July 09, 2013

In Latin America, where web use is still well below levels in more developed markets, those who go online see the internet as an important source of information, including for finding out about new products and brands. A March 2013 survey conducted by Ipsos OTX and Ipsos Global @dvisor found that the web ranked as the No. 1 place where Brazil’s internet users found out about new products and brands, at 80% of respondents—12 percentage points ahead of TV advertising.

In Mexico and Argentina, the web came in second by this measure, still cited by a significant 72% and 68%, respectively.

Factoring in social network sites only boosts the power of the internet for introducing web users to new brands and products. In Brazil, this was the No. 3 source of new product info. Consumers in the country reported a higher likelihood of finding out about new products from social sites than directly from friends and family.

In Mexico and Argentina, countries with a slightly lower percentage of social users among the online population, social networks were cited as a source of new product info by 43% and 45%, respectively.

While there are a variety of online sources where consumers might find out about new products, digital ads, in particular, see a high level of engagement in the major markets in Latin America.

When it came to online ad-related activities, approximately half or more respondents in Mexico, Brazil and Argentina said they had watched a commercial for a brand or product online in the previous month. And more than one in five web users in both Mexico and Brazil clicked on a banner or pop-up ad—an activity that consumers are generally fairly resistant toward. In Brazil, one-third of web users had performed this activity in the month prior to the survey.

eMarketer expects digital ad spending to rise 31.5% in Latin America this year, reaching above $4 billion. Based on consumer engagement with online ads and info, this seems like money well spent.

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