SINGAPORE: Internet users in South East Asia are more engaged with online advertising and marketing activities than their counterparts elsewhere around the world, a study by Nielsen has found.

The research firm revealed 73% of connected consumers in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam agreed they had been influenced by standard ad formats on social media websites.

Totals on this measure hit 95% in Vietnam and 83% in the Philippines, declining to 53% in Singapore, lagging behind the other countries assessed.

The global average here stood at 60% according to Nielsen, suggesting that web users in South East Asia are more receptive to this form of advertising.

Scores in South East Asia climbed further, to 80%, when social networking ads incorporated "contextual" elements, such as if one of their friends was shown to be a "fan" of the brand concerned.

Meanwhile, 74% of the panel in the same region thought targeted ads based on prior browsing behaviour or purchases increased relevance and "made their lives easier", compared with 58% worldwide.

Ratings on this metric again peaked in the Philippines, on 83%, and Vietnam, on 82%, Nielsen's figures demonstrated.

To date, 69% of web users across the Asian nations featured have "liked" a brand or company on a social media site, once again reaching a pinnacle in Vietnam, with 79%, and the Philippines, on 75%.

Malaysia and Thailand exactly matched the regional norm, while Singapore and Indonesia both logged 61%, ahead of the global average of 52%.

The study also reported consumer-generated reviews are among the types of content commanding the highest levels of confidence in South East Asia, with 54% of the sample trusting this material "somewhat" or "completely".

David Webb, Nielsen's regional managing director, advertising solutions, APMEA, argued social media is largely becoming mainstream in the area, meaning the opportunities for brands are growing rapidly.

"Today's users of social networking sites in South East Asia are increasingly turning to social networking platforms to seek advice or recommendations, get discounts or special offers, or actively recommend products or brands," he said.

Data sourced from Asia Media Journal; additional content by Warc staff