Advertising in Singapore: 10 Advertising Trends Marketers Should Take Note of in 2024

Advertising in Singapore_ 10 Advertising Trends Marketers Should Take Note of in 2024

Are you all set for what’s next in the Singapore advertising scene? Buckle up because we undoubtedly are. 2024 is just around the corner, and we can already see some significant changes coming our way.

The Southeast Asia advertising market is rapidly growing, and Singapore, the regional hub, is at the heart of it all. In 2023, Singapore’s urban population stood at 5.92 million, with projections estimating a further increase to 6.31 million by the end of 2024.

According to the Datar portal, the 5.92 million population already includes many online users, with 96.9% having internet access. With a highly connected population, it’s no surprise that digital advertising is booming in Singapore.

Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the upcoming trends in Singapore’s advertising industry that are set to shape the market in 2024.

But first, some stats:

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  1. By 2027, digital is projected to be the dominant platform in the advertising space, accounting for 73% of the total ad spend. This shift towards digital advertising has been steadily increasing over the years, and it’s expected to continue in the coming years.
  2. Search ads hold the lion’s share of the digital ad spend. Social media closely trails them. However, the rising trend of influencer marketing has been making waves, boasting a whopping 20.7% year-on-year increase in ad spend.
  3. Advertisers are reacting to these digital trends with open wallets. In 2022, 62% of the total advertising budget (a hefty USD 1.59 billion) was funnelled into search, social, and influencer marketing endeavours. The numerical proof is in the pudding – digital is where it’s at.
  4. Users splashed out a whopping USD 400 million on subscriptions and downloads for digital media, with a staggering 51% of that amount being invested in video games alone. Digital entertainment is fast becoming a major player in the Singaporean advertising space.

10 Advertising Trends Marketers Should Take Note of in 2024

As we navigate through 2024, the advertising landscape in Singapore is undergoing transformative shifts, with numerous trends poised to reshape the industry. Let’s delve into these trends, with a particular focus on the evolving world of advertising.

1. The Surge of Generative Research

In the ever-evolving advertising landscape, one trend takes centre stage: the growing influence of generative AI on consumer behaviour.

Companies like OpenAI are at the forefront of this revolution, aiming to integrate ChatGPT into our daily lives by releasing supporting plugins for web browsers and other communication platforms.

With such technologies coming to the forefront, marketers will be able to collect vast amounts of data on consumer preferences, leveraging it to deliver highly targeted and personalised advertising campaigns.

As the use of generative AI in areas such as customer service and product recommendation pick up speed, novel advertising possibilities are likely to surface.

These opportunities could be used to target particular users with precise answers. If this technology becomes commonplace, it might raise the bar for consumer expectations. Consequently, apps and websites that don’t incorporate these features might witness a dip in relevance.

2. Evolution of Generative AI Outputs

Generative AI is set to make a big splash in advertising, taking over routine tasks and leaving brands to concentrate on the big ideas and crafting perfect prompts. Take Shopify’s new feature, Shopify Magic, for instance. It auto-creates blog content for online store owners, even tailoring the tone based on their brand voice.

Be it product descriptions or social media posts — generative AI can relieve marketers of repetitive tasks and grant them more creative freedom.
By removing barriers to marketing, generative AI can help brands experiment with a greater volume of ideas. The more they do so, the higher the chances of discovering original and effective campaigns.

However, with this comes the risk of how you will stand out in the crowded and overpopulated world of AI-generated content. One way to do this is by leveraging human insight and creativity with AI.

AI will become more nuanced, and the real challenge will be figuring out how to use it uniquely and excitingly. That’s where human imagination comes into play, helping brands infuse personality into their campaigns and stand out.

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3. Generative Optimisations of Advertising Trends

Even though generative AI offers a fresh perspective and the ability to produce content on a large scale, it doesn’t replace the need for human creativity and monitoring. As more brands turn to AI for their advertising needs, there will be a growing demand for human expertise in optimising and fine-tuning these systems.

The key here is to ensure that generative AI is not merely churning out content without any thought or direction. Human intervention and creativity are crucial to guiding AI towards producing high-quality, effective campaigns.

For instance, Google’s Product Studio, set to launch worldwide in 2024, is designed to let brands automatically generate unique scenes for their product photos.

Using straightforward prompts like “surrounded by peaches, with tropical plants in the background,” they can create multiple backdrop choices. Still, human supervision is required to select the best images and ensure they align with the brand’s message.

4. Power Shift in the Advertising Landscape

AI-powered optimisations may tip the scales in favour of the biggest ad vendors. These big players have the resources and data to train their models and integrate them into their campaign strategies.

That could make it challenging for smaller competitors. However, they aren’t out of the game just yet.

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Smaller firms can still hold their ground by forming strategic partnerships to develop mutually beneficial generative AI solutions for advertising. This way, they can level the playing field and compete with larger players on an equal footing.

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5. Homogeneity in Application Design

Back in the day, standing out was the name of the game for software applications. Each app leveraged its distinct features to carve out a market share and draw in users. For example, the ‘following’ and ‘retweeting’ functionalities of Twitter or Pinterest’s unique ‘pins’ and ‘boards.’

However, with generative AI and its ability to quickly churn out content, we might see a world of similar-looking applications emerge. That could challenge companies trying to differentiate themselves in the crowded app market.

As an illustration, think of the Spotify app, which now incorporates brief music clips that give off a vibe akin to TikTok’s scrolling video experience.
On another front, Instagram just unveiled Threads, a chat-centric application that bears a notable resemblance to X. Meanwhile, X is aiming to be a jack-of-all-trades, with intentions to fuse audio, video, instant messaging, and even financial transactions into one seamless interface.

As top-tier platforms lean towards homogeneity, we might witness a convergence in their formats. That could streamline content production for brands but, on the flip side, intensify the scramble for the most eye-catching spots.

While niche apps may debut distinctive features, it remains to be seen how many will achieve a significant user base before their features become ubiquitous.

6. Evolution of Tech Platforms: A Paradigm Shift in API Access

As we rolled into 2023, technology platforms began to adopt a more protective stance towards their application programming interfaces (APIs).

Case in point, platforms like X and Reddit rolled out new pay-to-use API plans, simultaneously cutting down on the features available in their free plans. The ripple effect of these changes was significant, prompting companies to modify or abandon features that relied on APIs.

Meanwhile, prominent news outlets like The New York Times are trying to limit AI data scraping by amending their terms of service to require written approval before using their content for AI or machine learning training.

Dentsu anticipates a rise in platforms taking defensive measures to prevent their content from being used involuntarily to create competing services and to have better control over their audience’s experience and monetisation.

Such changes could lead to novel opportunities for advertisers to effectively target these audiences and potentially pave the way for data partnerships.

7. Platforms Embrace a Freemium Approach

A conspicuous trend in the digital realm is the heightened focus on user identity, accentuated by a noticeable shift towards the freemium model. Snapchat, for instance, boasts a membership exceeding four million users who willingly pay for premium accounts. Similarly, X has introduced the option for users to acquire a coveted blue checkmark, further blurring the lines between free and premium offerings.

Noteworthy industry players, including Meta, have joined the fray by offering paid verification services on their significant platforms – Facebook and Instagram. Amidst these shifts, Dentsu Schema’s study reveals that only 55% of global organisations have a clearly defined, overarching data strategy.

This underscores the importance of companies prioritising constructing a robust data foundation and seamlessly integrating it into their marketing strategies. As platforms increasingly prioritise identity, comprehending your target audience’s preferences and behaviours becomes paramount. Crafting effective campaigns that resonate with the audience hinges on this understanding.

8. A Surge in Ad Presence on Major Platforms

Advertising remains the lifeblood of leading platforms such as Meta and YouTube. Notably, other media are witnessing a substantial upswing in their advertising revenues, exemplified by Amazon’s impressive growth, accumulating over US$40 billion within the four quarters leading up to August 2023.

The advertising landscape rapidly evolves, with prominent streaming services enticing subscribers through more affordable pricing. In response, Netflix discloses that over 25% of new users opt for the ad-supported plan when presented with the option.

This trend is paving the way for companies to explore ad-supported options, aiming to reach a broader audience and diversify revenue streams. Consequently, significant platforms are poised to experience an explosion of ads, intensifying competition for advertising dollars.

Companies navigating this evolving advertising terrain must adapt and innovate. With generative AI gaining prominence, forging partnerships, employing differentiation strategies, and maintaining a strong focus on data will be pivotal for success.

Advertisers can engage their target audience creatively in this dynamic era in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

9. Adapting to Evolving Media Landscapes: Trends in Diversifying Marketing Investments

In an era where media consumption exhibits increasing diversity, companies must recalibrate their marketing strategies to resonate with their audiences. This necessitates a discerning approach in selecting and deploying tech tools, ensuring they align with audience preferences.

For instance, a beauty brand in Japan may discover that its target demographic leans towards Twitter over YouTube. Simultaneously, another cosmetics company might unearth success through influencer marketing on platforms like Instagram and TikTok.

The landscape is evolving, and so should marketing strategies. Recognising the prevalence of cultural conflicts, 64% of Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) express concern that their media expenditures might inadvertently contribute to political divisiveness.

Dentsu Creative’s research underscores this, revealing that 81% of marketers believe brands can leverage their budgets to amplify diverse and independent voices.

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Diversifying media investments emerges as a strategic imperative for brands. Not only does it enhance audience engagement, but it also facilitates positive social change. By consciously addressing and mitigating biases in AI programs and allocating media budgets to amplify various voices, brands position themselves for enduring success in a dynamic media landscape.

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10. AI’s Intricate Dance: Navigating the Challenges of Ad Fraud

In a digital age dominated by advertising, some individuals exploit the power of generative AI to create deceptive websites, deceiving ad platforms into thinking they are legitimate. This elaborate game involves serving ads to fictitious users and siphoning some ad revenue.

Regrettably, the rise of generative AI has become a boon for scammers. They inflict substantial financial losses on advertisers by fabricating websites and generating counterfeit ad impressions.

The ongoing battle between scammers and platforms has transformed into a cat-and-mouse game, with platforms perpetually striving to outsmart their adversaries.

However, amidst this challenge, technological progress provides innovative solutions. The surge in user-generated content, while elevating media consumption, has presented content moderation challenges.

AI’s growing sophistication allows for the scalable identification and removal of harmful or fake content, easing the burden on human moderators.

Advertising in Singapore: Benefits of 2024’s Marketing Trends

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In Singapore’s advertising, the trends shaping 2024 offer many benefits for marketers. Let’s explore these overarching advantages that contribute to the efficacy and success of advertising campaigns.

Enhanced Audience Reach and Engagement

Diversifying across various media channels allows marketers to cast a wider net, reaching different audience segments. By aligning advertising strategies with consumer preferences, brands can maximise engagement, fostering a more meaningful connection with their target demographic.

Improved Personalisation for Tailored Experiences

The move towards hyper-personalisation ensures that advertisements resonate with individuals on a personal level. By leveraging data analytics and AI, marketers can tailor content to specific preferences, increasing the likelihood of conversions. This personalised approach creates a more memorable and impactful interaction between brands and consumers.

Increased Interactivity for Deeper Connections

Interactive content not only captivates short attention spans but also facilitates real-time engagement. From polls to augmented reality experiences, these interactive elements entertain and provide valuable insights. This two-way communication strengthens the bond between the brand and the audience, making the advertising experience more immersive.

Building Trust through Authentic Influencer Marketing

Authenticity is paramount, especially in influencer marketing. Collaborating with influencers whose values align with the brand fosters a sense of trust. Genuine endorsements resonate with consumers, leading to increased credibility for the brand. This trust translates into stronger relationships and, ultimately, increased brand loyalty.

Cost-Effective Content Creation with User-Generated Content

Encouraging user-generated content not only taps into the audience’s creativity but also provides a cost-effective means of content creation. Authentic and relatable, user-generated content builds a community around the brand. This community engagement is a powerful catalyst for increased brand awareness and loyalty.

Efficiency and Precision through Programmatic Advertising

Programmatic advertising streamlines the ad-buying process, ensuring efficiency and precision in targeting. With AI algorithms automating placements, marketers can optimise ad spend and enhance overall campaign effectiveness. This efficiency allows for a more strategic allocation of resources, yielding better returns on investment.

Immersive Experiences with AR and VR Technologies

Integrating augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) into advertising offers immersive brand experiences. From virtual try-ons to interactive ads, these technologies create memorable interactions. The result is heightened engagement and a cutting-edge image for brands that embrace innovative advertising formats.

Sustainability Initiatives for Positive Brand Image

Aligning advertising with sustainability practices contributes to a positive brand image. Beyond products, consumers are increasingly valuing eco-friendly initiatives.

Brands that communicate a commitment to sustainability appeal to environmentally conscious consumers and contribute to positive societal impact, enhancing overall brand reputation.

Data-Driven Decision-Making for Optimal ROI

With advanced analytics tools, measuring advertising ROI becomes more precise. Marketers can analyse campaign performance, understand consumer behaviour, and make data-driven decisions. This iterative process ensures that advertising strategies evolve based on tangible insights, leading to continuous improvement and better returns on investment.

Agility in Response to Changing Trends

Adaptable strategies empower marketers to navigate the ever-changing advertising landscape. Staying agile allows for quick adjustments based on emerging trends or shifts in consumer behaviour. This flexibility ensures that campaigns remain relevant and effective in dynamic market conditions.

The benefits of advertising trends in Singapore for 2024 converge towards a comprehensive and practical approach. From broadening audience reach to creating personalised experiences, building trust, and embracing sustainability, these trends collectively contribute to a more impactful and successful advertising landscape.

Marketers who leverage these benefits position themselves for sustained growth and resonance in the dynamic Singaporean market.

The Competition of Advertising Trends

As the advertising landscape hurtles towards 2024, the competition among technology platforms intensifies. Budget constraints fuel fiercer competition for a share of the advertising pie.

Navigating this intense rivalry demands that brands remain agile, attuned to changes in the advertising landscape, and adept at accommodating shifts in consumer behaviors.

The evolving trends in advertising underscore the necessity for brands to stay ahead by embracing diversity, addressing AI challenges, and fostering sustainability in their media practices.

In conclusion, the advertising landscape 2024 is marked by the pervasive influence of generative AI, impacting everything from consumer behaviour to content creation and strategic partnerships. Keeping abreast of these trends is paramount for marketers seeking to navigate and excel in this dynamic environment.

So, whats on the horizon for APAC marketers as we cruise into 2024? Lets dive headfirst into the transformative trends that are set to dominate the Singapore advertising scene in the coming years.

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.

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