Advertising Industry in Nepal (History, Present Context and Online Trends)

What do you think is the scenario of the advertising industry in Nepal?

Everyone knows that the advertisement has become a major business in Nepal. Channels keep on changing, but the advertisement is always there.

Since every business needs sales to sustain their business and earn profits, they keep on reinvesting a part of their profits into advertising.

Before we discuss the ad market in Nepal, let’s discuss what advertising is.

What is Advertising?

Advertising as Google dictionary defines it as the “the activity or profession of producing advertisements for commercial products or services.”

I would like to quote a sentence from a book named “Ogilvy on Advertising”. Here the author writes – If I make an Ad, I don’t want you to say that you find it creative. I want you to find it so interesting that you actually buy the product.

At the heart of advertisement is “SALES”.

Increasing sales is not the only goal but it’s the most important goal of advertising. Sales is what makes a company sustain its profitability.

There are sometimes when “Sales” is not the core objective. Huge corporates still advertise even when their sales are escalating. They do it for “Branding” purpose. Even the well-established brands need nurturing or else they may vanish.

Advertising is reaching the target consumer using the best channels.

Does the Advertisement really appeal?

Our world is filled with advertisements.

A single individual is surrounded by ads immediately after s/he wakes up. Whether you open Facebook feed or read a newspaper, everywhere there are ads.

Advertisements are just everywhere.

Companies invest millions of rupees to be in front of you. But do these ads really appeal to the people – your target audience?

In order to answer this question, every brand needs to understand their objectives and goals to advertise. Why do you want to advertise? Is it to increase revenue? Or to create awareness?

A survey that Advertising Association of Nepal (AAN) did among 50 people reveal that Ads highly influence their decision if those Ads are good.

According to the article from AAN, “The ad statements hang on the mouth of the consumers if it’s interesting but the survey shows that it doesn’t force them to buy the product.”

Although Advertisements does not seem to benefit the company’s sales immediately, they really affect consumer’s subconscious mind.

People literally speak those ads years after it has stopped running.

This is especially true in case of children when they grow up, as the words and pictures start to sink into their subconscious mind.

If the advertisement has been carefully designed to sink into the mind of your target audience, then it helps the brand more than anything else.

A Brief History Of Advertising in Nepal

As with every country, Advertisement started out in the form of print advertisements. Nepal’s advertisement was printed on the cover page of the book – “Mokshashidhhi” in the year 1919 B.S  The Ad was about another book.

However, the second advertisement was found printed only after 26 years in 1945 B.S. This time it was the advertisement of the monthly magazine named “Gorkha Bharat Jiwan”.

Not much had been developed in the advertising sector during those years. The first commercial advertisement is believed to be published in the year 1984 B.S in a publication called “Gorkhapatra”.

Gorkhapatra - First Commercial Newspaper Nepal


The newspaper was the only medium to advertise about businesses. Due to the lack of industrialization and economic development, newspapers were either supported by political parties or the government.

This industry did not see many changes until 2017 B.S. This was the time when first advertising agency was started named “Nepal Advertisers”. At the time, businesses had 2 major options for mass advertisement:

  • Newspaper
  • Cinema Halls


Needless to say, only businesses with huge spending budgets got chance to put the advertisement in Newspaper and Cinema Halls.

After 1990 (2046 B.S) private media were in the path of development, Nepal saw the rise in the volume of newspapers, FM radios, and television channels.

After that, numerous channels have emerged as an ad medium. Some of them are print, radio, TV, DTA (Digital Theatre Advertisement), digital display, hoarding boards, online portals and so on.

The Present Scenario of Advertising Industry in Nepal

Today, there are more than 120 agencies registered with AAN. Around 10-11 are believed to be big Ad agencies which have capacities to invest in audio, visual and …… ads.

According to the AAN, these are the sectors which dominate the Ad market today:

  • FMCG products,
  • Consumer Electronics,
  • BFIs,
  • Educational institutions and consultancies,
  • Automobile,
  • Construction materials and equipment,
  • Tourism and Hospitality,
  • Real Estate and Housing
  • Telecommunications and Internet services


The print medium is still the most invested channel today with Rs 240 million being spent on print in Fiscal Year 2015/16.

Online Portals and Social Media today only form 5% of the total ad market share.

Technology has been at the heart of the advertisements in today’s advertising condition. For instance, TV commercials used to have little or no graphics in the past Ads. Today, however, TV commercials with the higher level of animation are being broadcasted.

2015 was a bit disturbed year for advertising because of the earthquake and blockade. However, after the end of the blockade near February, advertising began to rise and recover.

Type of Ad Agencies

All four types of Ad agencies are active in Nepal. These types are:

  • In-house agencies
  • Creative boutiques
  • Media Buying Agencies
  • Full-Service agencies


Learn more about the type of Advertising Agencies.

Quality over Cost

Many Ad agencies have faced huge competition and work by a low margin. This way, they are only able to focus on absolutely necessary work which degrades the overall quality of the service.

I think it’s time to focus more on quality than cost because quality work takes time and effort and clients understand that as well.

Future of Advertising – Online Marketing Trends in Nepal

The future surely is digital marketing.

Many companies today have realized the power of online marketing. That’s the reason professions like SEO and content writing are in huge demand.

As I have already mentioned, digital Ad spending covers just 5% of the total Ad market. Nevertheless, this will increase as big agencies and corporates start to invest hugely on the internet as well.

Even the print media like Kantipur have their online counterparts. [like ekantipur .com]

Since most of the consumers today hang out online, businesses have no other options than to be online and advertise online. This is the world where SEO and social media rules.

Most Consumers want content today. Those brands which create meaningful content will win in the imminent future.


Now, I want to know from you.

How do you find the situation of advertising industry in Nepal? Please let me and our readers know about it in the comment section below  👇