Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 2nd 2015 Contents NYERERE HAYNES
Celebrity merchandising is nothing new. In
Trinidad celebrities are designing clothes,
creating jewelry, marketing fragrances, sell-
ing rum and chocolates. For some, leveraging their
brand to push their products is a recent develop-
Others are well on their way to creating a mer-
chandising empire. Given the growth of this trend,
it seems that merchandising is a viable option for
celebrities to diversify their earning potential.
Former world hurdling champion Jehue Gordon
recently launched his fragrance, Ambition; soca
star Machel Montano does clothing, rum, chocolates
and the M-Store (located at the duty free section
of the Piarco International Airport); hip hop artiste
Mark Hardy has a clothing line called Addicted to
All seem to be enjoying relative success in a mar-
ket that is relatively small and that also has pre-
viously exhibited nonchalance towards spending
solely on celebrity status.
So far, Jehue Gordon said that his fra-
grance has received a lot of support
and based on the feedback, a female
fragrance could be in the works.
"The support has been
tremendous, people just need
to keep supporting it.
"In Trinidad you can get
it at Bang Bang, 212 Location,
Blaanix and Dufry. In
Tobago it s available at
and Bella Cosmetics. The
reaction from the public
has made us even consid-
er launching a female fra-
grance. However our major
focus will be to continue
building this brand
before we branch off
to something else,"
According to Dennis
Ramdeen, of Pepper
Advertising, the success
of celebrity merchan-
dising is dependent on
scale and people s
willingness to actu-
ally pay money for
"We just don t have the scale. We have a pop-
ulation of 1.5 million and when you keep discounting
demographics you have dwindling numbers. The
culture of saving memorabilia is not something
that we widely do. We are fair weather fans, the
cruel name is band wagonist," the marketing spe-
"Having lived in Canada I ve seen far more pas-
sion from loyal, fanatical fans who will purchase
a losing team s jersey. Manchester United has a
larger following outside of England so they have
the world to draw on. The whole notion of paying
for merchandise in Trinidad is a very tough sell.
Our culture expects to get something free. Very
few people have managed to cross that hurdle. So
the local market is very tough to survive in."
Rapper Mark Hardy of the recently-launched
Addicted To Progress clothing company said that
they have the marketing of their brand under con-
trol. Since its launch, the clothing line has enjoyed
much success as people have naturally gravitated
to its overall message.
"You have to think about what people want and
what they can relate to. They don t buy it
because of just a name.
"They buy it based upon what it
stands for. It s an all-inclusive
brand. It helps to bring a cool
aspect to the brand. Our sell is
a combination of being relatable
and inspirational. The clothes are
actually nice too, it s street wear.
The shirts carry motivational mes-
sages. The brand was created not
around our name but a move-
ment," said Hardy.
However, like Ramdeen,
Hardy has noticed that Trinida-
dians have a reluctant approach
towards purchasing celebrity-
backed items in comparison to
people from other countries.
"People in Trinidad are not as
fanatical as in North America to
buy merchandise, but there is a
local support movement now. And
because of social media, a lot
of people have begun sup-
porting local brands. We are
a smaller market, but we are
seeing progress in terms of sup-
porting local merchandise. Before
we were more influenced by
• Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
Scientists will set out this
week to drill a hole into the
Indian Ocean floor to try to
get below the Earth s crust
for the first time.
They want to sample rock
from the planet s mantle---its
In the process, the re-
searchers hope to check their
assumptions about the ma-
terials from which the crust
itself is made.
It will probably take sev-
eral years to drop the full 5 to
5.5km, says co-team leader,
Prof Chris MacLeod.
This is in addition to the
700m of water between the
drilling ship, the Joides Res-
olution (JR), and the seabed.
"In total, we think it will
take three expeditions," the
Cardiff University geologist
told BBC News.
"The science is approved
and we have funding for this
initial two-month investiga-
tion. But we will need to
come back and we may not
complete the task until the
There have been several
attempts to drill into the
mantle, but none has yet
Continues on Page A31
Bid to drill deep inside Earth
T&T's former world champion hurdler Jehue Gordon launched his own cologne in
October. As a top international athlete, his brand goes beyond the T&T market.
Merchandise from Machel Montano is extremely popular in the diaspora
and fans can be seen wearing the gear at his concerts abroad.
...but Trinis can be fickle customers
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