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Why Mah Sing’s AI-enabled Madam Loan bot is the antithesis of a typical chatbot

Hip, trendy, and approachable were the three key words creative and digital agency FOREFRONT International had in mind when the team was tasked to design the logo for Madam Loan, the AI-enabled chatbot created by property developer Mah Sing Group together with RinggitPlus.

Madam Loan is an educational platform which also facilitates home loan applications, and was developed following a series of feedback received by Mah Sing from home seekers.

Seen with a chic scarf tied around her neck, Madam Loan is akin to a cool aunt, someone who consumers would not think twice of approaching, and a kind figure who would not admonish individuals for silly questions. According to FOREFRONT, this aspect is important as insights showed that young consumers are reluctant to speak to bank officers and sales agents at a property gallery, based on unfounded fears of being judged.

In a statement to A+M, junior digital art director Marissa Amalina said the FOREFRONT team knew that Madam Loan should be friendly and approachable if it needed to engage and connect with people from all walks of life, especially those unfamiliar with home-financing options. As such, the concept of a cool aunt came to mind as the team wanted to avoid having an overly rigid chatbot.

Chatbots are typically faceless, and might give off an aura of being rigid and cold. The cool yet approachable AI-powered Madam Loan is the antithesis of that.

“We already knew that young people would prefer an easy-to-use chatbot over an intimidating encounter with a bank officer or a property gallery sales gallery for fear of judgement, so we wanted to give the chatbot a personal touch,” she said.

Amalina added that a vibrant, modern, and youthful colour palette was chosen as it emphasises Mah Sing’s efforts to reach and connect with a new generation of homebuyers.

“Madam Loan’s amaranth-red hair draws the user in, signalling that she’s full of financial knowledge and ready to offer them. Meanwhile, the tonal gradation of the turquoise colour was thoughtfully implemented to make the user feel at ease, inviting them to engage with the friendly Madam Loan figure,” she explained.

Meanwhile, FOREFRONT’s associate strategy director Sylvester Hiew added that Mah Sing has been supportive of the team’s ideas and has never restricted its creativity, as long as they are justifiable by insights. “RinggitPlus as well has been instrumental in providing us valuable consumer insights, so our strategic design could be more holistic and well founded,” he added. As such, working with both parties has been a treat for FOREFRONT. While it is familiar with property brand campaigns, Hiew said that it was its first foray into branding an AI-based service, so it was a challenging yet enjoyable learning experience for FOREFRONT.

The digital strategy for Madam Loan was designed to appeal first-time homebuyers, deal seekers and financially-constrained individuals. On top of having the Madam Loan platform as the landing page, FOREFRONT also prioritised other go-to channels to present the key messages, and lead users to Madam Loan’s one-stop resource centre.

Google ads are used to target those searching for home-financing information and recommendations, while postings on social media platforms are used to generate interest and increase awareness of Madam Loan’s easy-to-use capabilities. Additionally, the team at FOREFRONT also engaged with influencers that speak to the young, digitally savvy audience that Mah Sing and RinggitPlus want to connect with.

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