Brands invest HK$40 billion in campaigns to boost sales

Campaigns targeting mainland shoppers drive HK advertising spending to a new high

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 31 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 31 January, 2013, 5:20am

Advertising spending in Hong Kong hit a record high HK$40.69 billion last year, driven by major campaigns from brands popular with mainland shoppers.

Media-monitoring firm admanGo reported that total advertising expenditure in the city rose 13 per cent from HK$36.03 billion in 2011, despite weak market sentiment caused by the sluggish economy.

Jennifer Ma, the director of sales and marketing at admanGo, said advertising spending in several industry categories posted strong double-digit, year-on-year increases "having benefited from the strong purchasing capacity of mainland visitors".

Those categories included cosmetics and skin care for men, which grew 96 per cent; camera, photography, and optical instruments, up 32 per cent; telecommunications, mobile phones and services, 31 per cent; beverages, which include milk powder, 27 per cent; jewellery, watches, and luxury products, 25 per cent; and fashion, accessories and eyewear, 23 per cent.

Apple, for example, increased its spending 76 per cent year on year to HK$120 million. The iPhone and iPad maker is not known for large campaigns in Hong Kong but needed to splurge last year to support the introduction of advanced new devices like the iPhone 5 and the iPad mini, and the opening of new Apple Stores in Kowloon Tong and Causeway Bay.

While online and mobile advertising made some modest gains last year, most brands still preferred to launch campaigns in traditional media outlets. Television, newspapers, magazines, outdoor billboards, and radio cornered about 93 per cent of total advertising expenditure in the past 12 months.

Procter & Gamble (P&G), the American multinational consumer goods company, was once again the city's top-spending advertiser last year. Its investment in various campaigns advanced 8 per cent year on year to HK$896.14 million, which supported brands that include Olay, Pantene, Head & Shoulders, Gillette, Braun, Oral-B, and Pampers.

"P&G ranked No 1 throughout the year, except in March, May and December," Ma said.

French group L'Oreal, the world's largest supplier of cosmetics and beauty products, ranked as Hong Kong's No2 top-spending advertiser last year. The total cost of its campaigns was up 27 per cent to HK$774.90 million.

Samsung Electronics, maker of the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note smart devices, was the city's No3 top-spending advertiser last year. The company, which was ranked 10th in 2011, recorded a 142 per cent increase in expenditure to HK$554.31 million.