Myanmar advertising market and the communication is general is not very sophisticated. Being separated from the outside world, the Burmese on the one hand had no access to up to date tools and know-how and, on the other, had no so much choice on what goods to buy. The competition was just local and they were limited to either monopolistic brands or could select their preferred one from a few only.
South East Asia in definitely a very rapidly developing market. Majority of global corporations launch their products and build their brands effectively in local markets. This part of the world is far more liberal as far as regulations concerning many FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) products, especially alcohol or cigarettes. Still, many of them have a sophisticated communication basing on recent psychological knowledge.
This doesn’t seem to work in Myanmar. Traveling around the country and waiting for buses pretty often, I was exposed to very straighforward messages which were extremely directly and obviously promoted. This was an amazing experience in the very first days in Myanmar. I couldn’t believe anybody still does ads in that way.
Opening the border to multinational comapnies with their brands brought many changes. They have been subtle in the very beginning but changed the advertising world of Myanmar to a great exchange. Western products’ ads stood out and were far subtle than local ones. The world shown in the communication was different – unknown and usually better. The Burmese willingly started to aspire the new world and the products that were its tangible signs.
The Myanmar beer ads