#MARKiesAwards 2021 case study: Mediacorp strikes a chord with fans with New Year earworm

Mediacorp understood that the year 2020 was a challenging one for the general public. The media broadcaster wanted to encourage its audience to look ahead to a kinder 2021. It saw the initiative of spreading hope and positivity to all as a challenge and accomplished it through the release of a catchy and upbeat song. Through this strategy, Mediacorp saw its ideas come to fruition, involving local singers in its song. With its various executions, Mediacorp also reaped rewards and impressed the judges with its campaign, bagging the bronze award for Most Effective Use - Audio at MARKETING-INTERACTIVE’s recent MARKies Awards 2021. 

Challenge

The year 2020 was no doubt a challenging one. Mediacorp had a simple objective for its year-end campaign. It wanted to rally the nation and engage with its audience to look forward to a better 2021. It wanted to spread hope and positivity to all through a song everyone could sing along to. The whole of Singapore was seen as the target audience including people from all walks of life, and families, PMEBs, kids, P18+, and P55+.

Its budget was marked at SG$15,000. The creative idea was to produce an original, catchy, upbeat song that will anchor its year-end campaign. Mediacorp wanted it to be a song that will get stuck in the heads of its audiences and be the pillar behind the branding and messaging of the campaign. It wanted a song composed, written and performed by Singaporeans for Singaporeans, a song of hope and positivity as everyone looked forward to the new year.

Strategy 

It wanted a nationwide campaign to rally everyone as we all looked forward to a new beginning in 2021, with hope and positivity. With its extensive reach, it looked towards connecting with its audiences across all its various platforms including TV, radio, online, socials, and languages as it countdown to a better 2021 as one. Mediacorp felt that one of the best ways to bring people together is through music. It wanted to produce an original song to anchor its year-end campaign and to build awareness of this song through the various assets in its marketing key drivers. In essence, it wanted to create a positive vibe, using an audio piece, as it approached a new beginning in 2021. Mediacorp engaged a prominent local singer, Gareth Fernandez, to compose and produce an upbeat, catchy song to rally the nation to look forward to a better 2021.

The song, aptly titled "Better", was performed by Fernandez himself and three other prominent local singers: JJ Neo, Shabir and Hashy. The upbeat, dance-inspired track was designed to get Singaporeans up on their feet, and more importantly, to ring Singaporeans into 2021 in the wildest way ever. A music video was produced to engage the audiences on it visual platforms. The audio was also used in a key audience engagement campaign, the Better Dance Challenge. It planned to launch the song on its homegrown radio station 987FM, and following that consistent airplay across all Mediacorp radio stations, including the non-English ones. The song was also concurrently launched on its meLISTEN app. Aside from an audio release, it also planned to showcase the song in all its visual and social promos across free to air channels and social media platforms.

Execution

The audio piece was conceptualised, written and produced by Fernandez in consultation with the marketing team. Better became the pillar of Mediacorp's year-end campaign. The objective was to strongly associate Better with its Let’s Celebrate 2021 campaign. To build awareness and familiarity and to spread the positive vibe for the New Year, the song was used in all marketing collaterals in the campaign. Aside from strong radio airplay and streaming on meLISTEN, and other platforms, the song was used in all its video promo assets including a music video, Better Dance Challenge, sponsor contest trailer, year-end show promo video trailers, teasers, version one and version two, radio trailers, Instagram filters and all branding elements.

The Better Dance Challenge took the audio piece to another level. The engagement activation got everyone grooving and singing to Better, including Mediacorp stars. The Better song and engagement activation were flighted across Mediacorp radio stations: Gold905, Class95, 987, Love972, Yes933, Warna, Ria and Oli. The video promo assets were played on all Free To Air Channels: Ch 5, Ch 8, Channel News Asia, Ch U, Suria, and Vasantham. The entire campaign was also heavily flighted on its social media platforms. All marketing assets also drove traffic to Mediacorp's Let’s Celebrate 2021 microsite. The campaign was executed from 25 November to 31 December 2020.

Results 

According to Mediacorp, the audio formed an integral part of the Let’s Celebrate 2021 campaign. Its key performing indicator for the campaign was traffic to its microsite. It saw an extremely strong performance of its one-stop digital destination, which not only kept audiences engaged with its holiday offerings, it also helped to elevate awareness of the countdown show. There were huge uplifts in both page views and unique visitors when compared to the previous year. Page views, 2020 versus 2019, increased by more than 200% while unique visitors 2020 versus 2019, increased by more than 300%.