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A subtle sea change is occurring in Latin America. According to eMarketer’s report, “Latin America Ad Spending Summary 2018,” marketers are increasingly shifting ad dollars toward mobile-first methods within a region that’s continued to maintain traditional methods to reach consumers. Likely provoked by looming presidential elections and the coming World Cup, eMarketer forecasts that total ad spending will increase by 8.7 percent, or $38.04 billion.

The region has some catching up to do. “Digital’s share of total media spend in Latin America will trail the worldwide average: 26.3 percent versus 43.5 percent,” the report said. “Latin America will under-index throughout the forecast period due to the sheer power of TV within the region, and as advertisers play catch-up with rising Internet penetration and smartphone adoption rates. We forecast digital will grow from $10.01 billion in 2018 to $14.76 billion in 2022.”

Of the digital growth, eMarketer’s report said that mobile will be segmented with the greatest amount of investment for the first time. “Mobile’s share of digital ad investment will surpass the 50 percent mark in every country in Latin America by 2020 (except in Mexico, where it reached 53.9 percent in 2016),” the report said.

As the mobile-first approach continues to thrive, the report predicted that investment levels will reach 75 percent by 2022. What’s more, the report said that mobile’s share of total media buys will nearly hit 14 percent this year and will secure almost 26 percent by 2022.

Given the scale of marketing in the region, this stands to be a profound sum. “On a global scale, Latin America is the fourth-largest ad market and will account for 6.1 percent of worldwide media ad spending this year. We expect paid media will rise to $44.35 billion by 2022,” the report said.

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