Online ad credibility on the rise in South-East Asia

  • Online banner ads recorded positive shift in trust levels across all SEA markets, stronger than global average
  • Word-of-mouth most trusted source of advertising in Malaysia; trust in traditional ads remains strong

Online ad credibility on the rise in South-East Asia‘EARNED’ advertising in the form of word-of-mouth recommendations from family and friends continues to be the most influential source of advertising among South-East Asian consumers, according to research released by Nielsen, a global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy.
 
The Nielsen study also revealed consumers’ trust in traditional advertising remains strong, while the credibility of online advertising has improved in recent years, the company said in a statement.
 
Nielsen’s Global Survey of Trust in Advertising polled more than 29,000 Internet respondents in 58 countries to measure consumer sentiment on 19 forms of paid, earned and owned advertising formats.
 
Across South-East Asia, consumers placed the highest level of trust in word-of-mouth endorsements, with the Philippines leading the way (up three percentage points from 2007 to 89% and five points above the global average of 84%); followed by Malaysia (up eight points to 86%); Singapore (up seven points to 85%); and Indonesia (down four points to 85%).
 
Thailand (down two points to 79%) and Vietnam (up two points to 81%) were the only South-East Asian countries to fall below the global average (click Chart 1 below to enlarge).

Online ad credibility on the rise in South-East Asia

Trust in traditional advertising still strong
 
Television, magazine and newspaper advertisements continue to be among the most-trusted forms of paid advertising for consumers in South-East Asia, Nielsen said.
 
More than seven in 10 consumers in the Philippines (78%), Indonesia (74%), Thailand (72%) and Malaysia (70%) said they trusted television ads – well above the global average of 62%.
 
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% and 61%, respectively. More than two in three consumers in Malaysia (68%) said they trusted magazine ads and 72% said they trusted newspaper ads (click Chart 2 below to enlarge).

Online ad credibility on the rise in South-East Asia

“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 South-East Asian consumers,” said David Webb, managing director of Advertising Solutions at Nielsen.
 
Increased trust in online ads
 
Over the past six years, online advertising saw the largest increase in trust levels for South-East Asian consumers. Sixty-eight percent 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%), Singapore (up nine points to 62%) and Malaysia (up 11 points to 61%).
 
Online banner ads also recorded a positive shift in trust levels compared to 2007 across all South-East Asian markets, and reflected stronger trust levels than the global average; Indonesia up seven points to 48%, Thailand up 15 points to 47%, the Philippines up four points to 46% and Malaysia up 20 points to 44%.
 
More than half of consumers in Indonesia (57%), Philippines (57%), Thailand (56%) and Malaysia (52%) trusted ads in search engine results compared to the global average of 48%. Online video ads were trusted by around half of consumers in Indonesia (52%), the Philippines (51%), Thailand (51%) and Malaysia (50%) (click Chart 3 below to enlarge).

Online ad credibility on the rise in South-East Asia

“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 Webb.
 
“Strengthening trust amongst consumers will serve to further drive this growth,” he added.
 
Improved credibility of content on brand sites
 
South-East Asian consumers’ trust in owned advertising in the form of content and messaging on brand websites also increased since 2007 and, with the exception of Singapore, all markets scored well above the current global average of 69%.
 
Filipinos placed the highest level of trust in owned advertising, with more than four in five (82%) believing brand websites to be credible (up 11 points since 2007) followed by Thai consumers (up 21 points to 76%), Indonesia (up seven points to 75%), Vietnam (up three points to 75%) and Malaysia (up seven points to 72%).
 
“Rising consumer trust in brand website content is definitely a key advantage for marketers as it is an avenue where they can control the brand messages in a way that consumers consider credible. This perceived credibility is a key component in advertising effectiveness,” said Webb.
 
Ads that make the greatest impact
 
Advertising that used real-life situations was the most likely to resonate among South-East Asian consumers, while ads that were value and family oriented, and humorous also fared well (click Chart 4 below to enlarge).

Online ad credibility on the rise in South-East Asia

“For advertisers, it’s vital that consumers make a memorable and meaningful connection with the brand,” said Webb.
 
“Effectively reaching consumers is predicated upon having a message that favourably impacts consumers when making a purchase decision.
 
Although market nuances exist, comedic relief, relatable situations, and ads that focus on family and health speak to the hearts and minds of consumers in South-East Asia and generate the most positive response,” he added.
 
About the Nielsen Global Survey
 
The Nielsen Global Survey of Trust in Advertising was conducted between Feb 18 and March 8, 2013, and polled more than 29,000 consumers in 58 countries throughout Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America.
 
The sample has quotas based on age and sex for each country based on their Internet users, and is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers and has a maximum margin of error of ±0.6%.
 
This Nielsen survey is based on the behavior of respondents with online access only. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60% Internet penetration or 10M online population for survey inclusion.
 
The Nielsen Global Survey, which includes the Global Consumer Confidence Survey, was established in 2005.
 
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Click-thru rates are misleading marketers: Nielsen
 
Real-time bidding for online advertising makes SEA debut
 
Effective Measure out to shift digital marketing conversations
 
Catcha-Says merger to change digital advertising game
 
 
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