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Southeast Asians Like Ads on Social Media Sites

2 minute read | August 2011

David Webb, APMEA Region Managing Director of Advertising Solutions, Nielsen

Social media sites are some of the most heavily visited and used sites on the Internet. Users of social media are among the most coveted for advertisers,  yet online ads are still largely under-represented in terms of their percentage of total ad spend. As more and more proof of the effectiveness of online advertising comes to light, however, advertisers are beginning to take note. In Southeast Asia for example, recent Nielsen research indicates that consumers are highly influenced by online advertising — much higher than the global average. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of SE Asian consumers said they were “highly” or “somewhat” influenced by web site advertisements on social media (compared to 60% globally). That number rises to 80 percent when ads have a social context, such as indicating which of a consumer’s friends have liked or followed the advertised brand.

Online ads that are delivered to consumers based on previous purchases or other web sites visited also resonated with SE Asian consumers, with 74 percent saying they found this technique “made their lives easier”, compared to just 58 percent globally. Consumers in Philippines and Vietnam were most receptive to such ads (83% and 82%, respectively).

Nearly seven of 10 (69%) SE Asian consumers have “liked” or followed a brand or company on social media, significantly higher than the global average of 52 percent and higher again in countries such as Vietnam (79%) and Philippines (75%). Perhaps most importantly, consumer generated media (consumer opinions posted online) is now one of the most trusted forms of media among SE Asian digital consumers. More than half (54%) completely or somewhat trust consumer opinions posted online.


As consumers in the region become more familiar with social networking platforms, their levels of confidence and sophistication in using social media increase. They tend to value and trust online content as a source of information. Online advertising can offer a high return on investment in this region, provided companies know precisely how to reach consumers.

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