The world turns – and ad spend turns with it

Comforting economic performances and improving consumer confidence in the Asia Pacific region should bring a smile to the collective dial of the New Zealand media and marketing fraternity, with media advertising spend in the 12 markets followed by Nielsen growing by 18 percent from the same time last year, although New Zealand spending across TV, newspaper and magazines is at the back of the regional pack, recording an increase of eight percent.

Nielsen’s Global Consumer Confidence Index canvassed 27,000 internet consumers in 55 countries throughout Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and North America. And six of the ten most confident consumer markets around the world—and, therefore, those setting the pace of economic recovery—are from our neck of the woods.

And as economic prospects improve, consumers’ spending intentions are turning into actual spending reality.

Richard Basil-Jones, managing director, Nielsen Media Asia Pacific, says global consumer confidence rebounded to the highest level since Q3 2007, and Asia Pacific posted the highest increase in confidence of all regions.

“The positive news for marketers is that Asia Pacific consumers are upbeat on how they will utilise their spare cash, including 41 percent on holidays/vacations, 35 percent on new clothes, 29 percent on out of home entertainment and 30 percent on new technology.”

All these discretionary spending considerations showed significant growth over the same time last year. As a result, he says marketers are now back in growth mode, which is translating into advertising activity that’s rapidly returning to pre GFC levels.

Despite claiming it was the second consecutive quarter of growth, the graph shows total spend has decreased since Q4 2009, although Stuart Jamieson, executive director, Nielsen Media Research in New Zealand, says it compares yearly figures rather than quarter by quarter due to seasonality. He says the reason for the decline in spend from Q4 2009 is likely due to the Christmas period and the last-minute advertising that comes with it.

The challenge for marketers, however, will be strengthening their brand awareness and positioning where visibility diminished during the downturn.

“Consumers are out there spending and intending to loosen up their purse strings, so the onus is now on marketers to ensure their products and services return to top of mind,” he says.

Key advertising trends in Asia Pacific (Q1 2010 compared to Q1 2009)

  • Ad spending in TV, newspaper and magazines across the region lifted to US$31.16 billion, an overall increase of 18 percent.
  • For the first quarter since Q3 2008, all 12 markets across the region recorded strong to bullish ad spend growth.
  • Double digit ad spend growth across 10 markets drove overall growth, led by India, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Philippines, Malaysia and Taiwan.
  • China dominated with 69 percent share of all main media ad spending.

12 months to March 2010 & YOY

  • Overall ad spending results showed a YOY increase of 15 percent, to an estimated US$132.38 billion.
  • As the advertising recession faded, increases YOY were evident across nine Asia Pacific markets, including double digit increases in 6 markets.
  • Still absorbing the impact of advertising downturns of 2009, declines YOY were recorded across two markets – Australia and South Korea.
  • Television was the main driver of growth (+16 percent), Newspapers (+14 percent) and Magazines increased by four percent YOY.

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