Did you know that South Korea is one of the biggest advertising markets in the world? They spend over $10 billion annually on advertising! And, even during the COVID-19 pandemic, their online video ad spending has increased.
South Korean brands are always on top of the latest trends in the global sphere. They've undergone a massive digital transformation, which can be seen in their advertising habits.
The internet is huge in South Korea! In fact, in 2022, 97.6% of the population are internet users and 92.0% are social media users. Brands are always trying to keep up with the latest marketing trends, and that means social media platforms like Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram are the preferred channels to launch their campaigns.
While online channels are all the rage these days, it's important to note that advertising in South Korea still makes use of good old-fashioned offline channels like broadcasting, outdoor advertising, and print.
If you're looking to capture the attention of South Korean consumers, you'll want to stay up-to-date on the latest advertising and marketing trends. Lucky for you, we've got a list of the top trends from 2020 that are still relevant in 2023! Whether you're a marketer, advertiser, or brand owner, these insights are sure to help you drive conversions and make a splash in this dynamic market. So, let's dive in and take a look!
Advertising Trends in South Korea in 2020 ⬇️
1. Broadcast Advertising Market in Korea
Data from KOBACO, Chart Made by AJ Marketing
The broadcasting advertisement market has seen a dip in size by about 5.7%, which is roughly $193.6 million, across all markets. The biggest drop is seen in traditional media channels like TV, Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB), and radio.
Terrestrial television is a type of television broadcasting in which the television signal is transmitted by radio waves from the terrestrial or Earth-based transmitter of a television station to a TV receiver with an antenna. Other platforms like satellite broadcast of Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) saw noticeable yet not-so-drastic changes.
In addition, after 20 years, the overall trend of broadcasting media has been on the decline as more companies choose newer and more effective methods of advertising- such as using artificial intelligence and influencer marketing.
2. Online Advertising Market in Korea
Data from KOBACO, Chart Made by AJ Marketing
The internet is a medium that just keeps on growing! In fact, online advertising expenditures are estimated to have increased by 11.5% (around $670.4 million) in 2020 compared to the previous year. And, the upward trend is expected to continue with an estimated growth of 9.4% in 2021.
Mobile advertising in particular showed a sharp increase every year, and as of 2017, it has surpassed the advertising cost of internet advertising. This can be attributed to the fact that more people than ever own smartphones in South Korea.
Smartphones are rendered almost useless without applications, and the applications that we use cleverly monetize our usage through heavy exposure of paid advertisements. It was estimated that in 2020, mobile advertising will reach about 3.2 times that of internet advertising, and about 3.4 times by 2021.
3. Outdoor Advertising Market in Korea
The outdoor advertising market has taken a bit of a hit, with expenses estimated to decrease by a whopping 21.2% (about $241.1 million) in 2020 compared to 2019. Outdoor advertising market is the media most affected by COVID-19 as less people spend time outside. With more people staying home, lesser money was spent towards advertisements that are visible in public areas, such as subway stations or freeways.
Besides outdoor advertising, entertainment advertising decreased by 55.2%, which was estimated to decrease by more than half in 2020. Entertainment advertisements include product placement, celebrity endorsements or event sponsorships.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, there have been far less opportunities within this sector to advertise in. However, with lockdown restrictions slowly beginning to lift and in-person events being introduced again, entertainment advertisement was expected to recover.
4. Print Advertising Market in Korea
Print advertising seems to be losing its luster. In fact, advertising expenditure in the print market decreased by 5.0%, which is roughly $106.8 million, in 2020 compared to the previous year. It's been a slow and steady decline over the past decade, so this drop in market size wasn't exactly a surprise - even with the added economic challenges brought on by COVID-19.
5. Gender Distribution of Employees in the Advertising Market
Have you ever wondered about the gender breakdown of employees in South Korea's advertising market? It's an interesting topic to explore! Just like in the US and other western countries, men seem to dominate this field.
There are a total of 25,082 advertising workers in the media, and it was surveyed that there are about 10,000 more men than women. By media, newspapers have the largest number of workers, followed by magazines and outdoor advertising outlets. Generally speaking, advertising is a male-dominated field in most countries, including South Korea. However, more women have been entering advertising and PR field in the past 5 years, and the trend has been steadily increasing.
Advertising trends in South Korea have changed over the decade due to digital transformation and the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the size of the broadcasting advertisement market appears to have decreased significantly, online advertising has taken its place as more and more people spend their time online. Mobile advertising, in particular, has seen a huge success for many brands.
The outdoor advertising market is expected to make a recovery as the COVID-19 vaccine rolled out in South Korea in February 2020. For other markets like print advertising, the trend continues downwards.
South Korea is a major consumer nation, and for any brand wanting to make expansion in Asia, this country should not be overlooked.
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