According to figures from research agency Millward Brown East Africa, the figure represented a 32.8 percent increase in advertising spend by Safaricom, the government, PSI Kenya and Reckitt Benckiser among others.
The growth was occasioned by the introduction of new products and services, joint communication ventures and new entrants into the local market
According to Millward Brown East Africa, advertising spending is likely to go up this year as more multinational companies increase their activities in Kenya. The government is also set to invest a lot of resources in educating the public ahead of the elections.
“Despite the fact that advertising spending is going up this year, we are likely to see companies reduce advertising as the election date nears. This is because consumers’ attention will be on the election campaigns,” said Pasun Basu, Millward Brown East Africa Managing Director.
Speaking during an event themed, “Advertising that works in Africa: Realising better returns from your ads”, Basu noted that with the increase in internet penetration, companies are moving part of their conversations online.
“Online sales are also happening already, and so online advertising will be more as companies embrace social media and online media space. However, advertisers will not move away from traditional media because of the specific roles that each plays in communication in terms of reach and frequency,” he said.
A part from traditional and online media, companies are also embracing mobile phone advertising and experiential marketing which reaches out directly to the target consumers.
Basu noted that for adverts to be effective, they need to cut through for the brand and provide an efficient way of leveraging media support. It should also make a difference in the way the consumer feels about a brand both rationally and emotionally to be effective at changing consumer perception or behaviour.
“Successful advertising has to persuade which relates to sales; and for an advert to be persuasive, it needs to be seen as conveying relevant and different news which is credible,” he said.
Basu noted that great advertising comprises engagement – which is getting into the mental working space – brand association and motivation. Pre-testing an advert is also essential because it provides a huge return as it helps maximise the creative power of the advertising.