#LEAwards 2020 highlight: Huat Manulife did to win gold for its 'Nom-bassadors'

Having been providing financial advice, insurance, and wealth management solutions for 130 years, Manulife is no stranger to innovative ways to reach its consumers. Last year, its April Fool's marketing stunt went viral when it changed its handle to @mrsfortunetellersg, and seamlessly merged insurance with fortune telling in a large-scale event. This time, it nabs the gold award for Best use of advocates and the silver award for best engagement strategy for B2C at MARKETING-INTERACTIVE's Loyalty & Engagement Awards 2020 for a campaign that ran on a mobile phone. 

Looking to cut through the clutter and hopefully get Singaporeans conversing about insurance, Manulife became one of the first brands in Singapore to deliver a mobile interactive artificial reality (AR) game experience to its consumers with its Chinese New Year (CNY) campaign. Here's how they did it.

Challenge

No one likes talking about insurance, and this is especially so during CNY. Thus, the brand sought to find a way to cut through the clutter and engage its audience in an interactive and fun way.

Strategy

Since audiences on social media are notoriously fickle and have short attention spans, Manulife knew it needed something fresh and innovative to capture their attention. The insurance also knows that CNY is a time where everyone loves to feast but doesn’t want to put on excess weight. Hence, working with agency Bread Butter Bacon, Manulife launched a mobile interactive artificial reality (AR) game experience titled “Feast of Huat” to allow its target audience to “chomp” on CNY goodies without gaining calories. With its campaign, the insurance brand wanted to target three different target audiences: the Chinese Singaporeans, the non-Chinese Singaporeans, and the regional Chinese from regions such as Southeast Asia and China.

Execution

To amplify its communications to the various communities, Manulife decided to engage the help of influencers across the region. These key opinion leaders (KOLs) were carefully selected based on the demographics of their followers, and their sphere of in­fluence. Naming them as Manulife’s “Nom-bassadors”, the influencers include Allan Wu, Wendy Cheng (Xiaxue), Ebi Shankara, Alan Wan, Patricia Mok, Sylvia Chan, as well as the cast of local film Ah Boys to Men.

Separately, Manulife also tapped on its pool of insurance agents to spread the word about the campaign. By tapping on this freely available and valuable resource, the company was able to optimise its limited budget to amplify the campaign. Manulife mobilised each and every one of its 600 agents to become its amplification ambassadors.

Additionally, two days before the official launch, Manulife organised an inter-agency organisation contest to let its agents get their hands on the game. The game was a huge hit with its agents, garnering over 80% participation rate from its agency organisations, with many of them submitting multiple entries to try to beat the score.

manulife 1.5

The experience enabled its agents to enthusiastically promote the game, and also helped them to answer any queries their customers had. Once the game was released to the public, Manulife’s insurance agents were mobilised to spread the “HUAT”, by sharing the game with customers and encouraging them to play.

The game took o­ff on social media, as Manulife customers vied to beat the top score. At the end of the campaign, Manulife rewarded its top scorer with a SG$800 cash voucher, while nine other winners were given SG$20 worth of vouchers.

Results

Over the 16-day campaign period, the game was played 50,469 times, with a whopping 2400 plays during the fi­rst day of launch on CNY eve. Despite launching the campaign during the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak, the campaign was overall well-received and produced impressive results.

In two weeks, Manulife saw 49.5 times increase in impressions, 39.8 times increase in shares, as well as over 400 new followers gained on both its Instagram and Facebook channels.