October 28, 2014

Earlier this year, Lou-Ann Navalta of Nielsen Philippines presented the Asian Tigers – the rising middle class of Asia – to the third PANA GMM, revealing that the Philippine middle class is strengthening along with its neighbors.

Nielsen Philippines’ executive director and practice activation lead returns this October for the last PANA GMM of the year to further discuss her expertise in “The Evolution of the Pinoy Shopper”. She shares five themes now trending with Filipino consumers and in the retail environment: (1) onward to a better life, (2) practicality rules, (3) breaking from the norm, (4) the giants become stronger and (5) shoppability, not just convenience.

Goutam Mitra, managing director of Millward Brown Philippines, concludes the GMM series with another uniquely Pinoy subject, “L.E.S.S is More – Learning from the Top Performing Ads in the Philippines”.

The Evolution of Pinoy Shoppers

pan_4560“The spotlight is on the Philippines,” says Ms. Navalta.

“You see an influx of global brands coming into the Philippines. We have these high end hotels, resorts, condominiums setting up and all these new designer apparels and car brands.”

The middle class is expanding in the Philippines, which is fuelled by the OFW sector and the BPO industry, and with this growth comes new wealth. Filipinos are now spending more on non-essentials like clothing, footwear and alcoholic beverages. As the country continues to move onward to a better life, we see the travel, automobile and real estate industries experiencing the most growth.

More people are eating out and choosing to spend more on indulgences or rewards, yet the middle class remains practical. They still look out for promos to manage rising prices.

“Most Filipinos stretch their budget by constantly looking for promotions, preferring instant gratification promos,” Ms. Navalta says.

There are also more shoppers checking out new stores. Twenty-five percent say they love to try new things, compared to 15 percent in 2012, and when only 36 percent back then will buy new products, 46 percent are willing to do so now.

Because the middle class is increasingly turning to modern trade and less, for example, to wet markets, the giants are becoming stronger. Major retailers are expanding to cover all retail formats, from the super and hypermarts to grocery stores, convenience stores and pharmacies.

Filipino shoppers obviously enjoy their grocery shopping, 93 percent to be exact, while 85 percent take their time to browse all parts of the store. So they will not buy groceries online, however convenient. It’s the pleasant shopping experience that matters.

For travel and tours, clothing and apparel and tech products though, e-commerce is on the rise, indicating that Pinoys are becoming more open to online shopping.

L.E.S.S is More

pan_4581Logging in 21 hours per week, Filipinos are the second most avid watchers of TV in the world.

Even as more businesses are adopting online marketing strategies, shares market intelligence firm Euromonitor International, television remains the leading advertising medium.

People in the Philippines view 220 ads per week – the highest weekly ad exposure among 25 countries surveyed.

“In a very cluttered environment, it is not so much about the volume of the voice, it is a lot more about the particular message,” says Mr. Mitra.

“In short, less is more.”

Ads in the Philippines stand out. Mr. Mitra believes Filipino ads rise up to the challenge of a cluttered media environment. With Millward Brown Philippines, he zeroes in on four distinct characteristics that make impactful ads and resonate with Filipino viewers:

Locally resonant ads that feature strong Filipino values of togetherness and encourage personal relationships are top favorites, as are optimistic perspectives amidst real life challenges.

Entertainment is key, for fun-loving Pinoys like to be entertained while learning about a product. Filipinos also like and recall ads associated with catchy tunes.

Simplicity and straightforwardness make ads easy to follow and understand. Viewers do not receive complicated ads with multiple messages as well as ads that convey a single thought.

Show and tell, or ads that give consumers a glimpse of product experience as well as testimonials from credible brand ambassadors work well with Filipino viewers.

Fun-loving, optimistic and grounded in strong values, Filipinos are a unique TV viewing audience. The ads that connect with the Filipino identity are the ones that viewers will enjoy and remember.

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