While the industry expected adspend in Hong Kong to take a pounding from the pandemic, data from Admango, a tracker of adspend, actually suggests there was a small revival in the fourth quarter of the year.
According to the firm's data, adspend in Hong Kong fell by 18% year-on-year in 2020, with travel and tourism and cosmetics dropping out of the top 10 list, but the signs of the faintest greenshoots were visible in the final three months of the year, with a 1.4% increase driven by financial-services companies.
According to data from the Admango, adspend in Q2 was 4% higher than that in Q1, while Q3 and Q4 recorded a 14% and 13% increase, respectively, from the preceding quarter. In the banking arena, subcategories such as consumer banking, as well as segments such as residential property, shopping malls and cooking appliances recorded adspend growth. For instance, the quarterly growth for consumer banking and integrated accounts were 32%, 27% and 70% from Q2 to Q4.
In terms of media, mobile adspend saw a 17% YoY increase in 2020, while digital media (mobile, desktop and social media) adspend grew by 2%. A number of industries such as banking and investment services, insurance and restaurants started shifting to digital media. Banking and investment services clients spent more in mobile and social media, to the tune of 34% and 20% YoY, respectively. And the share of voice for mobile and social media increased from 28% in 2019 to 40% in 2020.
Meanwhile, adspend in the toiletries and household category and the health and beauty food category grew 3% and 4%, respectively in 2020, as hygiene and health continued to be focus areas for consumers. More noticeably, laundry services/products saw an 81% YOY increase in adspend, while detergent and cleaning products and hand wash showed a drastic 172% and 332% YoY adspend growth, respectively. TV was the key advertising channel for all three subcategories. For health and beauty food, the herbal, Lingzhi & Yunzhi, and health supplements categories saw 64%, 17% and 12% YOY increases in adspend, respectively.
Some specific brands led the hint of recovery in adspend in Hong Kong. Dettol, under detergent and cleaning products, marked a 17% YoY adspend increase, with 106% and 89% quarterly growth for Q3 and Q4. A majority was spent on TV. Citibank Citigold marked a significant quarterly increase at 150%, 123% and 62% from Q2 to Q4, focused on mobile advertising.