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DBS Bank creates content studio, outlines eco-friendly brand ‘purpose’

DBS has launched an in-house content studio named DBS Sparks Studio. In a press statement, DBS said “the studio is aimed at serving as an interactive space for communities” be it internal staff members or social enterprises or public interest groups. According to DBS, the studio is designed in a way that it a “studio by day, communal hub by night”.

When asked by Marketing if this was an indication that the brand would be making a bigger push into content this year with the launch of Sparks Studio, Karen Ngui, head of group strategic marketing and communications at DBS Bank said the studio marks as a “first” for the bank.. She, however, shared that the bank is working on season 2 of DBS Sparks at the moment.

The first edition of Sparks was launched in August last year. Meanwhile, at the press conference DBS also shared its initiative to “Recycle more, Waste less” by working with tech vendors to reuse and reduce packaging for its electronic items. In line with Chinese New Year, the bank has also opted to eliminate the use of plastic wraps for its Chinese New Year red packets, and will also be utilising recyclable cutleries and paper cups. DBS also created its calendars from sustainable wood and paper.

DBS first launched its “Recycle more, Waste less” eco-movement in 2018, in conjunction with its “Live more, Bank less” ethos, to encourage Singaporeans to reduce the consumption of single-use plastics. Over the course of this movement, the bank partnered with the Singapore Environment Council and four supermarket chains in December 2018 to launch a campaign to reduce plastic bag usage among shoppers. This resulted in DBS distributing nearly 30,000 reusable bags.

Meanwhile, it also introduced a hybrid metal cutlery shaped like a spoon and a fork at either end named “DBS Sporks”. The DBS Sporks were distributed across restaurants and food centres across Singapore over a span of 50 days. Singaporean Olympian Joseph Schooling, who has a three-year partnership with the bank, championed the cause while making an appearance at one of the eateries. As part of its eco-friendly efforts, DBS also rolled out a six-week campaign with over 200 staff volunteers to drive awareness on recycling among employees. According to the bank, the campaign resulted in approximately 70% more trash being sorted for recycling.

Ngui said that the bank’s aim with “Recycle more, Waste less” is to shift how the public collectively views recycling and conservation and bring about positive changes in people’s attitudes and behaviours.

“At DBS, we believe we have an important role in helping to build a more sustainable society for future generations. Together, we can become a more socially conscious society through small, simple and easily achievable lifestyle changes. We believe these everyday actions can result in significant long-term benefits for our island state,” she added.

Meanwhile, according to Kantar’s Purpose in Asia report, consumers in Asia want brands that engage in social issues – provided these are the causes that matter to them personally. According to the new report from Kantar, 90% of consumers in the region and 86% in Singapore want brands to get involved in the issues they care about, meaning that an authentic brand purpose is now an expectation as opposed to a bonus.

Aligning with the issues that matter to consumers also makes business sense. 53% of people questioned in Singapore said they were more likely to buy brands aligned with their views, and a similar number (48%) said they would be happy to pay ‘a little more’ for brands with sustainability credentials.

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