After a series of consecutive blog posts about Myanmar, Yangon – Myanmar, rising among Southeast Asia, Myanmar – Rising, Exciting and Ever Changing and Changing…. and finally, 27th SEA Games 2013 Myanmar Nay Pyi Taw, I was really looking forward to post on something else, but this Channel NewsAsia article caught my eye with specific reporting on Myanmar’s advertising scene. Full details including video interview in the Channel NewsAsia link:

Boom in advertising expenditure in Myanmar – Channel NewsAsia
POSTED: 26 Dec 2013 15:37
With the recent entries of many international brands, advertising expenditure in Myanmar is growing by leaps and bounds. Last year, it increased five-fold to some US$118 million, and by the end of this year it is expected to be US$180 million.

YANGON: With the recent entries of many international brands, advertising expenditure in Myanmar is growing by leaps and bounds. According to a local research firm, five years ago advertising expenditure was worth just US$24 million.

Last year, it increased five-fold to some US$118 million, and by the end of this year it is expected to be US$180 million.

The advertising scene is quickly changing with the creativity in foreign competition, which is in turn firing up the attempts of local companies in this fast-changing market.

 Renowned international brands like Coke and Unilever are the latest advertising game changers in Myanmar.

 Myint Zaw, president of Professional Marketers Association, said: “In 2010, you’re advertising because you want to be known. But now it’s a need to engage with consumers to get your business. So for local companies’ advertising, they need to be more creative, more innovative and more alive. Only then they can make differentiation and only by differentiation, they can make their market share more sustainable and gain some growth.”

Television advertisements currently take up the lion’s share of the market, followed by newspapers. It is likely to stay that way for some time to come.

Thurein Nyein, MMRD Research Services’ general manager, said: “Television can reach the Myanmar consumers across the country because the print media like the weekly newspaper or the daily newspaper might have limitation. Television can reach at least 80-90 percent for national TV or at least 20 percent of the total population for the regional TV.

“For social media, it is just at the picking-up stage… usage is coming up. Compared to the last two years, young people and adults have just started using Facebook. But we still do not see too much of advertisements on social media at this moment.”

Advertisements selling cars and financial products will also be the next growing trend in Myanmar as such products cater to consumers with rapidly growing spending power.

With few media outlets in the past, companies had limited opportunities on where to advertise and how to market themselves.

But that has since changed because the Myanmar government has liberalised the media sector, allowing for more newspapers as well as TV channels to operate.

Companies will also now have to be more focused on where they want to advertise and who they want to target. This means an ad that works in Yangon may not be suitable for those living in the other parts of the country because of different tastes, needs and lifestyles. – CNA/xq