Influencer marketing has undergone many transformations over the years, especially as the lines between social media and digital commerce have blurred.
Aspire’s State of Influencer Marketing 2022 report showed 76% of brands increased their influencer marketing budgets in 2022 and 70% of brands are working with nano and microinfluencers to leverage their highly engaged audiences and low cost per engagement. Meanwhile, the state of influencer marketing in 2022 by influencer hub a yearly benching marking survey indicated the influencer marketing industry is set to grow to be worth about US$16.4 billion this year.
It’s clear that influencer marketing isn’t going anywhere it’s also getting more and more difficult to stand out from the crowd. So who are the brands acing in this space?
MARKETING-INTERACTIVE turned to our results for the Marketing Excellence Awards Singapore 2022 to find out which brand's influencer campaigns impressed the judging panel. These were the top five brands that dazzled with their out-of-the-box influencer campaigns.
AIA Singapore made it onto the list with two innovative campaigns that left its competitors in the dust. First with launch of AIA Absolute Critical Cover (ASCC) it's critical illness product in mid-2021.
A year into the pandemic, Singaporeans became increasingly worried about critical illnesses with almost 60% of respondents surveyed in AIA Health Matters Survey 2021, saying that they are increasingly worried about the added burden of critical illness, a 10% increase from 2016. While 95% of respondents felt that being adequately covered for early to advanced stage critical illness is important, a report by the Life Insurance Association of Singapore (LIA) found Singaporeans and Permanent Residents to have a critical illness protection gap of 80%.
To create consumer friendly, digestible content for its campaign AIA turned to social media. A medium widely adopted in Singapore AIA felt it the perfect time to take its newly launched TikTok account for a spin and leverage the opportunity to use it as a main campaign platform to launch ASCC, and explore its creative potential.
It designed its campaign with two problems to solve for. Firstly, to effectively communicate the USPs of a critical illness product into a song that would be catchy and fun, as well as interactive and engaging for the community. Secondly to not only leverage Tik Tok to create user-generated engagement, but at the same time ensure the campaign was effective across the full suite of social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
Using influencers and KOLs was key in AIA efforts to engage its community in entertaining ways and closely connect with them – even in virtual spaces – in ways that would resonate and keep AIA Singapore top of mind.
AIA partnered with Local personality Benjamin Kheng, who wrote a jingle titled “Scared What Scared”, which was then launched on all of AIA Singapore’s and Benjamin Kheng’s social media platforms. The result was a social media campaign that leveraged the reputation of popular influencers to capture the essence of AIA’s campaign message, delivering it in a relatable way and generating engagement with AIA’s target audience and the wider community.
AIA further amplified the benefits of ASCC to the other target audiences including Millennials and Gen X, by engaging two other local KOLs, Tosh Zhang and Wang Lei.
Tosh came up with an earworm of a beat in Mandarin, that appealed to the other demographics and Wang Lei, AIA was able to recreate a version of the tune with entertaining visual accompaniment akin to his usual comedy content.
Total video views generated for Benjamin Kheng’s video were over 400K with an impression and reach of 2.6million and 1.7million respectively, while Tosh Rock’s video generated over 1.5 million views, and a reach and impression of 1.3 million and 2.5 million respectively. Wang Lei’s video generated a total of over 700K views with an impression and reach of 1.5 million and 900K respectively.
For its second campaign to, AIA chose to celebrate its 90th anniversary by amplifying its core beliefs and brand promise of enabling healthier, longer, better lives (HLBL).
According to a 2020 AIA Real Rewards Poll, 30% of Singaporeans reported a decline in their mental health due to increased stress and anxiety. AIA Health Matters Survey released in April 2021, showed nine in 10 Singaporeans were still struggling with their mental health one year into the pandemic. Seeing a trend, in 2020, AIA launched AIA Live regionally with other AIA markets in an effort to encourage communities to live HLBL. To supplement its efforts in this overlooked but increasingly important space, AIA launched the AIA Live event series in Singapore, with mental health as the overarching campaign theme.
Targeted at Millennials and GenZers AIA thought leveraging its footballing partnerships to be the perfect fit to influence its audience in fun, engaging and innovative ways. Its strategy involved the star power of legendary football coach Jose Mourinho, footballing icon David Beckham (AIA Global Ambassador), and star players from Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. As Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) in the football world, they were able to instantly bring attention, resonate with its target audience and lend credibility to AIA's belief of living HLBL.
However, as with most things Singaporean, AIA knew it also needed to localise the series to ensure that its target audience and beyond would be able to better relate to the series. As such, it turned to local influencers who are advocates for mental health and wellness, such as Benjamin Kheng, Andrew Marko and Amanda Chaang. By engaging local influencers and its football sponsorship assets for these events, AIA was able to humanise its HLBL content and messaging, empathise with its customers and motivate them on their health journey.
To kickstart the series of virtual events, it hosted 'Game On' with Mourinho together with members of the Singapore Premier League to join in and play a part in cultivating a healthy living culture. In conjunction with World Mental Health Day, it hosted a series of livestreams with David Beckham), alongside local influencers Benjamin Kheng and Andrew Marko, featuring a Tai Chi masterclass to sharpen focus, build emotional resilience, sleep better, and enhance overall well-being to combat the languish we feel during the pandemic.
Its final AIA Live in Singapore event treated three Tottenham Hotspur fans to an exclusive session where Son Heung-Min, Ben Davies, Joe Rodon and Oliver Skipp took on AIA Singapore’s challenge of football drills with a TikTok twist. It also ran a contest pre-event on social media for fans to win a spot in studio, so they could personally ask their questions themselves, and win signed Spurs merchandise.
Using celebrities and influencers to front the HLBL campaign on mental well-being paid off. AIA recorded an uplift in overall brand power in 2020 –2021, and the biggest improvement was in AIA’s association with creating a “sense of community” for its customers. On social media, ads were able to garner over 10.3 million impressions. Its social media stats also spotlight over 4.7 million people reached, highlighting AIA’s brand salience and engagement.
Central Provident Fund Board
#YouGrillWeSpill: Honest Talks with Central Provident Fund’s (CPF) campaign was designed to spark conversations among young Singaporeans about retirement. Answering questions from young adults about achieving lifelong financial goals while raising awareness about how CPF can help them in their retirement journey.
CPF deployed influencers as part of its campaign mission to challenge assumptions, address queries, and honestly answer young people's concerns about their financial future. The use of influencers was chosen so as to disarm audiences and help them to relate while experts were on hand to educate and guide on their questions.
The message, ‘You GRILL and we SPILL’, was rolled out across social media The campaign was launched in three phases, “You grill”, “We spill” and “We continue”.
For the You Grill phase TikTok creators and Instagram influencers gathered questions on their own channels and sparked conversations in different content formats that were highly relatable to its target audience. The aim was to gather as many questions as possible – which proved successful as it garnered over 700 questions in a fortnight. CPF then partnered with TikTok to take the content to its audience and held a TikTok live stream panel discussion with both influencers and experts to answer those questions.
To take things further CPF created a hero video where Minister of Manpower, Dr. Tan See Leng and other influencers. For “You spill” CPF paired influencers with its experts and Minister of manpower Dr. Tan See Leng to answer questions by young Singaporeans questions about achieving their life goals, while educating them on the benefits of CPF. While part three expanded on those questions and answers from grill and spill to develop a series of explainer videos and content pieces by the CPF team to sustain members interests.
Collaterals were created across a range of social media platforms primarily focused on TikTok and Instagram as it targeted a younger audience. Facebook, Telegram and YouTube were used as amplification channels to capture a wider audience.
A total of seven TikTok creators, three Instagram influencers and two content partners were engaged to share their dream retirement, passion, life goals, and the role that CPF plays in those plans. TikTok videos were executed using trending TikTok challenges or filters while Instagram influencers provided their opinions on retirement.
CPF received a totla reach of over 8.9 million across CPF’s own channels on Facebook and Instagram and its Influencer’s platforms on Tik Tok and Instagram. Its video also received over 10 million views across its platforms more than 300k interactions including likes, comments and shares.
Singapore is one of the world's most digitally wired countries. As we progress with a multitude of advances in connectivity technology such as 5G and Internet of Things, and a nationwide push to becoming a Smart nation, there is a segment of the population here, who are increasingly at risk of being left behind, grappling with the ever widening digital divide.
Singtel asked itself how it can continue to inspire and connect authentically with seniors, and give them the confidence to “go digital” so they won't be left behind? Its campaign ‘Jin Jie Goes Digital with Singtel’ was based on the idea that seniors rely on the familiar to get the courage to try something new.
To bring the message to life Singtel created an educational campaign featuring relatable KOLs, with content that aimed solely at empowering every senior citizen in Singapore to take the first step to leveling up their digital skills.
Perhaps ironically it was influencers, a concept from the digital decade, that brought this campaign to life but with a twist. Singtel engaged a popular and relatable “gran-fluencer” to inspire and reach more of its target audinece. Jin Jie as the face of the campaign, was chosen as a relatable and well-loved figure amongst the older generation in Singapore, to capture their attention and inspire them by communicating that if she could do it (taking the first step to upgrade their digital skills), anyone can.
Another key reason why Singtel chose Jin Jie is her positive attitude towards lifelong learning. This was exemplified during the pandemic where 74-year-old Jin Jie made waves on TikTok for her dance challenges, showing how age doesn’t matter when it comes to learning new digital skills.
Jin Jie was paired with an approachable and charismatic 'Youngfluencer', Annette Lee, who is known for her quirky lifestyle content. The concept was for her to show how easy it is for family and friends to teach seniors how to upskill digitally through simple step-by-step, day-to-day digital uses.
Together, Singtel rolled out an a video series and targeted comms across a TVC, digital, and eDMs, highlighting and inspiring how seniors and their family members alike can obtain one-on-one guidance in learning new important digital skills such as how to do online shopping, protect themselves while online, take pictures on their phones, and connect with their loved ones through video calls.
With Jin Jie as the face and hook of Singtel’s campaign, the short form snackable content drove people to its Seniors Go Digital site where they could further access other educational content to upskill and even pick up digital classes in partnership with IMDA — ensuring that Singtel's efforts in educating seniors doesn't just stop at its ads.
Facebook and Instagram posts helped to further convey how seniors can take the first step to learning different everyday digital skills, and were served to family members of seniors and seniors who were already on the platforms. Annette Lee, also posted across her social media platforms and reach out to her fans, and further Sintel’s reach.
The first phase of the campaign with the goal of ‘Inspiring Seniors to confidently improve their digital skills achieved 400% increase in reach of the brand’s set KPI, and 50% more shares across social posts and Facebook and Instagram. Perhaps most importantly convinced and educated 1500 seniors at Sintel’s the Digital workshops.
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