Positive sentiment pumps 23% advertising market rebound in H1

Ding Yining
Ad spend in general consumer categories, such as F&B, medicine, personal hygiene and home cleaning, surged 30 percent, CTR study shows.
Ding Yining

China's advertising market rebounded strongly in the first half with a 23 percent gain amid positive sentiment among advertisers, a new study by CTR Research shows.

Ad expenditure in FMCG categories such as food and beverage, medicines, cosmetics, home cleaning and personal hygiene products surged more than 30 percent.

"Beauty, health and wellness and personal-care products have been a bright spot in terms of ad spending," Zhao Mei, assistant general manager of CTR told the CTR Insight Summit Forum.

The total ad market, however, still falls short of pre-pandemic levels, dipping 2.7 percent from 2019.

Outdoor cinema advertising had the strongest rebound, over 700 percent, due to the low visitor base in the first half of last year.

Advertisers are giving an 8 out of 10 score for general economic outlook and industry sentiment.

As many as 81 percent of advertisers will increase or maintain ad budgets this year, climbing from 76 percent a year earlier, according a survey of around 300 advertisers.

"The strong rebound is bolstered by effective pandemic control measures and the aspiration for better life quality and higher expectations for economic growth," Zhao noted.

Major players are sending a strong upward and a rich Chinese cultural tone through branding activities, she said.

Among the top 20 advertisers tracked by CTR, as many as 90 percent are local players compared with around 65 percent before 2019.

Tighter data security requirements and privacy protection rules are expected to impact sales and online traffic-driven advertising campaigns. Advertisers are advised to forge a closer tie with consumers instead of just pursuing short-term sales results, Zhao said.

Content-driven marketing has been the latest hit, especially on short-video sites such as Kuaishou and Douyin.

The short-video user base climbed 15 percent to more than 880 million in the first half and over three-quarters of online users are using more than four types of digital media formats on a daily average, with various media channels supplementing each other.

Special Reports