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Case Study: How Far East Hospitality stretched its dollar

Background

Singaporeans are all too familiar with stress, no thanks to our hectic lifestyles.

The middle class today are termed the sandwiched generation as they bear high cost of living in Singapore – bringing up their kids, maintaining the family car, big mortgages and caring for their aging parents. This leaves little spare cash and planning time for a much-needed weekend escapade.

While their relative education and jobs would afford them a fairly comfortable lifestyle in other countries, they are having a tough time in expensive Singapore.

We saw the potential to swing the situation into a marketing opportunity for Far East Hospitality’s suite of hotels.

Aims/Objectives

Far East Hospitality’s suite of hotels provide all-encompassing staycation experiences at reasonable prices. From offering spa and movie tickets at Rendezvous Hotel Singapore to outdoor activities vouchers at Village Hotel Katong/Changi, we provide opportunities for invaluable bonding time between loved ones at the best quality and location for the same dollar.

Yet, we are rarely Singaporeans’ accommodation of choice for spur-of-the-moment weekend jaunts.

Our aim was to engage this sandwiched generation. Ruled by plain old hard-nosed practicalities, they are capable of identifying and coming up with inventive ways to manage their finances effectively.

Strategy

Given this insight of the sandwiched generation, our idea was to give them a platform to share with others in the same boat on how they creatively stretch their dollar amidst today’s rising cost of living.

We asked them this – “How do you maintain your ideal lifestyle, at a low cost?”

Most importantly, we wanted to express our empathy with their relentless fight against rising costs and gift them well-deserved weekend staycations packaged pragmatically for today’s discerning traveller.

The best time to reach out and trigger responses is when they are en-route to work. During their morning commute, they plug into their go-to radio station as a form of escapism from the reality of the work day ahead. Radio was our key media driver that allowed us to connect with listeners.

Execution

Our campaign, named Stretch Your Dollar, was executed with Radio at its core.

Our audience was asked to share the different ways in which they creatively make every cent count:

–       We got listeners to SMS in their Stretch Your Dollars ideas and here is what we got: from flushing the toilet after everyone in the household has peed to crossing the Johor-Singapore Causeway for weekly grocery shopping to only purchasing electrical items with four ticks, Singaporeans surprised us with their honesty and resourcefulness.

–       We had LIVE Banter Segments where DJs read out their favorite ideas from listeners and created conversations with useful assets given by fellow Singaporeans.

–       We rolled out Open Talk Segments to leverage on the DJs’ strong clout with listeners. The DJs were invited to our hotels for a weekend getaway and they shared their personal staycation experiences LIVE on-air.

–       We pushed out Customized Capsules and trailers at high frequency as a form of reminder in the lead-up to our daily SMS segments – ensuring our hotels receive top-of-mind awareness among listeners.

–       We magnified our hotel offerings through Integrated Social Media presence. We got DJs to feature their staycations on Instagram and showcase listeners’ post staycation experiences across the Kiss92 Facebook Page.

Midway through the campaign, we brought agile marketing into play when the Economist’s latest report (which reported Singapore as the most expensive city in the world) started trending across social networking sites. We influenced the DJs to weave this timely topic into their Open Talk Segment, tying it back to our stretch Your Dollar proposition.

Results

Our campaign delivered 576 room bookings, a 123% increase vs. past year, translating to $116,000 in revenue. This was driven by:

  • 600 SMSes from Singaporeans sharing their ideas
  • >300 corporate enquiries, a 1400% YOY increase
  • 63 new Far East’s rewards program members subscriptions, a 530% YOY increase

The above interest showed how Stretch Your Dollar has taken off in the right direction, Singaporeans are now considering our hotels as their staycation of choice.

The writers are Renee TC Tan, director and Xiangyi Goh, associate manager of Starcom MediaVest Group Singapore.

 

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