Stoic Singaporeans? Thais, Filipinos and Indonesians 3X more likely to respond emotionally to video ads, finds study

Audiences in Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines are three times more likely to respond emotionally to an ad than audiences in Singapore, research from programmatic advertising firm Unruly has found.

Emotional responses to online video ads; source: Unruly

Emotional responses to online video ads; source: Unruly

According to data gleaned from 750,000 consumer responses to video ads, Singaporeans underscore Thais, Filipinos, Indonesians – and the global average – across every emotional score, including happiness, warmth, amazement, exhilaration, inspiration and pride.

Happiness was the most prevalent emotional response to video ads in Singapore, but was recorded at a rate 36% lower than the global average.

Emotion responses to video ads in Singapore; source: Unruly

Emotion responses to video ads in Singapore; source: Unruly

People in Singapore are only half as likely to share a video because of social motivations, such as self-expression or opinion seeking, than those in other APAC countries, the study also found.

The demographic in Singapore that is most likely to feel inspiration, warmth, pride and exhilaration from watching a video ad is men aged 45 and over, which is quite different from the rest of the world, where they tend to be one of the least emotional groups.

From a selection of video ads (see chart below), BBH’s ad for United Overseas Bank, ‘Our values define us’, launched in September last year when the bank rebranded, elicited the most emotional responses among Singaporeans, particularly warmth, inspiration and happiness.

Two ads by TBWA for Singapore Airlines, including ‘The lengths we go to’, elicited a high degree of pride among Singaporean viewers, although the airline has come in for criticism for losing some of its lustre over the years.

Airbnb’s ‘Welcome to Airbnb’, also by TBWA\Singapore, which won Ad of the Year at the Mumbrella Asia Awards in March, elicited a strong sense of happiness among viewers.

How Singaporeans responded to 10 video ads

How emotional responses to ads in Singapore break down; source: Unruly

How emotional responses to ads in Singapore break down; source: Unruly

In the Philippines, men aged 45+ was found to be the least emotional group, and – like in Indonesia – men and women aged 35-44 were the most emotionally responsive to video ads.

In Thailand, as in the Philippines, women aged between 35-44 were the most emotional demo, and 18 to 24-year-olds were the least emotional.

Unruly’s chief commercial officer for APAC Phil Townend said that – off the back of research released in April that found that 90% of internet users in the region would consider using ad blockers – it was difficult to blame people from reacting against the online advertising by blocking them.

“Every day, consumers are bombarded with poor quality, over-targeted intrusive ads slowing down their user experience,” he said.

Data from Unruly shows Southeast Asians to be far more likely to share commercial content, and serve as brand promoters, than anywhere else in the study, which included the US, UK and Japan.

Emotional responses to ads compared

The data from the study came from Unruly’s Future Video Lab, which has just launched in Singapore, the company’s APAC headquarters.


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