Word of mouth and advertising in Southeast Asia


In Southeast Asia, word-of-mouth recommendations from family and friends continues to be the most influential source of advertising among consumers, according to research released by Nielsen.

The study also revealed that consumers’ trust in traditional advertising remains strong, while the credibility of online advertising improved in recent years.

Nielsen’s Global Survey of Trust in Advertising polled more than 29,000 Internet respondents in 58 countries to measure consumer sentiment from 19 forms of paid, earned and owned advertising formats.

Across Southeast Asia, consumers placed the highest level of trust in word-of-mouth endorsements. The Philippines led the way, up three percentage points from 2007 to 89 per cent and five points above the global average of 84 per cent. This was followed by Malaysia (up eight points to 86 per cent), Singapore (up seven points to 85 per cent) and Indonesia (down four points to 85 per cent).

Thailand (down two points to 79 per cent) and Vietnam (up two points to 81 per cent) were the only Southeast Asian countries to fall below the global average.

Television, magazine and newspaper advertisements continue to be among the most-trusted forms of paid advertising in Southeast Asia.

Consumers in the Philippines (78 per cent), Indonesia (74 per cent), Thailand (72 per cent), Malaysia (70 per cent) and Singapore (65 per cent) said they trusted television ads — well above the global average of 62 per cent.

Despite declining trust in magazine and newspaper advertising across the region in recent years, the majority of markets scored higher than the global benchmarks of 60 per cent and 61 per cent, respectively.

In Singapore, 62 per cent said they trusted magazine ads and 66 per cent of consumers said they trusted newspaper ads.

“Despite continuing media fragmentation and the emergence of new advertising platforms, television remains the platform of choice for the delivery of marketing messages thanks to its ability to reach the masses, and this research illustrates that television advertising still holds strong resonance with Southeast Asian consumers,” said David Webb, managing director of advertising solutions at Nielsen.

Over the past six years, online advertising saw the largest increase in trust levels for Southeast Asian consumers.

68 per cent of Indonesian consumers said they trust consumer-consented email messages (up 16 points from 2007 and 11 points higher than the global average), followed by the Philippines (down one point to 66 per cent), Singapore (up nine points to 62 per cent) and Malaysia (up 11 points to 61 per cent).

Online banner ads also recorded a positive shift compared to 2007 — reflecting stronger trust levels than the global average; Indonesia up seven points to 48 per cent, Thailand up 15 points to 47 per cent, the Philippines up four points to 46 per cent and Malaysia up 20 points to 44 per cent.

“Online ad spend is growing rapidly and, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, is forecast to reach nearly US$34 billion in Asia Pacific by 2015, highlighting advertisers’ growing confidence in online,” said Mr Webb.

“Strengthening trust amongst consumers will serve to further drive this growth,” he added.

Advertising that used real-life situations was the most likely to resonate among Southeast Asian consumers, while ads that were value and family oriented, and humorous also fared well.

reported in ChannelNewsAsia

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