#MARKiesAwards 2021 case study: foodpanda turns heads using 'auntie' appeal to promote verticals

Consumers are becoming more spoilt for choice with the multitude of players in the quick commerce scene vying to be the people's choice. In light of a slew of mobile applications diversifying their platforms and scrambling for a slice of the pie with their respective super apps, such as that of airasia, Grab, and even a potential attempt by Lazada, it has become harder for apps to remain competitive, let alone stay at the front of people's minds. Aside from its recent brand refresh, foodpanda Singapore also captured locals' attention using a relatable persona, as well as the hearts of judges during MARKETING-INTERACTIVE's recent MARKies Awards 2021. The company walked away with the gold award for Most Effective Use of Out-of-Home and was also listed as a finalist for Most Creative Integrated Media. Find out the secret sauce behind foodpanda's success.


Amidst fierce competition for food delivery apps in Singapore, foodpanda wanted a way for its other new verticals to enjoy the same top-of-mind recall as its food delivery counterpart.

Established in Singapore for nearly a decade, foodpanda said that it managed to cement its position as one of Singapore’s leading food delivery app. However, while foodpanda is currently synonymous with food delivery, most customers would have difficulty in listing out all of foodpanda’s other offerings, which includes pandamart, shops, pick-up, pandago, corporate offerings and a virtual kitchen operating at Woodlands.

According to foodpanda, it needed to effectively introduce the new offerings in the simplest way possible. Therefore, it focused on developing a single creative idea that will allow it to garner the intended reach and be relatable to its core diversified audience, which includes PMEBs, young adults and young families in Singapore. The brand also added that it needed to take into consideration the massive clutter that it would have to cut through in view of the heavy festive and shopping sales season with big-budget campaigns helmed by competitors such as Shopee and Lazada.


Foodpanda said that it observed people’s purchasing habits and their behaviours when it came to finding the best deals, and concluded that the solution lay in the “typical aunty” character that exists collectively among locals, regardless of race. The brand felt that the title “auntie” is associated with traits such as “bargain hunter” and “possessing the ability to sniff out a good deal”.

This conceptualisation and realisation became the base for its creative idea: “Auntie Knows the Real Deals. With the central theme in place, the brand was able to expand the idea to fit it to be displayed across various touchpoints, with the objective of underscoring two core messages:

1. There are many “deals” around, but the only ones that consumers should take note are the “Real Deals” that they need.
2. Enjoy “Real Deals” across offerings beyond just food and get them in under 30 minutes straight to their doorsteps.

The essence of “Real Deals” brought out by the “Auntie Knows the Real Deals” campaign was intended to be the main pull for customers to come into the app. This hoped to set the path for foodpanda’s new multi-vertical offerings to be discovered by its audiences and knowing foodpanda now has quick commerce deliveries for groceries (pandamart) and essentials shopping (foodpanda shops).

Set to kick off from September to November, foodpanda said that the campaign period coincided with a wave of “revenge outing” - a collective sentiment where people were keen to head out following the first phase of the circuit breaker. With this in mind, the brand felt that it had to be effectively loud on its OOH activations, in order to drive maximum reach and top-of-mind recall.

The brand looked to its datasets to formulate its strategy, aiming to effectively target high visibility areas, and amplify awareness of the campaign via the following channels - bus wraps, bus stop six-sheets, DOOH such as MRT stairs screens, YouTV and Target Media digital lift screens, MRT wallscapes and platform screen doors, as well as communicating via OOH with specific audience group via its messaging curation.

markies foodpanda bus

Foodpanda said that this provided it with a holistic mix of integrated OOH channels that had curated messaging, intimate to their location’s audience demographics. With the campaign hero auntie character fronting the creative visual, coupled with the use of its pink brand colour juxtaposed against Liu Ling Ling's face and dressed up as a trendy auntie, the OOH used humour to communicate that there is an auntie in all of us and encouraged customers to unleash their inner aunties and take advantage of the deals brought to them by foodpanda.

markies foodpanda bus

The brand and the agency then selected OOH placements in high traffic MRT stations such as Boon Lay, Sengkang, and Bedok, with the objectives of driving orders to Jurong West, Punggol, Bedok pandamart stores as these were the locations that required an additional boost in visibility to increase orders. Supplementing the placements were OOH located in Ang Mo Kio, Tampines, Queenstown, which sought to increase penetration in these matured residential areas.

Foodpanda said that this was also in line with the characteristic of the typical "auntie" - a common association with the heartlands - which made the narrative more relatable for its audience residing in these areas. While still maintaining the consistency of the core campaign look and feel, various creative adaptations were tailored according to the campaign period and channels demographic relevancy. Key visuals were also incorporated with a series of cool youthful sticker badges to better relate with the younger generation and the savvy Auntie.

Examples of local lingo used on the badges included "Auntie got promo codes", "Auntie knows what’s up". Different key visuals were also accompanied by the mentioning of respective shopping seasons and deals

markies foodpanda bus


Working with its business intelligence team, foodpanda looked at its audience penetration data and age demographics of the estates. The images and messaging of respective channels were curated based on these data sets, for it to effectively curate the messaging and visuals to the respective location and audience type. Employing a mix of static, digital and video (with and without audio) OOH channels, foodpanda said it permeated into the everyday lives of its target audience by being close to their homes. This created a higher tendency for customers to purchase items that they think they will need for the household. Examples included MRT wallscapes that were complemented with media company S4M media to serve geo-targeted digital ads to consumers within the vicinity to drive greater campaign synergy.

DOOH was also incorporated with the campaign video and audio-enabled YouTV, which helped to effectively capture the attention of consumers. The series of sticker badges were also animated to showcase some fun elements. Additionally, bus wraps, bus stop six-sheets and MRT wallscapes were high reach, high impact touchpoints along public transit commuting routes which most of foodpanda’s primary audience are exposed to daily, according to the company.


According to Kantar’s findings of all grocery and shopping platforms in Singapore, foodpanda’s top-of-mind grew by approximately two times, overtaking top competitor GrabMart in the online space. Business-wise, the campaign was said to have brought in increased traffic to the app and grew new customers to the platform by 13%. The brand said that the bus stop six-sheets were especially successful, as it saw an increased top-of-mind awareness by an estimated three times in being the first online grocery delivery brand that comes to mind, and drove 33% of consumers who recalled seeing the ads to the foodpanda app.