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Advertising Spending Increases but More Marketers are Exercising Caution in 2015

2 minute read | February 2015

TV Stays as the Leading Medium
Advertising Budget Continues to Shift to Digital Media

Thirty-six percent of advertisers indicated an increase in advertising spend in 2015, a 6-percentage-point decrease compared to last year, according to the latest survey on advertising spending projections by the Hong Kong Advertisers Association (HK2A) and Nielsen.

“Advertising spending in 2015 increases but more marketers are exercising caution,” said Wanda Gill, Vice President, Media & Marketing Effectiveness, Nielsen. “While the respondents are optimistic about their companies’ performance, there is concern about the Hong Kong economy as well as global economy.”

According to the latest survey, Hong Kong marketers’ are upbeat about their company performance, with more than half of respondents (57%) feel optimistic about their own company this year. Despite that, respondents’ expectation towards Hong Kong economy decreases from 18% in 2014 to 7% this year. Local economic downturn (63%) remains the top business concerns among respondents, increased by 6-percentage-point compared to last year. Positive sentiment towards the global economy has also declined, drop from 35% in 2014 to 20%. 

“Offline advertising still takes on 70% of advertising spend and TV stays as the leading medium,” said Gill. “But there continues to be a gradual shift of advertising budget to digital. Eighty-four percent of respondents will increase their digital marketing budget this year. While 30% will cover increased digital advertising spend with additional funding, others will re-allocate budget from offline media.”

For traditional media, television (21%) and newspapers (14%) receive the largest allocation of advertising spending, while budget allocations for magazine advertising remains stable at 7%. As for digital, social media (8%), Internet display advertisement (7%) and mobile advertisement (6%) continue to receive the largest allocation among the rest, taking on 70% of digital budget. 

“As digital advertising is seen by marketers to deliver high marketing effectiveness, advertising budget is shifting to digital media, where mobile and social media enjoy higher rate of increases,” said Gill.

“Digital is the trend. Content marketing, online and mobile video advertising are the top hot topics for marketers,” said Raymond Ho, chairman of HK2A. “Digital poses challenges to marketers as the industry needs better analytical and measurement tools for planning and determining ROI. Marketers also look forward to more choices on free TV and improvements on all-rounded approach across online and offline with agencies and media. We hope our ad spend projections will shed some light on the latest trends and best practices.”

About the Survey on Advertising Spending and Projections 2015

The Survey on Advertising Spending and Projections 2015 was conducted between December 16, 2014 and January 19, 2015. The survey covered various commercial sectors including top-spending advertisers and concentrated on both their planned advertising spending and business focuses in 2015. The survey enters the 16th consecutive year in 2014 and is HK2A’s annual endeavor. Self-administered questionnaires were received from key advertisers and screened for final analysis, which provide timely reference on the trends of advertising expenditure, media selection and planning, and the media landscape for 2014.