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#MARKiesAwards MY 2021 highlight: Celcom's educational blitz for 5G

#MARKiesAwards MY 2021 highlight: Celcom's educational blitz for 5G

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Celcom Axiata’s “Celcom 5G Future” campaign clinched gold for Most Creative – Digital at A+M’s MARKies Awards 2021 Malaysia.

The telco worked with M&C Saatchi to cut through the digital advertising clutter, and figure out a gap in the 5G space that it could tap into. The campaign was a hit among consumers, especially since the team targeted four different audiences: Korean drama lovers, foodies, fitness junkies, and gamers.

Find out how the brand wowed consumers and A+M’s judges with its Celcom 5G Future campaign.


Network campaigns are very important in driving brand preference for a telco. The telco brands in Malaysia have been gearing towards positioning themselves as a provider of the 5G network. Seeing this, Celcom knew it had to step up efforts to cut through existing competitive advertising and build-up mindshare as a true provider of 5G. 

According to the telco, it was already experiencing a drop in its brand equity, especially in the areas of “favourite brand” and “top-of-mind” measurements. Being a late adopter of 5G, the telco knew this would further impact the brand’s efforts in rebuilding its brand equity.

In the race for the 5G mindshare, Celcom and M&C Saatchi noted that all telco brands focused on showcasing use cases as their core advertising campaign. For example, how 5G can be deployed commercially and be beneficial to consumers. More often than not, Celcom said these use case videos have either a corporate intonation or an infrastructure perspective. 


Celcom and M&C Saatchi managed to identify a gap left by its competitors. Other telco brands created a perception of 5G as a super technology, for example, but failed to relate that idea to people, making their understanding of 5G superficial. Hence, the telco decided to build a personal connection with its consumers by speaking the lingo within their communities. 

The potential users of 5G are mainly viewers of videos, and Celcom thought it would be a good idea to customise its message in accordance with how consumers are currently consuming digital.

The big idea – “Celcom 5G Future” – was about leveraging all these large audience sizes and identifying how best to reach them based on their existing video content habits. Hence, Celcom crafted a storyline that masqueraded the educational points of 5G that it wanted to disseminate into a familiar space that each segment was extremely engaged in. 

It created four key videos targeting Korean drama lovers, foodies, fitness junkies, and gamers. Key influencers were featured as the heroes of the videos that Celcom created to talk about 5G in a way that would resonate with consumers.

The strategy was about eschewing “tech and corporate” talk that other telco brands had embarked on, but instead communicating it in a friendly and casual manner that resonated to the everyday Malaysian.


Against the backdrop of a brand-thematic network campaign that was running concurrently on offline media, Celcom and M&C Saatchi launched the four videos in a series from late January through to early March 2020. It aimed to increase both brand love and message relevance among its target audience.

The Korean drama lovers were served the “5G Oppa” – a husband trying to educate his wife during a dramatic exchange on the additional benefits of 5G. Chef Liang educated his foodie viewers on “more than speed 5G” while exercising his cooking skills. Don, the Hitman, taught his fitness students on how to stay fit with 5G, and lastly, Chibi the gamer, who is an adored figure in the gaming world, touched on fast latency and the godsend benefits of 5G to gamers worldwide.

The digital campaign ran under the backdrop of a Celcom 5G Future OOH and print campaign – showing 5G usage in familiar situations. Mass media was used to reinforce awareness to support the digital campaign to build recall and familiarity.

After the launch of the first four videos, the KOLs invited audience members to ask and challenge them with difficult 5G questions. 

Anticipating more questions about 5G, eight more videos were created to address the questions of speed, latency, connectivity, and data volume in their respective style – keeping the audience engaged and entertained throughout. 

While different audiences might have had different questions about 5G, and required a customised approach, every channel had one purpose and that was to drive traffic back to Celcom’s 5G website. 

Built into this page was Celcom’s grand showroom of 5G usage. The telco believed it wouldn’t have been able to “bait” consumers to its world of 5G use cases without first understanding their context of digital interest. 

On this website, the consumer was able to discover what 5G technology Celcom deployed in Langkawi. What was once considered as mundane information, Celcom was able to successfully capture people’s interest via the initial four videos which led them to proactively learn more about Celcom’s various 5G initiatives.


The campaign was a hit among consumers, garnering a total of 70 million impressions, and 16 million total video views across all channels. Also, more than 600,000 individuals visited Celcom’s 5G website. 

According to Celcom’s social tracking report, Talkwalker, overall sentiment for the Celcom 5G Future campaign was positive which was mostly driven by Celcom’s social postings on the campaign as well as netizens’ sharing, along with the 5G Control Centre Demo project in Langkawi. These positive sentiments grew 40.3% during the campaign period which was a considerable uplift from the previous period.

Against Celcom’s internal benchmark of a network campaign with a higher budget in 2019, the campaign doubled the number of positive mentions. Negative mentions declined significantly by 12%, further indicating how this campaign generated greater brand love.

In measuring other forms of brand love, the campaign increased brand recommendation levels back to Celcom’s previous peak at 23%. In terms of the Brand Equity Index, this campaign, which ran throughout Q1, moved the needle upwards to be on par with the market leader at 3.4.

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