The pandemic outbreak and stay-home policies not only changed the way businesses operate; it had also caused a shift in consumer behaviour and media consumption.
As a digital agency providing consumer-centric strategy for brands, we needed to adapt to these changes and find alternative ways of working to adequately support our clients during this trying time, as many of them placed renewed emphasis on their digital footprint.
Here are a few ways how we have embraced the opportunities from the pandemic.
Adjusting to the remote working life
Similar to many other agencies and businesses, we instated the work-from-home policy, to comply with the government’s preventive measure and prioritise the safety of our employees.
Being a digital agency, we are fortunate to experience a smooth and less daunting transition to remote work as we are used to working ‘online’ with infrastructure and resources already in place that supported the change.
Virtual pitches take centre stage
As physical meetings couldn’t take place, we leveraged on video conferencing platforms, such as Google Meet and Zoom, to present our creative pitches.
Virtual pitches aren’t a replacement for face-to-face meetings, as connecting with people through a screen requires a lot more preparation and consideration to overcome situations such as technical glitches. But when done right, this form of pitching has proven to be effective as we have secured new business wins during this time.
Shrinking borders across the globe
The pandemic has normalised remote work and altered the perception of needing a physical, local presence to execute work in a different country, especially for our industry.
With digital acceleration leading to more virtual collaborations, great campaigns can still be achieved – without compromising on the quality of the creative outputs and in-depth understanding of the local markets.
Digital executions across markets
As a result, we rose to the challenge and continued producing great work for Malaysian clients as well as brands across different countries in the Southeast Asian market.
Some of our notable 2020 campaigns include:
1) Grab empowers small businesses in Southeast Asia with personalised campaign
What we did: Popular e-hailing brand Grab launched a community initiative during the pandemic to support small businesses by offering free ad space within the app. However, this meant that they needed personalised ads to showcase the thousands of merchants, appeal to the varied audience sets, while taking into consideration local nuances in different countries. We leveraged our Digital Creative Automation (DCA) service and helped Grab to produce over 7K creative assets in just 2 weeks.
Why it worked: To generate multiple digital ads in varied languages, messaging, and creatives at this scale would typically take up to 2 months of production time and require more resources, incurring additional costs. By using DCA, we recorded an 80% reduction in required resources and saved 80% in overall campaign cost.
Learnings: Creative automation is a great way for brands to tackle the challenges in achieving personalisation at scale. By understanding Grab’s challenges and automating their creative process via DCA, the campaign was a great success and drove maximum exposure for the small businesses.
2) Haier hops on video trends to foster the Raya spirit
What we did: With COVID-19 leading to the first-ever social distancing Raya celebration, we helped leading home appliance brand Haier uplift consumers’ spirits while strengthening its brand awareness through our two-pronged campaign via Facebook Live and TikTok branded hashtag challenge.
Why it worked: By leveraging on social platforms that were trending at the time, we effectively reached Haier’s target audience, the millennials, with relatable content. As most people were looking for entertainment and a sense of community in a time of increased isolation, our #AdaHaierAdaRaya executions helped foster the communal spirit of the festive season, virtually.
Learnings: In times of uncertainty, brands should be nimble and rethink their marketing strategies to ensure relevancy. One way to do this is by leveraging on trends and platforms that are suitable for the brand/target audience.
3) How Tohtonku brands stayed relevant during the lockdown
What we did: To help personal care company Tohtonku maintain its brands’ relevance and engage with Malaysians during the Movement Control Order (MCO), we executed a series of livestreams under its brands. For Ubermen and Nanowhite Men, we organised live grooming sessions as people were unable to get haircuts at the time. Meanwhile, we partnered with selected influencers to co-host educational Instagram Live sessions under its Nanowhite brand and designed a series of self-healing themed Facebook Live sessions, led by local wellness instructors under its Nutox brand.
Why it worked: Rather than hard selling the products, we angled our strategy toward helping Malaysians cope with the lockdown blues and provided a form of escape from the hard-hitting COVID-19 news.
Learnings: By adapting quickly to the changing environment, brands will be able to subtly inject themselves into trending conversations and strengthen their relevance. A crisis can be turned into an opportunity to stand out and build trust for long-term brand affinity.
While we are still working from home, we’re fully operational and available to support your digital marketing needs. Looking to expand your digital footprint? Get in touch with us.