Current affairs

Concerns about the political use of influencers【Digital Advertising Market in Indonesia】


Government departments' budgets for influencers increase

According to corruption watchdog ICW (Indonesia Corruption Watch ), the budget spent on influencers from 2014 to 2020 amounted to Rp.90.45 Milyar ($650 million yen), but the process of selecting influencers and allocating the budget is unclear, so It has been pointed out that the effect is really worth the amount of money.

The budget for influencer marketing is increasing, but the selection process and budget allocation are not well explained, so the cost effectiveness is unclear.It seems to be effective for overseas tourism PR, although domestic PR may have a problem with marketing stunts.They thought that if they hire BTS, they will get a flood of tourists from Asia at once, but the price is 10 million dollars.😲…

The current size of Indonesia's digital ad market is about 400 billion yen, which is about one-fifth the size of Japan's market, which is over 2 trillion yen, but this is in line with the ratio of Indonesia's GDP of $1 trillion to Japan's $4.9 trillion, and the fact that the difference between the two countries' GDPs in 2011 was 10 times greater than that of Japan's, and that digital advertising is now Considering the rapid growth since about 2015, the gap between the two countries is expected to close rapidly in the future.

Currently, the focus of digital advertising is on traditional listings (search-linked ads) and sponsored ads, but influencer marketing, which spreads information about a company, product, or service through influencers who have a large following on social networking sites such as Instagram and Twitter and have a significant influence on people's purchasing activity, is becoming increasingly important.

Nowadays, Instagram is the main social networking site for Indonesians, but when Facebook exploded around 2008-2012, I was convinced that Indonesians have a very strong sense of community, with a "friend of a friend is a friend" mentality and a strong sense of loyalty to follow a charismatic leader.

The bottom line is that the country has a high level of online diffusion, and it is said that a Japanese digital advertising start-up that is expanding into Indonesia, where the Internet population by 2020 is said to be 170 million, after China's 850 million and India's 560 million. Perhaps the biggest focus is the influencer marketing agency business, which connects companies with influential Indonesian or Japanese influencers among Indonesians.

While most Indonesian ministries allocate budgets to influencers and are expected to complement government public relations in a language that is easy to understand, even at the grassroots level of the public, while there is an engagement rate as a KPI for measuring the effectiveness of non-commercial government advertising, it's hard to explicitly show conversions, such as the number of inquiries or orders received, so it's inevitably easy to get criticized for its effectiveness.

The downside of influencers' use of politics

Other than the opaqueness of the selection process and budgetary allocations of who to select, and doubts about the effectiveness of the selection process, what has been identified as a problem is the danger of the government educating the public with arbitrarily manipulated information, and in order to prevent influencers from being used as stealth marketing, it is necessary to ensure that the labeling and disclaimers are clearly identified as government advertising so that the public can correctly identify the subject of the advertisement.

During last April's presidential election, Mustofa Nahrawaldaya, who is also a social media activist (Pegiat media sosial) for the Prabowo campaign social media activist (Pegiat media sosial), was arrested for violating the Information and Electronic Commerce Act and other charges for spreading fake news on Twitter, and the foot-dragging by fake news rather than information warfare was so blatant that the term Hoaks (Hoax in English) took hold in Indonesia.

The suggestion that the political use of influencers could risk leading democracy in the wrong direction could be an easy target for the media and the opposition to attack, so the regime is actively allocating money to the tourism industry, where the use of influencers is more explicitly in the national interest.

A large sum of money of Rp.72Milyar has been taken as Indonesia's tourism promotion budget to rebuild the economy after the Corona pandemic, which includes influencer commissions, promotion and referral costs for tourist destinations, but advertising fees for famous foreign artists are generally high, and in the case of South Korean group BTS (Bangtan Boys), which is immensely popular in Asia, at Rp.139.3Milyar, Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Wisnutama has stated that it is an amount that Indonesia cannot afford to pay.