THAILAND - Amid stagnant growth of out-of-home media in the first half of this year, transit and digital screen media appeared to be big gainers while conventional outdoor and in-store media lost favour.
Surachet Bumrongsuk, manager of Kinetic Worldwide (Thailand), a leading planner and buyer of out-of-home media, told The Nation yesterday that local advertisers and product owners had changed their ways of spending via out-of-home media, which include outdoor, transit, in-store and digital screen media.
They tend to relocate budgets for conventional billboards to cutting-edge media such as digital screens and moveable media including urban rail.
Advertising expenditures for out-of-home media edged up just 1.3 per cent to Bt4.93 billion (S$201.114 million ) from Bt4.87 billion last year. Digital screens surged 32 per cent to Bt833 million from Bt631.75 million and transit media jumped 16 per cent to Bt1.15 billion from Bt994 million, while outdoor and in-store media fell.
Though big billboards in Bangkok's prime locations are exposed to high traffic - commuters on jammed roads - their returns remain limited mainly because of low utilisation from long-term clients in line with the high cost of producing an advert.
"There has been a gradual increase in out-of-home media investment zeroing in on major transit routes in Bangkok, while in-store media have been quite stagnant and out-of-home media cornerstones like billboards have shown a big drop since," he said.
Some billboard operators have opted to convert their old signs into digital screens to improve utilisation and returns. With this advanced technology, they can transform their client's television commercials into a proper and efficient format to communicate with target audiences.
"This trend is coming," he said.
Buses, the Skytrain and MRT have become alternatives for out-of-home media because they can offer mass coverage with high frequency when they are on the go.
As businesses expand upcountry, driven by the coming of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015, out-of-home media are following, particularly at new branches of Tesco Lotus and Big C hypermarkets in key provinces.
Though spending for in-store media declined, there is more room to grow as the utilisation of this media remains low at 20 per cent. To improve utilisation, advertisers should stage marketing activities and use mobile applications and e-vouchers to interact with customers right at the store.