#MARKiesAwards 2021 case study: MSIG SG humanises brand with #RealSmallProblems

The COVID-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges and opportunities for brands especially in the travel insurance sector, where there was a boom given the increase in concern about health and security. MSIG Singapore felt it was a good time to improve its brand reputation and top-of-mind recall in the digital landscape, as well as build on its social media following and engagement on Facebook and Instagram. Hence, it worked with Wild Advertising and Marketing to create MSIG's #RealSmallProblems campaign, which allowed it to win silver for Most Creative – Social Media at MARKETING-INTERACTIVE's MARKies Awards 2021.

Challenge

As a general insurer, MSIG is the go-to brand for travel insurance but the category took a hit during the pandemic. Even if borders were to reopen in 2021, consumers might become more cautious with travel. Against such a dire backdrop and an uncertain future, MSIG saw the need to adapt, diversify and shift its social media focus in order to remain competitive.

COVID-19 created an atmosphere of uncertainty and forced consumers to take a step back and reevaluate what's important to them. One of their concerns was the safety of themselves and that of their loved ones. As a result, consumers are seeking certainty in the midst of chaos. MSIG saw this as an opportunity for the insurance industry to play a part in providing consumers with the assurance they need. It wanted to bring forth the key message that MSIG supports consumers at the heart of what matters, no matter how big or small. While others may focus on life's biggest moments and milestones, the insurer does not miss out on the moments in-between. In fact, it will support all that matters to consumers and stand by what they believe in, no matter how small it may be.

Strategy

For its campaign with Wild Advertising and Marketing, MSIG wanted to target young Singaporeans aged 20 to 44 years old. The reason being, younger audiences tend to be indifferent or are unaware of lifestyle insurance products since these are usually handled by their parents when they were students. They only begin to realise the true importance of these insurance products when they have purchasing power and make their own decisions such as travelling with friends.

Since they are actively looking for insurance products at this age, MSIG felt it was crucial for the brand to occupy the mind space of these consumers and engage them at the platform they are at. MSIG had two goals in mind:

1. Create engaging content that is witty and relevant to its audience with the pandemic as the backdrop.
2. Being able to adapt the content for evergreen timeless pieces when it accepts that COVID-19 is here to stay for the long haul.

According to MSIG, the phrase "Real small problems" has a double meaning, that these problems are smaller in size and scale when read as "real small problems". The other meaning is that these problems are just as real and relatable when read as "real, small problems".

"Real Small Problems" campaign aims to do two things - entertain and connect with followers through shared experiences and feelings, especially during these uncertain times. At the same time, it is also reinforcing the point that sometimes, it is the little things that make a big difference - positive or negative.

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The theme "Real Small Problems" is adapted to fit everyday scenarios, featuring a seemingly small problem that is still irritable, regardless of the scale, to highlight the usefulness of MSIG's products. These included the need for travel and health insurance in light of the pandemic, little things in life that should be well-protected, and everyday scenarios that are too familiar. The third scenario emphasises that MSIG knows and cares for consumers through the ups and downs. While each scenario is highly relateable, MSIG also successfully included a tie-in with its own products as a call-to-action, keeping product sales its priority.

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Facebook was used as the primary social media platform to distribute content and generate awareness and engagement. Instagram was used to create further engagement opportunities for MSIG and a key channel to distribute branded content to members in a visually engaging way. Meanwhile, MSIG leveraged on external content producers to create visually engaging content mainly on Instagram from increased awareness.

Instagram's role was solely focused on #RealSmallProblems as the hero idea with a refreshed look and feel that is simplistic yet visually captivating. Meanwhile, Facebook featured a mix of various content series that seeks to inform consumers through light-hearted and educational content with occasional promotions. Besides COVID-19 content, MSIG also sought to speak the language of its audience and is constantly on the lookout for the next trending content format, memes, news and things that are happening in the social scene so it can put a creative spin to it.

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At the same time, it also sought to entertain consumers and educate them on valuable life skills and information about its products by regularly creating gamified content. To further boost engagement and remain ahead of competitors, it launched two AR Instagram filters - HelpMeLeh and Guess the Freelancer. HelpMeLeh allows users to have fun avoiding obstacles and helping to fix problems in an effort to introduce MSIG's customer service chatbot. Meanwhile, Guess the Freelancer asks followers to guess what the freelancer jobs and emojis represent to promote the MSIG Freelancer CashPlus product.

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Results

In 2020, MSIG reached close to 11.5 million young Singaporeans and had an average post reach of about 957k. Despite the frustrations of disrupted travel plans as a result of the pandemic, it also managed to help its audience understand insurance better, spark conversations and positive brand affinity through #RealSmallProblems.