#MarketingExcellenceAwards 2020 highlight: People's Association bridges gap between the young and old with digital tools

The People's Association (PA) Wellness Programme is a multi-agency effort fronted by the Active Ageing Council to reach out to Singaporeans and PRs aged 50 and above to engage in programmes and activities to be mentally, physically and socially active. Its aim is not only to achieve a mindset change but to see a change in behaviour where more seniors adopt healthy lifestyles in a sustained manner, resulting in more people enjoying a healthier lifespan and higher quality of life.

In a bid to bridge the gap between the elderly and the youths in Singapore, PA worked with Zoo Group to deliver a two-phase digital campaign. The campaign got approving nods from the judges at Marketing Excellence Awards 2020, and PA was awarded the bronze award in Excellence in Marketing to a Specific Audience.

Challenge

Aware that the number of seniors living alone in Singapore is going up, PA found that frequent interaction and emotional support are key to prevent vulnerable seniors from being lonely or suffering depression. PA also found that there is a misconception that all senior citizens are boring, weak, and frail. It thus wanted to correct such common misunderstandings to bridge the gap between the young and old in Singapore.

However, despite having news coverage stating that seniors are slowly transitioning online, most seniors are still not tech-savvy. Apart from that, seniors, in general, are also harder to reach and communicate with. The language barrier and a messaging’s tone and manner might be some of the reasons.

Another challenge that PA faced was that traditional marketing can be pretty expensive and for it to be effective, companies are expected to buy more ad spaces to increase its reach, resulting in even higher cost.

Strategy

To shift the mindsets of the seniors and the younger generations, PA planned a two-phase strategy. Phase one was to create content that could potentially change the mindsets of the seniors that they can still remain active despite their age. Concurrently, it also aims to target the younger generations whom assume that seniors are all boring, weak and frail. For the campaign to be more cost-efficient and to maximise reach, PA also decided to bring the campaign digitally for the second phase.

The campaign started in June 2019 where the videos and key visuals were officially launched for PA Active Ageing’s anniversary and roadshows. Social media and digital kick-started from July to September 2019.

Phase One

Through its big idea of “Spend your life Living”, PA produced a series of videos that embodies the notion that age does not matter when we live life to the fullest. The series has three films that capture real success stories of three seniors through the eyes of three youths. Each youth featured expressed their experiences with one senior through their talents/ hobbies (vlogging, illustrating and photography). By linking a youth to an elderly, PA showed how relationships can be formed between the young and old, and how young people can be pleasantly surprised by the lifestyles of our seniors.

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Phase Two

To further amplify the reach, PA created a three-month long digital campaign specifically targeted at the younger generation (aged 16 – 49) to be the change catalyst to seniors within their families to live and age well.

The overall concept revolves around the “me” myth, where younger generations are perceived to be self-absorbed and entitled. It looks to debunk the myth and show that regardless of what decade they were born in, everyone should be seeking to understand and support each other.

Additionally, to show that seniors can also be good with technological know-hows and fitness regimes, PA leveraged on its Active Ageing Programme to unite both generations, where the younger generation can support their loved ones, and where the elderly can live their lives to the fullest.

PA and Zoo Group looked to leverage on digital platforms - YouTube ad buys, programmatic display and SEM, and also social media – Facebook and Instagram, to reach out to the younger generations throughout the campaign duration. They also engaged key opinion leaders to tap onto their large followings and be the voices needed to drive the campaign.

Execution

An overall strategy was created to ensure that the engagement and reach are maximised as much as possible and that the proposed KPIs have been met. To ensure that the posts created are relevant to the target audience, content pillars are created and used as a guide when developing various posts. A monthly content calendar was also created to ensure that we are not posting too many contents per month, leading to content fatigue.

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PA also ran monthly Page Like Ads to grow a community of like-minded people who would be interested to participate in Active Ageing programmes. In the long run, this would potentially help PA in increasing the number sign-ups to their programmes as they will be reaching out to the right target audiences.

Since most of the campaign contents are posted on Facebook, Zoo Group used various digital platforms to lead users who are on different online pages back to Facebook. It created two banners that are targeted to two specific groups – youths and PMEBs. These banners are also strategically placed to ensure we capture the right audiences. Additionally, it also trimmed down the three campaign videos to be used as YouTube ads.

PA also leveraged on Google’s SEM to reach users through Intent-Based Targeting. SEM is used to create awareness and reach out to families living with seniors when they search for key terms related to seniors’ topics/ interest. This is the perfect opportunity for the ads to be present when users search for related keywords.

Results

At the end of the three-month campaign, the overall number of page likes, page reach and engagement for the page has increased significantly and surpassed the set KPIs.

In terms of engagement, users are more likely to interact with posts that have easier mechanics. Posts that require more effort such as uploading a photo does not perform very well.

The digital ads have also been optimised and performed well, and programmatic display ads concluded with an overall 0.17% click-through rate (CTR). Despite a slightly lower number in September in comparison to August due to the shorter run time, the CTR still remains above the industry average. Comparing the two banners, the ones for PMEBs performed slightly better which is a possible indication that these audiences resonate more with the ads. Mobile-sized ads also performed the best with the highest CTRs across both variants.

YouTube concluded at a consistent 62% view rate and a low SG$0.01 click-per-view. The campaign also saw a high 95% completion rate - users who viewed the video were inclined to finish watching the videos, indicating that we have reached the right audience as well as have engaging content that resonates with them.