Carousell is showcasing its spectrum of products and services in its latest brand campaign for Singapore and the Philippines. The platform might be well-known for goods in the fashion and electronics sector, but Carousell also wants to highlight its comprehensive list of offerings that include home services, autos and property. Working together with 72andSunny Singapore, the campaign shows how Carousell has "every kinda thing for every kinda person" so "everyone wins". The latest campaign taps on the brand campaign both parties did in 2019 which positioned Carousell as a peer-to-peer community platform where "everyone wins".
The work runs across digital and social touchpoints for four weeks featuring diverse and incredibly human scenarios where Carousell’s community and its products and services come into play. From 3 am plumbing emergencies that require home services, to growing families bursting out of their apartments looking for properties, the campaign aims to cement Carousell as a multi-vertical offering.
The campaign was shot on-site and the team had to be flexible and plan creatively around COVID-19 restrictions, especially when the phase two heightened alert came amidst production preparation. It also had to be inventive in creating a multitude of assets for Carousell across different verticals, to maximise ROI. Both Carousell and 72andSunny pitched in as talent for some of the always-on assets, especially since they had to adhere to restrictions on numbers.
"We even pitched in to get wardrobe, talent briefings and props together because some of these talents were Carousell staff. And we definitely have some budding actors in our midst!" 72andSunny's president, Ida Siow told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE. According to her, this level of involvement speaks to the shared ownership and commitment Carousell and 72andSunny both have, plus it bonded the team and made this a fun, enjoyable production.
Meanwhile, Carousell's brand lead, Cassandra Leong, said it met with 72andSunny last year to formulate an approach even before getting into company strategy planning. The outcome of those informal discussions was actually the start of the campaign that it is launching today. As such, Leong said Carousell has "a really strong business partner in the agency".
"We would also like to think we are quite direct, both ways. We are able to give direct feedback in an immediate and respectful way to understand the why behind the outcome first. Similarly, we do not want to be overbearing and stifle creativity," Leong explained. She added that Carousell loves that the 72andSunny team challenges the brand to think sharper and beyond just marketing communications and that the teams are able to create better work from these interactions.
While Leong declined to reveal the campaign's monetary investment and business ROI, she said the campaign is targeted at Singaporeans and Filipinos who would be interested in buying or selling cars, property, home services and goods.
"The causal tone in the line - Every kinda thing for every kinda person - also reflects the person-off-the-street nature of our sellers who bring their unique offerings to the platform, and because of that, you can get fit-for-purpose solutions for everything imaginable," she added.
Siow also chimed in, adding that it says a lot when the client kickstarts the project with a three-hour-long download of the business, performance and growth trajectory rather than a campaign brief. According to her, the team works best when its client partners bring 72andSunny into not just their marketing strategy but business strategy so it is developing work that truly solves for them and their growth versus "bandaid communications". "This is what we have and value with Carousell," she added.
"Another issue we both debated was how to keep the brand essence intact even in a more 'product' or conversion driving campaign. We have kept true to the brand spirit of Carousell as a community-powered commerce platform where 'everyone wins', but brought this down to different human and life needs that Carousell provides for," Siow explained.
Evolution of client-agency relationship amidst the pandemic
The pandemic has not only evolved companies' business strategies but also relationships, including client-agency relationships. In Carousell's case, Leong said its relationship with 72andSunny strengthened overall during the pandemic. Since they have worked together previously, both teams have laid good groundwork for communication.
"We make a point to solicit feedback from each other on a recurring basis. Even if delivering constructive feedback and discussing or presenting creative work is usually best done face-to-face, we ended up figuring out other ways like more video calls, having our campaign lead and 72andSunny suit be best mates, and chatting with creatives very early on," she added.
It is important for brands to find like-minded partners who align with the "why" behind the brand, Leong said. According to her, 72andSunny are just as invested in Carousell's mission of inspiring selling and buying to make more possibilities for all. The team is also avid users of the platform and have their own serendipitous interactions within the community, which Leon said makes all the difference to the work, as they know why and who they are creating for.
72andSunny's Siow also weighed in, adding that with face-to-face meetings out of the way, it was even more important to make sure that both parties were communicating as much as possible. "We had a stellar lead in our senior brand manager Jonathan Tan, who held hands with the client so we got through the uncertainties together," she said.
To build a better client-agency relationship, she advises both parties to be partners in the truest sense of the word. "Use your agency as your business confidante, your sounding board, your ally. We love co-shaping the brief before the brief. Tell us about your business, not just about advertising deliverables. Trust us enough to share your uncertainties and crazy what-ifs, and we will do the same, so we get to great 'this is it!'s together," Siow explained.