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In advertising, content is king

last updated 09 June 2017

A two-day workshop organised by 4As highlighted the role of data, compelling stories and personalised messages in promoting brands.

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Participants at the Best Practice Series Workshop received insights and tips from industry veterans in the advertising sector.

By Linda Lim

For advertisers, competing for consumers’ attention is more challenging now than ever before. And increasingly, it appears that the way to consumers’ hearts is paved with data and storytelling.

“The holy grail in consumer relationship management is to target individuals with personalised messages at the right moment,” shared Jeffrey Seah, former CEO, Southeast Asia, Starcom MediaVest Group, at the two-day Best Practice Series Workshop organised by the Association of Accredited Advertising Agents Singapore (4As) in collaboration with the Infocomm Media Development Authority.

“Because people expect personalisation and immersive experiences, brands need to provide personalised experiences,” added Mr Seah. “Through machine learning, we will be able to perform tasks that will help to create personalised experiences and do so across screens and individual devices.”

Held on 23 and 24 May, the workshop gathered advertising professionals from 12 local agencies to hear insights from industry veterans and engage in a pitch competition.

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Participants broke up into groups to discuss their pitches for the Esplanade.

A tried-and-tested method

Speakers also touched on some case studies on creating memorable campaigns. Soo Kui Jien, Marketing Manager of Tiger (APB Singapore), and Theophilues Tan, Associate Creative Director of BBDO Singapore shared the Four Step Best Practice Approach – Disruption, Compelling Stories, Empowerment and Validation.

To illustrate the effectiveness of the four steps, Mr Soo and Mr Tan talked about Tiger Beer’s SG50 campaign. With the goal of reclaiming its identity as “the beer of Singapore”, Tiger Beer tapped on the four steps in the way that they presented the country in their initiatives. The campaign “disrupted” what people know about Singapore by creating “compelling stories” of chicken rice, for instance, and “empowering” consumers by letting them vote for the SG50 party they want. The success of the Unofficial Official Party of SG50 “validated” the brand’s appeal to its customers. 

Sheryl Cai, an account manager at Hakuhodo Singapore, found the session useful. She said, “The insights they shared are refreshing. I hope our clients would be as keen on these thoughts as we are.”  

Creating a content strategy

With viral videos being a key component of content marketing, the workshop also included a hands-on segment with teams being mentored by Creative Director and industry stalwart Gregory Yeo.  Using the principles and insights from the speakers, the participants were asked to develop a 360 creative strategy with a content marketing video concept for a pitch competition for the Esplanade.

Zeno Singapore’s team – whose ideas include interactive games and collaborative art exhibits at Esplanade concourse to encourage community engagement – was declared the winner. As part of the prize, they will work on an actual project with the Esplanade.

When asked about coming up with the idea of using games to connect to the target audience, Dave Tai, Junior Copywriter at Zeno Singapore, said, “We were looking through fun facts of Indian culture and games popped out, which is relatable.”

Natalia Tan, Business Director of JWT Singapore, one of the judges of the pitch competition, said, “They (were able to) think out of the box and find a parallel with arts and culture through the idea of games, which would connect with anyone from all age groups.”

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