Optimism in Economy Recovery Affects Digital Ad Spend for 2021

Along with the implementation of vaccine to tackle the pandemic, people are more optimistic to the recovery of economy, and professionals expect that there will be acceleration in digital ad spending. A recent report of Hong Kong Advertiser Association (HK2A) collaborated with Nieslen told.


Report reveals a dramatic increment of online shopping of Hong Kong in 2020. Hong Kong people consumed 2.5 times online more than offline per time in average, with the value per consumers 52% from 2019 to 2020. Meanwhile, 75% of respondents believed business opportunities can be backed in 2021 with the availability of vaccine. 

Outlook of Ad Spend in 2020


Despite the ad spend of 2020 reported a year-on-year decline of 18%, the digital ad spend were recorded an increment in 2020 with a total of 2%. It occupied the total amount of ad spend from 32%→40%! 59% respondents agreed that the rise in digital innovation was the most crucial business strategy under COVID-19. Thus we believe that more budgets will be shifted from offline to online and companies will employ more creative advertising strategies such as digital out-of-home (DOOH), augmented reality (AR) ad, etc.

Ad Budget Forecast in 2021 vs 2020


With the faith of business opportunities can be backed, the digital ad spend is expected to 5 points year-on-year in 2021 to 64% and budget on paid social/social network will obviously 5.3 points comparing to 2020. We believe that putting more resources on social network such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or WeChat will be the common practice in 2021 when it comes to digital advertising. Alike the insight of iMedia Insider on March, social network is definitely an ideal platform to drive conversion. 

That’s why it is time for you to start using social network to drive more potential customers and sales!

Among all media choices (online & offline), 89% respondents granted that paid/social network, video ad, content collaboration, KOL and paid search are the top channels to spend on. Only 21% respondents agreed that TV is their primary choice among the offline media, which is 27% less than the primary choice of online media (paid social/social network). We assume that the ad spending on digital is going to keep accelerating in the upcoming future.

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Survey also shows that brand building and customer earning are still the major goals for companies to achieve in 2021. Digital advertising including social network, video ad and content collaboration might be the most effective channel to drive sales and generate lead. And fortunately, the silver lining seems to gradually appear and the business opportunities are likely to take off again.

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