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Understanding the Habits and Diversity of Hong Kong Consumers’ Needs are Crucial Factors
Brand Building through Social Networks are Effective Methods for Hong Kong Consumers

HONG KONG – October 10, 2014 – During World Cup, many brands spent a fortune on sponsorships and campaigns to compete for consumers’ attention. Now that the games are over, and Hong Kong audiences are preparing for other upcoming events like the Hong Kong Open Championship, insights from the World Cup provide important learnings for marketers looking to gain audience share.

The Nielsen World Cup Viewership and Purchase Behaviour survey polled 1,003 Internet respondents [note 1] in Hong Kong to understand brand and advertising campaign performance and message cut through. Conducted between July 14 and 20, 2014, the study provides insight about Hong Kong consumers’ buying decisions for different categories, such as food and snacks, non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages, personal care and restaurants.

Lesson 1: Social Media Scores With Brand Building and Driving Sales

Social network engagement captured the attention of Hong Kong respondents from brand building perspective. 47% of viewers who saw online advertisements said their perception of brands improved as a result, while 31% of viewers said to have such perception improvements towards TV advertisements.

According to the survey, nearly four-out-of-five respondents (79%) said they discussed World Cup brand advertisements through a social network, and 56% of respondents said they would spend more by watching online advertisements. Trust in online social networks is growing. Results from the 2013 Nielsen Global Survey of Trust in Advertising showed that trust in online opinions among Hong Kong respondents increased from 52% in 2011 to 57%.

Lesson 2: Identify the Gap between Reaching Audiences and Reaction

According to the survey, television commercial was the most effective World Cup advertising platform for getting audience awareness among 85% of respondents, followed by magazine (30%) and outdoor advertising including billboard and those placed within transportations (29%). However, three quarters of respondents (69%) said brand perception levels by television commercials would remain the same, and only 41% of Hong Kong respondents said they would spend more as a result of the ads.

“From a sales activation point of view, the World Cup advertising effect did not stimulate local consumers’ desire to spend more on food and beverages or apparels, mainly due to the timing of the matches,” said Eva Leung, Managing Director, Nielsen Hong Kong and Macau. “A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work anymore. Brands hoping to maximize their advertising investment at big events like the World Cup need to understand the habits and diverse needs of consumers in a cross-platform world.”

Lesson 3: Know Your Audience

According to the survey, 63% of Hong Kong respondents watched 10 out of 64 matches, and 6% of viewers watched at least 40 games. About one-out-of-five Hong Kongers (22%) are considered big fans of the World Cup, as results showed they will watch any game of interest regardless of the time it played.

Time difference was a factor for some Hong Kong viewers since most of the games were played after midnight local time. To stay awake for the games, 77% of World Cup viewers chose non-alcoholic drinks, instead of alcoholic drinks (42%). The top three favoured non-alcoholic drinks categories included: water (41%), carbonated soft drinks (30%) and lemon tea (25%).

Note 1:
While an online survey methodology allows for tremendous scale and global reach, it provides a perspective on the habits of existing Internet users, not total populations. In developing markets where online penetration is still growing, audiences may be younger and more affluent than the general population. In addition, survey responses are based on claimed behavior, rather than actual metered data.