial and the other is is not.
    I`m sure that the Barbados commercial is but one to be edited from several hours of footage taken with Rihanna…so we may see some more with other scenes and attractions…

  17. peltdownman


    Sorry, but the Barbados video runs for 1minute 30 secs, which is also too long for an advert. So even though it has itself been edited from hours of footage (as has the St Lucia video), it will still be re-edited to produce 15 and 30 second ads. What the St Lucia video does is cover all aspects of the country, and especially its scenery. Being 7 minutes long gives the agency so much more variety to choose from when making different ads.The Barbados video shows Rihanna standing in an abandoned cane field overlooking the East Coast far away, otherwise frolicking in cute and sexy poses. Even though Rihanna always seems to look great, it’s not the same at all. Like cameraman above, I hope to see Rihanna talking the viewers through all aspects of Barbadian life and scenery. I feel that my hope will be in vain………..

  18. yatiniteasy

    Hi Peltdown, We do not know what footage the BTA has at their disposal..I would hope that they have enough variety to produce several 15 or 30 sec Rihanna/Barbados commercials. Of course its a moot point if there is no budget to run anything on UK, Canadian or US TV…several people complain that all they see these days are commercials for St Lucia or Dominican Republic.
    BTW, The new Rihanna 1min 30 sec COMMERCIAL is for Social Media, not TV…See the following article on Fox News to see what its all about..millions of Rihanna followers on twitter and facebook. Obviously, BTA is trying to capatilise on the NO1 chart busting Rihanna song “Diamonds”..I personally love it.Each to his own.
    The second link is another Rihanna production from 2010 I believe,which does show more of the Island.

  19. Tony Webster

    Please book me on the next flight to st. Lucia. PS: As a bajan taxpayer, effin that’s the best we can do, then go looking for de ‘tief: we wuz robbed!

  20. Mike

    How can you compare a 7 minute travel documentary with a 1.5 minute commercial. Both are great; You should not compare apples with oranges.

  21. Breadfruit

    I think they’re both good but so different how can you compare them? St Lucia is far too long Barbados too short, did Rhianna get paid cause BTA don’t like to do that you know, pay people, you’re supposed to be honoured to represent & promote your country!

  22. peltdownman

    Ok. Last throw of the dice. I, too, really like Rihanna, and I think that “Diamonds” is one of her best ever songs. But social media – really? Is that targeting potential visitors to Barbados, or just teeny boppers and horny old men? Just a thought.

  23. Colin Leslie Beadon

    Knowing both island well, the St Lucian clip though long, went far in showing off what tourists would like best. St Lucia, is very diverse, in every way, compared to Barbados I’m afraid. But we have much better rum and better party life.

  24. Jason

    The election is of little real concern to Bajans because no matter who wins nothing will change. We only have one party in Barbados: the DLP-BLP party who trade chairs once in a while for the sake of appearances.

    On the other hand, the policies that led to Harlequin’s pyramid scam and CLICO’s fraud continue no matter who forms the government. Last election BFP was right in there minute to minute probably because the election meant something would change or so Bajans believed. The DLP promised to bring Integrity Legislation etc etc etc Freedom of Information etc etc etc Election Funding Changes etc etc etc.

    None of that happened and that is the proof that DLP = BLP = DLP = BLP no matter how you slice it.

    The election means nothing to Barbados or the world, but the many scams for millions of dollars are hurting our reputation.

    BFP is right to ignore the election because it doesn’t matter.

  25. Well Well

    Devils-in-office VS devils-in-waiting!!!

  26. Breadfruit

    Need a ‘like’ click on these posts!

  27. Samuel Shank

    Was speaking to a repeat UK guest at Rockley Resort recently. They have been coming for years and usually stay 4 months in the winter and sometimes a month in the summer. Evidently they now have to go to Immigration to fill out a form since their stay exceeds 3 months. It peeves them because they are here paying for accommodation, renting a car, eating in restaurants buying food from supermarket etc and they do not see the necessity for this form.
    Is this really necessary for a tourist destination like Barbados?

  28. just want to know

    about two years ago I went on a cruise and visited St. Lucia, when I came back to Barbados, I wrote on this blog that St. Lucia was having more visitors than Barbados, and was told to shut up because I didn’t know what I was talking about, now the sh– has hit the fan and the Ministry think that Rihanna can save them what a lot of bull. Our politicians say things and never follow up on anything. Look what’s happening now, both parties says no political canvassing today, but this evening there is a campaign at Oistins by The Democratic Labour Party in the form of Gospel entertainment. We just take the name of our God as a joke, and if God was like man many of us would not exits.

  29. Mark Fenty

    Barbados problem stems fundamentally from its inability to promote the island as an ideal tourist destination. Yes St. Lucia is a beautiful island; as a matter of fact, I would argue that Barbados has nothing on St. Lucia in terms of its backdrop. But, what kept Barbados tourism alive for all of those years I believe was its ability to promote the island as one of the ideal vacation spot in the Caribbean. The lack of effective advertisement unfortunately, has and continues to be, the Achilles Heel that troubles the Barbados Tourist Industry in a serious way. I remember quite vividly, when I first came to America back in the middle 80s, I saw plenty advertisements which detailed Barbados in postive ways.

  30. Adrian Loveridge

    Mark, When you appoint a US based advertising agency and pay them US$8 million (BDS$16 million) for a three year contract from January 2009, don’t you think we all have the right for positive expectations? Traditionally, the USA has received the lions share of the BTA budget, but certainly cannot claim that in performance. It’s all about picking the right people and making the right decisions.

  31. Check-This-Out


    Any thoughts on how this airline merger will affect combined service to Barbados

    US Airways and American Airlines are likely to win approval to create the world’s biggest carrier, with regulators expected to focus on concessions to preserve competition in Washington, Charlotte, Dallas and other airports where they are dominant, antitrust experts say.

  32. Adrian Loveridge


    when I first heard abot the possible ‘merger’ I thought it was very positive but then we had the DALLAS/Fort Worth. direct service. I still think it could be a good thing for Barbados, but we have to work at it. Many years ago I launched a programme called SECOND CITIES which looked at the best connection possibilities. Sadly, the BTA didn’t run with it. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, ‘we’ have also chosen to NOT capitalise on frequent flyers and the 66 million AAdvantage members. Add these to the US Airways member programme and it would be almost impossible to ignore nearly 100 million people with the MILES needed to get here.

  33. Willie & Rib Bone

    Me and Rib Bone has been lookin’ all over Bim fo Rihanna and don’t see a sign of da girl! What fool put together a tourist thing what say she froliking on da beach and roamin’ da fields? We ain’t seen her-nor has none of our possee out in da swamps!
    Somebody fakin’ it on us boys and we ain’t happy.

  34. Check-This-Out


    BTA has been ignoring the entire Greater Toronto Area (6 million people) for the past several months; so I guess they can ignore 100 million MILES holders

  35. Adrian Loveridge

    Of course you could reasonably argue that these are two very different mediums and probably intended to be used in different ways, but are we not missing the point here?
    Surely its which one produces more business and I think that would be pretty obvious.

  36. an observer

    St. Lucia looks beautiful, but most of the video is shot from the air showing remote land and sea scapes. The average tourist probably spends most of their time close to their hotel and will experience little of the exotic scenery the documentary shows. But holiday destinations are like new and trendy restaurants – here today, gone tomorrow.

  37. Mark Fenty

    As I’ve stated quite recently,the Barbados Tourist Industry has done a poor job in its efforts to promote Barbados as one of the primier destinations in the Caribbean . And one of the fundamental reasons I believe this to be true,stems fundamentally from the fact that Jamaica, for example, has what amounts to be the highest crime rate in the Caribbean. And yet, the tourist keeps coming in greater numbers than Barbados.

  38. Mark Fenty

    You can’t turn the TV on here in North America, without seeing an advertisement prompting Jamaica as the primier destination in the Caribbean. Perhaps, Barbados should take a page from the Jamaican tourist broad, and hopefully their would see some changes in the existing conditions .

  39. BajanPrince

    I think the Barbados ad is too short and is more centered on Rihanna rather than the main theme: Barbados! As for the St.Lucia ad, its waay too long…An ad that long will never get any play on tv….that would just be greedy. But as for the scenery, beautiful! But all this talk about St.Lucia being more beautiful than Barbados needs to stop. Barbados would’ve easliy had the landscape St.Lucia has but Mother Nature didn’t intend for it to be that way. Barbados is just as beautiful if you ask me because we have some of the same scenery but just on a smaller scale; and imagine if the govt didn’t allow the island to be overdeveloped, Barbados would have beat out St.Lucia in beauty long time! But neither ad is better than the other because one is too long and the other isn’t focused on the subject matter.

  40. 142

    um this ad to me promotes sex cuz i aint se nuttin bajan wunna catch de english chic ad?um wah dat mindle finger ting bout to a CHILD and don tel me shes having fun :< RUDEEEE

  41. Caribbean Lover

    Barbados is by far much more developed than St.Lucia; but we’ll have to admit that St.Lucia is naturally much more beautiful than Barbados. And since today’s tourists don’t worship sea & sand like the tourists of yester-year, St. Lucia is therefore a fresher destination.

    Entering Port Castries on a cruise ship, or climbing one of the Pitons, has to be the highlight of anyone’s vacation. The deep-water-habour in Barbados is ugly compared to Port Castries.

  42. Adrian Loveridge

    ‘we (Barbados) still get more American tourists than they (St. Lucia) do’
    Richard Sealy, Barbados Minister of Tourism – 28th June 2013 – Barbados Advocate.

    Barbados – Jan-Apr 2013 – American long stay visitors – 42,516 persons.
    St. Lucia – Jan-Apr 2013 – American long stay visitors – 43,335 persons.

  43. Rastaman

    Wonder who is the biggest liar in this Government,Sealy or Sinckler????