The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) — the government branch responsible for developing the tourism sector — sees a causal link between the quality of the island state’s customer service standards and its attractiveness as a tourism destination. Traditionally, STB had relied on an annual traditional advertising campaign to promote and encourage better quality customer service. But it was increasingly felt that to effectively address the underlying issue of lack of respect for the profession and enable the sector to attract motivated, young Singaporeans, more of the same was not going to cut it.
The reality TV-show ‘Can You Serve?’ provided the solution by turning the prevalent misconception that ‘everyone can do it’ on its head. After successfully influencing the public’s attitude to the sector in its first year, STB was intent on increasing viewership even further for the second season. To do so and also stimulate public debate, it needed to make the content even more relevant and get people actively involved on the topic of customer service. To this end, the agency created the World’s First Digital Tip Jar – a Facebook-powered device where the public could ‘Like’ their favourite service establishment to give a tip in the ‘real world’. For the show itself, it took the content to the next level with added tension and drama allowing it to captivate the public.
Viewership on TV and online debate trumped the success of Season One and Singaporeans went out of their way to ‘like’ the establishments that had provided them with exceptional service. The show’s Facebook fans increased by 400 per cent from 2,983 to 15,164 fans.
Volkswagen wanted to fight its way into the premium SUV league — with the new Touareg — at a time when overall demand was shrinking due to more stringent government regulations. In this environment, the premiums were not about to let a volume brand muscle its way onto their turf. While the premiums carved out positions that portray their target as elite emperors of enterprises, VW took a different view. It saw them as more conquistadors of capitalism. The Touareg driver is boss and daddy. He is tough minded and thoughtful. He cares about the destination as much as the road that gets him there.
The idea was the position the Touareg as an SUV that takes you way off the beaten path in real comfort. From this positioning, the agency developed an integrated campaign, the heart of which is the story of a successful photographer who journeys out to Xinjiang, 2,000 kilometers from his home of Beijing to discover this rugged land, its colourful people, himself and the power and comfort of the Touareg.
The campaign saw a 20 per cent lift for the entire SUV category over the previous year. Moreover, VW hit its own internal target, outpaced the category with a 40 per cent increase over the previous year but also engaged a much broader demographic.
For the past two years Surf had been losing brand awareness and market share to a local and heritage brand, Lix/Vi Dan. Particularly concerning is the decline in brand awareness and perceived value throughout the Mekong Delta. In October 2011, Surf re-launched its whole range and introduced an anti-bacterial variant with the goal of improving the brand’s perception of value for money. The re-launch also featured Surf with the stronger and more tangible benefit of having a longer lasting fresh and clean scent. The team was tasked to communicate this to the consumers and improve Surf’s awareness and attribute scores.
Identifying a unique insight about the media habit of the target market (housewives, the primary purchase decision-maker) led the team to a novel communications strategy, which featured the creation of a branded game show for housewives (a first for a detergent brand in Vietnam). The branded game show aptly named ‘Surf: Vo toi la so 1’ (My Wife is Number 1), allowed the brand to engage the target market and communicate the key product benefit in a different and unique way: only Surf can offer better value-for-money with its longer lasting clean and fresh scent.
Since the launch of the branded game show in October 2011, Surf’s score in our key attribute area ‘great clean for less’ increased by 33 per cent in just two months of airing. Surf was also able to arrest declining purchase shares in Mekong Delta. In addition, ‘Surf: My wife is number 1’ continues to gain in popularity among viewers and has becomes the highest rated show in the Mekong Delta, surpassing even the leading drama series.
Unilever foods and beverage brands like Knorr, Planta, Lady’s Choice and Lipton already have strong awareness and popularity. However, most people tend to use these brands only for festive season cooking. The issue thus was not to increase awareness, but to increasing frequency of usage amongst its core audience of Malay mothers. Given Malaysia’s strong food culture and pastime to dine at stalls and restaurants, consumers have not been exposed to ideas on how to use these brands in daily recipes, thus limiting product purchase during festive occasions. As one of the premier marketers in this category, it became Unilever’s responsibility and opportunity to convert the occasional user into regular and loyal users, thereby increasing purchase frequency and growing brand sales.
Insights of the target audience’s media habits and preferences revealed a love for programmes suitable for family viewing, such as game shows and reality series. Coupling this knowledge with insights of their affinity for humour and local celebrities, the agency created Malaysia’s first ever game show with a cooking theme. This original content took the audience by storm through its integrated TV and retail approach at a major hypermarket and a leading restaurant.
The programme consistently ranked in the top five shows during peak Friday television hour in Malaysia. It also created a lot of buzz in the digital world, organically earning thousands of fans on the Dapur Selebriti Knorr Facebook fan page. Fans engaged by sharing photos, videos and comments. The activation achieved its goal with immense success, reflected in audience’s demand for Season 2. In addition, Knorr sales at Giant outlets all over Malaysia grew by 61 per cent.
Sunsilk has always had a close relationship with young Malay girls, resulting in 26.5 per cent market share in Malaysia. But, it was a crucial goal for Sunsilk to sustain engagement with young Malay girls in order to counter competition’s aggressive advertising and price cuts. Sunsilk also concurrently aimed to increase their penetration amongst this core target. Unfortunately, current global Sunsilk TVC commercials did not relate to young Malay girls, making it difficult for us to achieve this goal. It needed to create a layer of local communication that would emotionally engage and resonate with our core consumer.
To do this, it married two insights. The first was that young Malay girls loved drama, entertainment and celebrities. The second was that many of them dream of showcasing their talent, but rarely get the opportunity. From these insights, we created a combination reality-drama series that reflect our target’s own personal aspirations of making dreams come true, thus creating an emotional engagement they can relate to. Sunsilk identified a local Youtube talent, Melda, a girl with great talent but who lacked the opportunity and confidence to chase her dreams. It worked with the top shots of the local industry to give her an opportunity of a lifetime. Thus, ‘Gadis Semasa Sunsilk’ or ‘Sunsilk’s IT Girl’ was born. Melda played herself on the series. Her real life story and experiences were captured on camera, making it unlike any other typical drama programmes. The series was featured on TV, supported by print and social media. ‘Gadis Semasa’ blurred the line between drama and reality, capturing the imagination of the audience and emotionally engaging with the core consumer.
‘Gadis Semasa’ communication reached out to over 1.6 million Malaysians. Melda gained over 40,000 Facebook fans within two months. Her fans were constantly engaged and interested in the happenings of her life, exposing the audience both to the programme and to Sunsilk, the brand that made it possible. As a result, Sunsilk penetration amongst the Malays increased, while value spend amongst Malays was also boosted.
This case demonstrates how ‘Coca-Cola’ and its agencies regained relevance in a highly competitive beverage market. The power of the first name and the world’s most iconic brand brought people together and re-united Australians with the idea of getting together over a ‘Coca-Cola’ soft drink. A key market challenge was that a plethora of competitors provided alternative solutions that tapped into the heartland of ‘Coca-Cola’: being consumed when people come together, connect and share a good time. Fickle teens and young adults admired the big, iconic summer campaigns of the past but unfortunately the strong brand health figures did not translate into product sales. Generally, teens, young adults and household Shoppers were buying ‘Coca-Cola’ less frequently. The brand set out to re-unite Australians with the idea of getting together and sharing a good time over a Coca-Cola. It wanted people to consume the product, not just to love the brand. The idea should have mass appeal with a focus on 24 year-olds who have not had a ‘Coca-Cola’ for over a year.
The idea was to print the 150 most popular Australian names on bottles to remind Aussies not only of those people currently in their lives, but also people they may have lost touch with, and give them a reason to connect. And thus, our ‘Share a Coke’ campaign was born. The campaign aimed to quickly become social currency among family and friends. The brand therefore had to listen to what consumers were doing with the campaign in order to be able to surprise, to keep the campaign’s momentum up, and spark some further conversations. The campaign launched across the biggest weekend in Australian sport. To fuel media buzz, personalised ‘Coke’ cans were sent to local celebrities who invited their network of fans to connect and ‘Share a Coke’. Radio and social media channels such as Facebook were also used to achieve mass participation.
Sales transactions across bottles and cans of ‘Coke’ grew by three per cent and volume increased by four per cent. Reversing the trend in the declining sparkling category of -0.7 per cent during the wettest Australian summer since records began 111 years ago. And an astonishing five per cent of Aussies have started to enjoy ‘Coca-Cola’ again when getting together to have a good time. The campaign marked a reawakening of a life-long relationship with the world’s most iconic brand.
When IBM faced a stiff sales growth target, it decided to ‘think different’ and leverage paid media to drive earned and owned media consumption through the creation of content. The task was made more difficult with the dramatic increase in the complexity of what we were selling. From simple data-center messages, it now had to explain and sell a highly sophisticated software and consultancy portfolio — providing business transformation through data analytics, technology, connection and integration. This required more space and time with the target audience to effectively explain and sell the offering.
In effect, IBM handed the ‘mic’ over to experts to talk on their behalf, stepping away from the creation, control and ownership of content but instead engaging via the participation of their experts in these conversations. They did this through the Open experiment programme, a new engagement approach that built strategic partnerships with media properties in Australia, China and Singapore to develop bespoke content platforms across a number of key IBM priority topics.
The Open Experiment massively saw the target consumers spent 2,387,756 minutes with the content. To achieve this using a traditional media model it would have needed to massively increase its media budget. The brand was talked about through social media interactions.
Over the last 10 years, Volkswagen’s once-formidable first mover advantage in China had been usurped by the likes of Mercedes and BMW, who were offering a more seductive blend of swagger, style and performance. The goal of the People’s Car Project was to restore Volkswagen’s leadership image in the minds of Chinese drivers, and make Volkswagen once again the most talked about, admired, and innovative car brand in China.
The People’s Car Project, an integrated campaign and social platform which asked a simple question that had never been asked before: “What kind of car do you want?”. It tapped into the imaginations of Chinese car drivers in a way that unleashed a torrent of public creativity around car design. Over 10 million people visited the site, submitting over 95,000 designs for future cars. Through crowd-sourcing, co-creation, and with massive social media amplification it engaged millions more people, generating over 92 million brand impressions. The project introduced the Chinese driver to a new world of possibilities, where cars can be truly designed and built by the people, around their own needs and experiences. Instead of designing cars for the people, Volkswagen was seen to be now designing cars with the people.
Even with limited media budget the agency increased unaided, top of mind awareness by 8.3 per cent well ahead of Mercedes, BMW and other ‘image’ based brands. Social Media programmes alone generated over 92 million brand impressions. The programme awareness of 54.9 per cent well exceeded even Coca Cola’s BOS programme, which had 41 per cent awareness.
M&M’s is a global brand known for its fun, irresistible image and personality, and especially its ‘spokescandies’ Red and Yellow. Unfortunately that same success has not been replicated in China, due to inconsistency in marketing and advertising support since its launch in 1990. As the brand looked to 2011 facing a still young chocolate market and bigger budgets from players like Dove and Ferrero, M&M’s needed to find a way to create its own space in China, something that only M&M’s could own.
The solution was to bring the witty personalities of Red and Yellow to China’s fun-loving, celebrity-conscious youth. So in essence the brand became celebrity managers, with its celebrities in this case being Red and Yellow. It got them their own TV segment on Entertainment Live, as hosts interviewing entertainment celebrities. They communicated with their fans through their own Weibo microblogs. Their fame rose quickly. The agency staged an ‘escape’ for them, using their sabbatical to release clues on video sites and their Weibo for their fans – the celebrities they interviewed and China’s youth alike. All of these fans participated in a search of their whereabouts, helping persuade them to come back via an on-the-ground celebration at the final destination.
The results were beyond any ‘fame’ expected — jumps in ‘unique’ and ‘distinct’ image 10 percentage points to 60 per cent and increase of ‘fun’ brand attribute by another 10 percentage points to 25 per cent. To top it off, it all equaled to sales — M&M’s saw a 94 per cent increase in sales value over the previous year.