A Glance to Different Types of Advertising in Hong Kong

It is said that good advertising could catch audiences’ attention within 8 seconds. But before starting to media plan a good advertising campaign, we may need to first understand and have a full picture of all types of advertising.  Here is a glance at different types of advertising. To give a general concept to all the newbies who are looking to buy media in Hong Kong. 

3 Main Classifications of Advertising 

classification of advertising

There are various formats and styles for advertising, we can mainly classify it into 3 major types: Above-the-line advertising, below-the-line advertising and through-the-line advertising.

Above-The-Line Advertising 

Advertising activities that reach large and non-targeted groups of people through mass media.  Examples of above-the-line advertising can be, TV, radio, newspaper & magazine and event advertising. This kind of advertising can guarantee a large audience base, hence gaining high general awareness for the brand. 


Below-The-Line Advertising

This kind of advertising focuses on activities that enhance conversion, so it has a specific target group. Below-the-line advertising ranges from billboard advertising, sponsorship, social media, display advertising or online advertising. It helps build direct relationships with potential audiences according to specific demographics. 


Through-The-Line Advertising

The simultaneous use of ATL and BTL marketing is called through-the-line advertising. These kinds of advertising activities include digital advertising, cookie-based advertising etc. They work to build brand awareness and at the same time also use personalised advertising techniques to target a suitable audience group. 

Different Types of Advertising 

types and classification of advertising

Source: AdmanGo

According to AdmanGo Media Share in 2020, the different types of advertising rank as below:

  1. Television (29%) 
  2. Mobile Advertising (22%)
  3. Social Media Advertising (14%)
  4. Newspaper Advertising (12%)
  5. Outdoor Advertising (10%) 
  6. Desktop (8%)
  7. Radio Advertising (3%)
  8. Magazine Advertising (2%) 

TVC (TV Commercial) Advertising


  • Product and Service Sales
  • Website Traffic
  • Brand and product awareness
  • Image Building
  • Generating Sales Leads
  • Public relationship


Television is an effective advertising medium for gaining sizeable audience awareness.  It has a large number of viewers and allows more creative and elaborate ads. Moving images and special sound effects can create a stronger brand image and deliver sharp messages to the audience which leave a more prominent resonance to your potential customers. 

Social Media Advertising

Types of Product Advertising - Social Media

Source: Medium.com

Social media advertising has become the leading channel for marketing due to its capacity to generate valuable data for future product development. In Hong Kong, several prominent social media platforms include Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Snapchat. Each of these platforms caters to specific target audiences and offers unique ways to engage with communities. To effectively utilize social media for your business, it's crucial to conduct further research to determine which platform aligns best with your objectives.

In Hong Kong, the most popular social media are as follows:

  • Facebook
  • Youtube 
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Snapchat

Each of these social media has a specific group of target audience with different functions or ways to run their community. You may need to further study to know which social media platform is most suitable for your business.


  • Increase brand awareness
  • Build a social community for your brand
  • Enhance Customers’ Engagement to your Ad
  • Monitor Customer Relationship and feedback on products
  • Lead Generation

Content marketing is also a significant component of social/digital marketing. It involves creating and sharing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and engage a target audience. The significance of content marketing is exemplified by data showing that companies that prioritize content marketing experience conversion rates nearly six times higher than those that don't.

By offering informative and entertaining content that addresses your audience's needs, you not only build trust but also establish your brand as an authority in your industry. This can lead to increased brand loyalty and more engaged customers. There is a lot of emphasis on content marketing optimization in Hong Kong. Advertisers need to constantly refine the ever-changing strategies in content marketing as the preferences and needs of their audience are constantly changing and the competition is rapidly growing.

Moreover, content marketing allows you to leverage various content types, such as blog posts, videos, infographics, and podcasts, catering to different audience preferences. It also fosters a long-term relationship with your audience, as it's not solely focused on immediate sales but on providing ongoing value.

Press Advertising (newspaper, magazine)

Types of Advertising - Newspaper & Magazines

Source: The Epoch Times

There are two advertising spaces for press advertising: magazine advertising and newspaper advertising.

Magazines advertise by presenting colorful creative designs with a glossy finish. It tends to play with colours and patterns to catch readers' attention. The luxurious image of the products is specifically put in certain topics of the magazine hence all readers who read the magazine are indeed highly potential customers. The advertising period for magazines is comparatively longer when discussing newspapers or television because people tend to keep the magazine for multiple readings. So there is a possible re-exposure of your ad over time if placed in a cafe or office. However, the reach of magazines is not as broad as other mass media. It is graphic-oriented hence advertisers can design images according to specific groups to have higher reader numbers. 

Newspapers are an affordable form of advertising channel with different specific formats for you to choose from. This can give great benefit to SMEs who have a tight budget. The advertisement can be published within a few days. One specific feature of newspaper advertising is its credibility, which may be an important factor if you would like to build your brand image into an authority figure. Newspapers also have a broad geographic market that could ensure a high reach to the general public. 

Display Advertising

Types of Advertising - Display Advertising

Source: HKTVMall

Display Advertising is auto-generated advertising when the audience is browsing specific information online (e.g. banner ads). It also uses image or motion short video to capture the audience's eyesight. But what are the objectives when we want to place advertisements?


  • Increase brand impression
  • Boost reach your own website 
  • Enhance Engagement between brand and client
  • Boost Sales rate 

OOH Advertising - Billboard advertising

Types of Advertising - Outdoor Advertising

Source: Adintime OOH Advertising - Mong Kok Broadway Cinema

Be it a traditional outdoor billboard or a digital motion billboard, the effect of advertising through billboards is indispensable. Besides, it could also provide you with physically the largest advertising space in all types of advertising. The duration for billboard advertising is normally 3 months and targets a specific area according to the location. For instance, if your target group is white-collar office workers, you may want to be placed in the central business district. 

Event Advertising/Street advertising

Types of Advertising - Event Advertising

Source: RedBull HK

This type of advertising format aims to promote through face-to-face interaction, by giving passengers unique experiences related to your business. This pushes the audience to be more likely to take further action. It is extremely useful for lead generation or brand awareness.

The key objectives of event marketing are:

  • Make people engage in your brand event 
  • Image building 
  • Pursue participants to know more about the product
  • Promote your product by giving gifts
  • Create a brand presence to attract sponsors, media and attendees to future events
  • Generate leads from the audience 

How Much Does Advertising Cost for Each Channel?

Cost for TV advertising

The cost for TV advertising is calculated according to the pre-emption structure. Hence, there are different spots for advertisers to choose and the ad cost is calculated according to the duration of the video ad and the broadcasting spot. Each spot (Rotational Basic, Fixed Basic, F1 to F10) has its viewership. According to the largest Hong Kong Television channel TVB, the advertising budget can be as low as HKD3,500.

Cost for Social Media Advertising

Different Social media have different ways to calculate their social media ad cost, and very often it depends on the audience scope you are choosing, the duration and the product types. The two main calculation methods are Average Cost-per-clicks (CPC) and Average Cost-per-thousand (CPM).  Here is some data for the cost of social media advertising cost:

price of social media advertising


Cost for Press advertising

For press advertising,  the price depends on the location of the newspaper and the size of the ad space. The advertising space includes the front page, inner page, A1 or even calculated by square unit. The price range can be from a few thousand to a few hundred thousand.   


Cost for Display advertising

For the online display of newspapers, the cost of display advertising is also estimated by cost per mile. For instance, the price for newspaper online displays can range from HKD150 per CPM to HKD 20,000 per week.  The average CTR for display advertising across different formats and placements is around 0.06% and click-through rate can enhance brand awareness and brand recall to facilitate loyalty of consumers.


Cost for OOH Advertising

Advertising prices for OOH depend on the location and the billboard duration. Normally, the billboard duration will be 3 weeks to a month at least. Advertising prices can be as low as HKD 29,000 per 3 weeks for an advertising place in MTR station.        








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