Kantar_BrandZ_2023
#MarketingEventsAwards 2021 highlight: AIA SG wins Singaporeans' hearts with #EmbracingNewNorms campaign

#MarketingEventsAwards 2021 highlight: AIA SG wins Singaporeans' hearts with #EmbracingNewNorms campaign

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AIA Singapore was primed to launch a series of integrated communications campaigns and community events when the pandemic hit. Everything had to be put on hold, including AIA’s in-person events which help build awareness of its brand promise. 

AIA was also undergoing an executive reshuffle at the time. AIA then decided to go virtual with offerings that changed according to the different stages of the pandemic the country was in. As a result, AIA saw an uplift in its overall brand power in 2020-2021. 

AIA’s ability to foster a positive outlook despite the trying times, as well as constantly monitor the pandemic, and offer help to its consumers, impressed the judges and secured it the gold award for Team of the Year (Brand) at MARKETING-INTERACTIVE’s Marketing Events Awards 2021. 

Challenge 

At the start of 2020, AIA Singapore was primed to launch a series of integrated communications campaigns and community events to empower Singaporeans to live healthier, longer, and better lives – its brand promise – from assisting with retirement planning to extending support for underprivileged families. AIA had also renewed sponsorship deals to further amplify those initiatives. 

However, when COVID-19 hit, everything had to be put on hold – business and customers’ priorities also saw a dramatic shift. AIA had to re-strategise to prove its value to stakeholders, as it faced the realities of a challenged business. For instance, AIA had to halt its regular marketing activities – especially where in-person events and its football sponsorships were concerned. 

At the same time, AIA underwent internal leadership changes, including a new CEO and a reshuffle in the executive committee.  

Tasked to strike a delicate balance between maintaining AIA’s dominant share of voice and taking a sensitive approach to marketing the brand’s products and services, AIA’s team of wordsmiths, data scientists, web and app designers, and visionaries, had to leverage existing assets and embrace a fully digital approach to achieve both objectives. 

To that end, AIA’s team wanted to empower its audience to live healthier, longer, and better lives in a remote environment, while making its brand matter above all others – amid the uncertainty brought about by the pandemic and inevitable budget cuts.  

Strategy 

Events have played an important role for AIA Singapore. Beyond engaging with target audiences, they have been an incredibly powerful platform for building a more inclusive community for enabling AIA’s brand promise.  

But it’s not enough to simply take a digital-first approach to events in a socially distanced world, as it’s typically harder to garner engagement virtually compared with in-person events. 

This time, AIA’s events approach had to capture audiences with digital-first content that optimised the entire customer journey to deliver strong results when it came to achieving business growth and improving brand health. 

While varied, every effort was driven by a clear and motivated ambition: to communicate that in good times and bad, AIA Singapore continues to double-down on its duty as a partner in life, enabling its brand promise for individuals and families in more ways than one. 

Execution 

AIA first marked its 90 years in Singapore milestone with a new green pledge of SG$5 million to NParks’ registered charity, Garden City Fund. It also organised several tree planting events in Singapore’s parks.  

AIA also launched #EmbracingNewNorms, an integrated communications campaign to help Singaporeans understand and adjust to embrace the new normal. The campaign involved a multichannel approach, ranging from leveraging social media, hosting virtual events, to launching educational online resources such as a dedicated COVID-19 web page. 

It created a united community of agents, staff, partners, and key opinion leaders, to help Singaporeans embrace new norms. The #EmbracingNewNorms campaign provided initiatives that stayed sensitive to consumer needs at different stages of the evolving COVID-19 situation, including free telehealth consultations and mental resilience training. 

Additionally, it hosted its first-ever online health and wellness event, AIA Live. It featured more than 30 unique sessions on health and wellness led by AIA’s key opinion leaders, and special guest David Beckham.

AIA’s key opinion leaders and brand ambassadors shared personal stories on how they have dealt with the extraordinary events of 2020, and shared tips on mental wellbeing, exercise, activity and rest, nutrition, and personal growth. The event garnered positive coverage from local and regional key dailies, trade titles, and consumer publications before, during, and even weeks after it was held online. 

Results 

AIA saw an uplift in its overall brand power in 2020-2021. In broader terms, AIA’s target audience now perceives the brand as one with an excellent reputation – a brand that provides them with innovative products to help them progress, and allows them to feel  they are part of something that matters. Additionally, AIA’s social media statistics showed  the campaign had reached more than five million users, highlighting its brand salience and engagement.

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