This post is brought to you by YouTube Malaysia.
Looking to build brand affinity during the competitive ad season of Ramadan and Hari Raya, Malaysiaâs Celcom launched an innovative YouTube campaign featuring both short- and long-form video content. The festive ads were released all throughout the month, netting more than 8M views and driving significant increases in sign-ups.
- Build brand affinity during Ramadan and Hari Raya.
- Drive sign-ups for product plans and special offers.
- Improve cost efficiency.
- Launched month-long YouTube campaign showcasing a unique video for each day of Ramadan leading up to Hari Raya.
- Used insights from Google about the target audience to create compelling narrative.
- Ended series with long-format âLetters from Makâ video with CTA driving viewers to microsite.
- +8.3M views.
- +337% increase in EasyPhone sign-ups.
- +30K redemptions of Video Walla offer.
- +13% lift in ad recall.
In mobile-first Malaysia, roughly 60% of the population observes Ramadan and Hari Raya (commonly known as Eid al-Fitr, the holiday marking the end of Ramadan)1. To prepare for the festivities, many people turn to YouTube as their go-to platform for Hari Raya music, traditional Malaysian recipes, and other relevant cultural content. Malaysians watched 179M minutes of Ramadan-related videos on YouTube in 20162. Thatâs 340 years of human time spent watching YouTube in one Ramadan!
As Malaysiaâs longest-standing mobile telecommunications company, Celcom has always focused its messaging on superior speed and coverage. But as the telco space became increasingly crowdedâand more competitiveâthe brand knew it needed to reevaluate âhowâ and âwhereâ it spoke to consumers.
Celcom understood that it needed to connect better with its target consumers and reshape the perception of the brand as being down-to-earthâa brand that people could connect and engage with. Celcom recognised YouTube as the best place to reach an engaged and target audience of video lovers, and it came up with an ambitious plan for its first-ever digital campaign: build excitement and develop an emotional connection over Hari Raya by releasing one unique video per day over the one-month fasting period.
Using Google insights to build a strong narrative
Celcom knew that Malaysians tend to watch videos as they prepare for sahur (the meal before dawn) and wait for buka puasa (the meal at dusk). The brand wanted to create a one-of-a-kind campaign that would connect with consumers on an emotional level, so it set out to learn more about content that would resonate with Malaysian audiences. By studying search and viewing habits during Ramadan, the brand found that Malaysians tend to gravitate toward four key values and themes: importance of family, helping others, self-improvement, and enjoying food.
Google Trends, search query trends, and viewing behaviors also revealed that:
- Zakat (tithing) and doa (prayers) are top of mind for Malaysians during the holy month.
- Malaysians also think of gift-giving during Ramadanâmore than at any other time of the year.
- Interestingly, humor plays very well during Ramadan.
- Using children (and cats) as the main subject matter can increase view-through rates.
- Malaysians tend to respond well to long-form, emotional content.
Based on these insights, the narrative structure of Celcomâs campaign was born: using children to convey funny, modern takes on the âpetuaâ (beliefs or sayings passed down through generations), which are traditionally given by mothers.
Consistent, relevant visibility on YouTube during key cultural moments
Key to the campaign strategy was not just promoting one video, but prolonging the length of engagement with Malaysians and releasing one unique video each day for a month. The brand’s goal was for consistent visibility in order to leave lasting impression on the audience and create strong associations of Celcom with Ramadan and Hari Raya.
Each day, a unique, short video appeared with the same opening and closing: a thought bubble with a modern batik design along with the title of the series, âMak Kata âŠ Petua 1,â âMak Kata âŠ Petua 2,â etc. This consistent campaign structure prompted viewers to expect a new video every day, and served as an indirect countdown to the much-anticipated Hari Raya.
The production of these shorts was intentionally raw, with the desire to capture the authenticity that children naturally bring.
While all videos had a call to action that led viewers to Celcom’s microsite, some videos thoughtfully weaved petuas with a telco’s natural role in consumers’ lives: to connect them with loved ones, especially during the holiday season.
An example of this is seen in this ad: “Mother says that if you are not able to see your siblings [for the Hari Raya festivities], you can give them a call.â The video concludes with a Celcom offering to connect Malaysians during the Ramadan season.
The shorts lead up to the longer-form thematic “Letters from Mak” which was released a few days before Hari Raya. The video portrayed a story of three sisters who each found letters from their mother with old family recipes. The letters prompted the sisters (and their cat!) to come together and cook for the Hari Raya festivities in the spirit of tradition, family, and togetherness:
Compelling âMak Kataâ content connects with consumers
The month-long campaign was a huge success, garnering more than 8.3M views (6,562 total hours of watchtime), with an impressive view-through rate of 29%. In addition to a low cost-per-view, the brand enjoyed 20.8M free impressions and more than 5,000 earned actions from additional views, shares, and likes.
This extended brand engagement lasted well beyond the month of Ramadan and Hari Raya, and even led to an increase in channel subscriptions. The entire campaign led to a 13% lift in ad recall, with the highest lift among males ages 25 to 34.
The impact of branding on business is likewise evident in the 337% increase in sign-ups of Celcom’s postpaid offering and the 30K redemptions of their 1GB Video Walla Hari Raya offering during the campaign.
âCelcom is a homegrown brand that is constantly evolving. We strive to create engaging campaigns that are relevant to our Malaysian audience. With âMak Kataâ in particular, we focused on the core theme of timeless teachings from mothers. And what better way to reach our audience than on the worldâs biggest video platform? YouTube is cost-efficient and allows us to create never-done-before, digital-first content that entices and engages viewers,â concluded Grace Chan, head of brand and marketing, Celcom Axiata Bhd.
1. âPopulation Distribution and Basic Demographic Characteristic Report 2010,â Department of Statistics Malaysia.
2. Google Internal Data, based on 2016 YouTube watchtime in Malaysia surrounding Ramadan.
This post was originally published on Think with Google APAC.