Advertisers adopt a balanced strategy as ad spending rises again

Ding Yining
Advertising spending in China has shown signs of recovery, with ad spending in the first seven months rising by 5.4 percent.
Ding Yining

Advertising spending in China has shown signs of recovery consistent with the overall economic recovery, and advertisers have adopted a balanced strategy to attract and retain consumers.

In the first seven months, ad spending increased by 5.4 percent as the beverage, food and service sectors grew, particularly in outdoor channels, according to the latest data from CTR Research.

July's year-over-year growth was 8.7 percent, which was comparable to June's performance. It was primarily driven by outdoor channels such as cinema theaters and elevator posters.

Zhao Lili, general manager of CTR Media Intelligence, said the rebound in the service sector, particularly spending on leisure and amusement, has led to the overall advertising recovery.

But as consumers become more pragmatic in their purchasing decisions and are eager to pursue brands with distinct values that reflect their sentiments, "More severe competitions are seen between brands and service providers," Zhao said at the CTR Insight & Innovation Summit in Shanghai.

Josep Montserrat, global CEO of Kantar Worldpanel and CTR deputy chairman, is still optimistic.

"New growth opportunities and long-term perspectives still remain positive in China, and new ways of attracting and retaining consumers would also emerge," said Montserrat.

A shift in strategies

EssenceMediacom, a subsidiary of WPP's media investment firm GroupM, pointed out that it has also observed a shift in advertisers' attitudes during the post-pandemic recovery period.

In the next two to three years, there is a clear propensity to further engage with consumers through short-video platforms and lifestyle online communities, as many brand-building initiatives have shifted toward social commerce and content marketing.

Rupert McPetrie, Asia Pacific CEO of EssenceMediacom, said that although advertisers today pay close attention to short-term metrics, they have generally adopted a much more balanced perspective, recognizing that brand assets and value must be preserved over the long term.

"As macroeconomic uncertainty persists, advertisers and agencies have become more responsive to situations and attentive to the investment returns on marketing expenditures," he explained.

Overall, McPetrie observed that there is a more balanced perspective on short-term and long-term marketing activities, as well as a continuous commitment to promoting brands and services through marketing activities.

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