Since the emergence of local boy band MIRROR, advertisers in Hong Kong, across industries, have been dishing out big bucks for MIRROR themed ads. According to a report from Admango, the ad spend on Instagram reached HK$126 million, and recorded a 59% year-over-year increase in May 2022.
When it comes to the highest Instagram branded content ad spend (2022 Q2), boy band MIRROR had four members ranked within the top ten, of which Anson Lo ranked the first, Keung To, Edan Lui and Ian Chan ranked fourth, fifth and ninth respectively. Local singers Hins Cheung and Sammi Cheng ranked second and third.
Up until the second quarter of this year, MIRROR has been dominating the adspend in terms of ambassador’s endorsement, said Ken Cheung, digital director of KREW Digital. Not only does the band have a very positive image, but their fans are also digital savvy, which would further viral the ad creative, Cheung explained.
Greater impact on the economy
The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic since early 2020 has also dealt a significant blow to global and local economic activities. This saw the Hong Kong economy shrinking by 1.4% in the second quarter of 2022, compared with the same period last year. The continued impact of the fifth coronavirus wave, dragged the city into a recession, according to preliminary data released by the Census and Statistics Department on 1 August 2022.
Despite the shrinking economy in Hong Kong, t he fan economic circle created by boybands and other local singers has indeed boosted the entire advertising ecosystem, said Florence Kong, founder & managing director of We Glow. Kong also added that many advertisers who were once quiet due to the pandemic, have now started becoming more active again - and often choosing the route of influencers is a common one in Hong Kong.
Commenting on the trend, another individual from the ad industry speaking under anonymity said that while advertisers are more willing to spend on KOLs, there can be downsides for the agencies involved.
“The downside of this may see more marketing budgets being spent on KOLs at the expense of production budget. So even if the adspend increases, it doesn’t necessarily mean a higher profit margin for agencies,” said the source.
Does the MIRROR concert accident impact ads featuring the boy band?
Most recently, the beloved boyband made headlines when a large screen fell and severely injured one of the dancers during its concert. Not long after, companies such as Moov cancelled themed events in relation to the concert and McDonald’s Hong Kong, one of the biggest spenders on the boyband, was seen taking down its banners with the phrase “Mirror Good Show”.
The anonymous source said that the incident would definitely impact MIRROR’s ad spend, leading to a shift of ad spend to other well-known artists. “ViuTV is very likely to pause some of the artists' activities, directly halting marketing promotion plans with MIRROR of the advertisers as well. Advertisers also may not have the patience to wait for the boyband and may need to look for other celebrities or KOLs or YouTubers,” the source said.
On the other hand, other industry players believed the impact of the accident on the boy band’s image to be very minimal. KREW Digital’s Cheung said that while for the time being the campaign focus could be expected to shift from MIRROR, this would be a temporary way to avoid controversy or sensitivities felt by the public.
“By the mid to end of August, we are likely to see advertisers rolling out one or two sets of MIRROR creatives to test water," he said. If the market is accepting of these, a full launch of campaigns are unlikely to be far off. Moreover, the accident might also lower the bargaining power of MIRROR which might lure in more advertisers. “It is expected the budget would resume to normal by mid of third quarter this year,” Cheung said.
Agreeing with Cheung is We Glow’s Kong, who said t hat some advertisers might take a wait-and-see attitude. “I think as long as MIRROR members can continue to create good songs, movies and TV content, after the incident settles down, there are still many advertisers in the market who are interested in collaborating with MIRROR or local artists,” Kong added.
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