#LEAwards 2020 highlight: NTUC FairPrice's support for Muslim frontliners lands loyalty gold

NTUC FairPrice has become a household name since it was founded in 1973. Over the years, it has proven to place consumers at the heart of it strategy. 

During the height of Singapore's circuit breaker, Muslims across the country were also observing Ramadan. NTUC FairPrice recognised the stress the lockdown and pandemic placed on its Muslim employees. This led the brand to launch the campaign titled "Ramadan with our frontliners", which resulted in NTUC FairPrice winning the gold award for "Best Use of Content Marketing" at MARKETING-INTERACTIVE's recent Loyalty & Engagement Awards 2020.

Challenge

NTUC FairPrice wanted to lend support to the Muslim community which celebrated Ramadan during the circuit breaker in Singapore. It was also keen to show that the company understood the strenuous implications of the situation its Muslim staff and customers were facing, and that it stood in solidarity with them during these trying times by telling the stories of its Ramadan frontliners from different angles.

Additionally, at a time when on-location shooting was strictly prohibited, NTUC FairPrice insisted on using video to retain the emotional value of the stories.

Its main target audience were primarily on Facebook aged between 25 to 44. They are also community-minded and family-focused, and appreciate brands that demonstrate strong social empathy.

Strategy

To create an emotive, consumer-first campaign that shows empathy and appreciate to its Malay and Muslim frontliners during this year’s Ramadan, NTUC FairPrice moved away from the default brand-first content production values. Instead, it showcased raw first-person accounts, which was also in line with its strategic shifts in 2020 from functional to personable, tactical to storytelling, and brand-first to audience-first.

Functional to personable: It shifted from publishing tactical, promotions-driven content to adopting a tone that focused on relationship building. Its main focus was to show empathy for the situation and being more comforting and less promotional, as well as adapting to emerging consumer needs.

Tactical to storytelling: It wanted to focus on raw, emotive and truthful first-person video accounts instead of the conventional sanitised, optimistic static personality features it was putting up on social media.

Brand-first to audience-first: It shifted its message focus from what the brand wants to say to what the audience wants to hear.

At the end of the day, NTUC FairPrice’s main intention was to bridge the gap between everyday individuals in the community during the circuit breaker. Facebook, Instagram and YouTube as well as paid media targeting were used to distribute its campaign videos. To measure its performance, the team tracked a mix of operational and goal-driven measures of success, which included a weekly social listening reporting cadence, maximising reach, managing sentiment, and maintaining engagement quality.

Execution

During the heart of circuit breaker when restrictions were the tightest, the brand adopted the user-generated approach to execute the videos. Through reflective vlogs, it had frontliners tell personal stories of real struggles, love and hope. According to NTUC FairPrice, the authenticity of the stories also came through the narrative of the vlogs.

It first pushed out a brand love trailer which described the frontliners’ journey on the first day of Ramadan and how the month will be a challenge while they uphold their will to serve the community. Subsequently, the brand launched a series of videos featuring the personal stories of the challenges they face during this period as well as how they try to boost the morale among colleagues.

The campaign ended with a trailer to mark the end of Ramadan and welcome Hari Raya Aidilfitri. It rides along with NTUC FairPrice’s marketing campaign of “Discover a meaningful Raya”, which reminded the community to go back to the basics of spending quality time with their loved ones and seek forgiveness.

Results

NTUC FairPrice’s Ramadan campaign resulted in a double-digit growth in Facebook engagement, as consumers sought the brand on social for more information on its service availability. Meanwhile, the brand said that posts that directly addressed audience concerns also gained over six and a half times more reach compared to the average post reach between March to May 2019.

According to NTUC FairPrice, positive sentiment was consistent throughout the entire campaign, with consumers showing admiration and empathy for its frontliners. Additionally, the “Ramadan with our frontliners” campaign also outperformed its previous top performing campaign on Facebook, the brand said.

Not only was the campaign well-received on Facebook, it also did well on YouTube, scoring higher view rates compared to its previous top performing campaign on the platform as well.