With India’s government reported to be considering a ban on more Chinese apps, advertisers are having to re-evaluate their media strategies, says a WARC Trends report.

And not just in India: when a major media outlet like ABS-CBN in the Philippines is shut down, it’s clear the media landscape is about to enter a period of volatility that advertisers must be prepared for. (For more, read the WARC Trends report: Changing channels: The impact of media shutdowns in Asia.)

Brands that have successfully leveraged TikTok in India – such as skincare brand Clean & Clear, whose campaign racked up 15.6 billion views, e-commerce portal Flipkart (8 billion views) and Perfetti’s Center Fruit (4.3 billion views) – will need to figure out if their TikTok audiences can be replicated on platforms like Instagram Reels, Roposo or Chingari.

For now, the challenge for advertisers is figuring out if the new platforms have accumulated sizeable enough audiences for it to be worth their while to spend money.

While many of the platforms claim they have been able to get many users to download these apps – one of India’s homegrown short-video apps Chingari says they have hit 2-3 million downloads a day – until they demonstrate sufficient user engagement, the platforms are unlikely to draw advertisers.

Creators also remain sceptical about these platforms, saying that they don’t have the technical sophistication and deep pockets of Bytedance, TikTok’s owners.

Meanwhile, In the Philippines, where television accounts for nearly 75% of the US$3bn ad spend, the impact of the shutdown of ABS-CBN on advertisers’ reach is massive – it’s like removing 50% of the reach, according to media experts.

Many viewers in rural areas, who relied on ABS-CBN’s free-to-air TV and radio programs were suddenly left media-dark. The immediate beneficiary, of course, was the rival GMA and GMA News TV networks, where advertising increased by 44% and 38% in the week following the shutdown, according to Kantar.

In the short term, the report suggests, one might expect advertisers to engage with their audience more through owned media, reviews on e-commerce sites, and look for ways to boost their presence on established social media and content platforms. 

Sourced from WARC