Marketer’s guide to the economic slowdown in Asia Pacific

A study by Starcom and Mediavest in partnership with YouGov, a global research company summarises what brands need to do during a downturn, and in particular this one. The study was conducted online, interviewing 8,000 people in 7 markets: China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Australia.


  • 78% of people in APAC see the slowdown in their home countries.
  • 43% are concerned but not directly affected.
  • 24% are deeply worried and have taken actions.
  • 70% believe this slowdown will last 1-2 years.
  • 50% say this is just the start, bigger impact to come.

What’s different from the last global recession?

Much like the last global recession, volatility heightens contrasts between-and-within markets; as wells as breeds creativity in ways people cope. But there are strong differences in comparison with the last global recession:

  • This slowdown is more complex – political tensions will make for a slower recovery for at least 4 out of the 7 markets studied- Malaysia, Hong Kong, Australia and Thailand)
  • Millennials are less worried about the slowdown, but the most stressed.
  • Mobile is the key differentiator this slowdown as it equalises access to information; gives new expressions of social coping; turns Staycation into Screencation, and cocooning a potentially more pleasant experience.
  • Categories are at risk as people opt for trade-offs over trade-downs. For now, people are reshuffling spend across categories, rather than in the categories to maintain their desired quality of life.
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The study suggests that brands have a four-pronged strategy: StarCom survey


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