New products give Uganda’s aertising spend slight lift

Globally, aertising expenditure is estimated to grow at 5.7 per cent in 2014, more than twice the rate of the previous year based on new figures from eMarketer. It is also projected that a total of $545.4billion will be spent this year, up from $526.2 billion in 2013 given the specific 2014 events such as the FIFA World Cup in Brazil and the Common wealth games, not excluding the general trend for increased digital Adspend as more people spend more time on digital devices, particularly mobile phones and tablets.

According to Ipsos MediaCT, majority of the traditional media share of aertising revenues was affected by budget cuts in 2012 to13 but radio remains a key touch point for the aertiser registering an average Adspend of about 60 per cent of the overall spend per year. With its powerful reach, higher accessibility figures and engagement levels, radio will reign supreme in Uganda and East Africa for more years to come.

The fast half of 2014 reflects an Adspend increase of only 1 per cent ($105m) as compared to 2013 same period which recorded $104.8m in Uganda. This marginal increase was driven by aertising around World Cup event(s). This event spurred a 120 per cent growth in Media spends mainly driven by Pay TV aertising.

Government media investment, Social marketing and corporate partnerships all together registered the highest jump of 23 per cent followed by the beverage sector that saw a sharp increase, despite cutbacks from traditional big spenders like Pepsi and Coke.

Critical to note here is the fact that the much anticipated World Cup did not yield the needed boost in the aertising sector because the telecom companies which are the known top spenders did not participate much. This could have been due to the timing of the matches that inhibited larger audiences for the games in Uganda and probably the infringements on the patent rights that came with the publicity of the event.

Competitive industries
Communications, Breweries and Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCGs) were among the highly competitive industries in the country, forcing them to spend huge budgets for marketing their services and products.

According to the Ipsos MediaCT top spender reports 2010 to 2014, telecoms dominated the four top positions in all the East African countries. This was closely followed by government (under the category corporate and Multibrands), Breweries, Soft drinks companies and then the Financial sector. Communication in general recorded a 22 per cent slump in aertising investment over 2012.

Closure of companies like Broadband and cutbacks from Orange Telecom contributed to this double digit decline. The AirtelWarid merger was the major highlight in this sector in the last nine months of 2013 but it came with huge cuts in marketing and aertising budgets. Emphasis was then placed on tactical campaigns aimed at boosting the awareness of the merger and subscription base. These campaigns were played in form of price subsidies and product freebies.

The declining performance of 2013 could also be partly explained by the merger of AirtelWarid Telecom. The two had independent budgets prior to 2013 and this was scaled to a single one budget in the third quarter of 2013. Media Monitoring the Ugandan aertising sector was previously on the decline despite a steady growth in the years preceding 2011. Uganda’s aertising industry picked up and registered an upsurge of 44 per cent from Shs264.5 billion ($143m) to Shs524.7 billion ($206m) between 2010 and 2011 mainly driven by the telecom price wars and promotions from the beverage sector specifically the soda categories.

2012 witnessed aertising campaigns from Government and several stakeholders who joined Ugandans to mark 50 years of independence. The celebratory spending however did not spill over to 2013. Aertising moved from Shs577 billion ($226m) to Shs563 billion ($221m) signifying a drop of 34 per cent in growth in that year.

2014 will be more or less like 2013 as the industry is still experiencing budget cuts and with no hope of budget boosters from new product innovations. Key aertisers are pushing social media, employing channel and experiential marketing strategies in a bid to create customer intimacy.

The writer is the audience research, marketing and communications manager at Ipsos-Uganda.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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