#MarketingExcellenceAwards MY 2020 highlight: AIA's bid to reverse-engineer adtech sees spike in traffic

Armed with its brand promise to help consumers lead "Healthier, Longer, Better Lives", AIA Malaysia has always adopted creative ways to educate and encourage Malaysians to adopt healthier lifestyles. In 2020, AIA Malaysia looked to help Malaysians improve their sleeping habits with its campaign  "AIA Knows When You Are Sleeping, AIA Knows When You Are Awake". 

AIA Malaysia's campaign was inspired by the fact that many Malaysians had high mobile usage and poor sleeping habits. Tapping onto the expertise of its media agency Invictus Blue, the insurance company managed to get more Malaysians resting well through ad tracking and programmatic technology. The campaign, which saw great success, also impressed the judges at A+M's Marketing Excellence Awards 2020, and resulted in AIA bagging the gold award for the category “Excellence in Programmatic Marketing”. 

Challenge

As part of its brand promise of “Healthier, Longer, Better Lives”, AIA Malaysia wanted to use media as a push platform to improve the well-being of Malaysians.

While impressions, clicks, click-through rate, cost-per-click, views or view rate are common measurement metrics when it comes to digital advertising, AIA wanted to steer away from that, and use ad tracking technology to produce tangible good instead.

Aside from understanding the key digital media deliverables, the team also sought adtech tools to measure the digital consumption patterns of the Malaysian online population. It then wanted to use the data to push the right messaging to users, and encourage them to live healthier, longer, better lives.

Strategy

Malaysians are getting increasingly mobile-centric with audiences spending at least six hours a day online. Hence, it is not surprising that mobile has been the last screen they looking at before going to sleep. Additionally, according to the study by the Malaysian Healthiest Workplace Survey in 2019, nine out of 10 Malaysians working adults suffer from at least one form of sleep disorder or another.

With mobile being the device that Malaysians are most connected to, the team at AIA realised that it can reverse-engineer its run-of-the-mill third-party ad serving technology to monitor Malaysian’s digital activity.

By tracking a user's mobile device ID and digital usage pattern, the team can accurately identify users who are consistently sleep-deprived by measuring the time between their last and first mobile usage touch points, and the amount of ad impressions they have been served throughout the night. Its strategy, then, was to combine the power of ad tracking and programmatic technology to remind audiences to get enough sleep for their activities next day.

Execution

Every time an ad is served from an ad server, it receives a unique bid request from the mobile device. AIA then reversed the process to correlate the volume of bid request sent by unique mobile device IDs and mapped that against their activity level.

Audiences were analysed carefully based on their activeness by looking at the bid request from their mobile devices between 11 pm to 4 am. This indicates that users are still active on their mobile during these hours. Using data for the past three months, AIA was able to categorise users into three key segments: mild users (served one to five ads), moderate users (served five to 10 ads), and severe users (served more than 10 ads). AIA then catered different ads to the various segments.

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AIA also analysed the time difference between users’ last ad impression and their next ad impression to identify people who have less than the recommended seven hours of sleep. It then programmatically uploaded these device IDs as custom audience segment and were hence able to actively reach them.

For this audience segment, AIA pushed ads at night that reminded them to sleep early or that it is time to sleep. The next day, AIA remarketed banners which pull users to articles that discuss the importance of sleep. Both approaches ensured maximum viewability of AIA’s campaign.

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Results

Over a period of four weeks, AIA’s campaign saw significant improvements in the quality of sleep for moderate and severe mobile users.

A total of 184,208 individuals (28%) from the severe users group moved from severe to moderate. Additionally, a total of 145,332 individuals (34%) of the moderate users group reported a reduction in digital activities online, as well as a significant decrease in their Last Activity Time from an average of 4 am to 3 am.

Meanwhile, the mild audience group reported to have the highest engagement (12% higher) in AIA’s sleep banners as compared to the other target groups.

On its key campaign page, AIA’s traffic to site showed an uplift of 34%, with AIA health product related pages showing a significant traffic increase of over 200% (from 23,000 average pages views to 73,049 page views) compared to previous AIA Vitality campaigns. Further attribution also showed a positive impact on bottom line by successfully generating up to 2,058 leads (with 500 leads as the initial target set by client) that had been passed to its agents for acquisition purposes.

AIA Malaysia’s first-of-its-kind experimentation with ad serving technology to track quality of sleep has yielded further interest beyond the Malaysia borders with other AIA market currently exploring the possibility of implementing this in their respective market.

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