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Local advertisers shifting towards new media, exec says

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Local advertisers shifting towards new media, exec says
By Lawrence Casiraya
Last updated 05:21pm (Mla time) 02/20/2007

MANILA, Philippines -- As the number of Filipino "prosumers" increases, advertisers are slowly shifting towards non-traditional media like mobile and the Internet, according to the top local executive of global advertising agency Euro RSCG.

A Euro RSCG study shows that about 20 percent to 30 percent of any consumer group --regardless of demographic or geographical location -- can be classified as "prosumers," a term coined to literally mean "pro-active consumers".

The term prosumer, however, isn't exactly new; it was first mentioned by futurist Alvin Toffler two decades ago.

But in today's Information Age, prosumer refers to consumers greatly influenced and empowered by the Internet and even by SMS (small messaging system or text) in their spending habits.

Prosumers are characterized as customers who constantly seek "what's new" and who do not mind sharing it with their respective social circles. Thus, they are lucrative targets for advertisers.

"People always point to the low Internet penetration in the Philippines," said Euro RSCG Philippines' managing director Norman Agatep. "But you really only have to aim for this 20 to 30 percent."

The study noted that it takes somewhere between six to 18 months for the prosumer segment to influence the rest of the consumers in a group. It also showed that about 60 percent of TV viewers occasionally browse the Web at the same time while 80 percent read magazines.

The rise of prosumerism, however, is changing the ballgame in the advertising world. "Consumers may not welcome too much of it while agencies resort to extreme 'look at this' tactics," Agatep noted.

Nonetheless, he said local advertisers are slowly warming up and shifting some of their spending to online advertising.

On the mobile side, the challenge still lies in finding the right model that would reconcile content providers, service providers and ultimately, consumers.

"We have seen this shift as early last year. We have at least two local clients that have channeled some of their efforts [to] non-traditional media," Agatep said.

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