MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Can brands truly adopt a digital-only media strategy for a new product launch? While this may have been unthinkable in the past, today’s disruptions show that anything is possible.
In the Philippines, the world’s longest-running lockdown has seen people forced to stay indoors, as malls and other public spaces close or limit their operations. With strict social distancing protocols in place and constantly changing guidelines, businesses have been compelled to pivot, catering to consumers staying at home.
Being indoors means seeing a dramatic change in media consumption, too. According to recent figures, Filipinos spend an average of 10.56 hours on the internet every day. This time is shared across various online activities: 4.15 hours on social media; 3.3 hours on watching video content; 2.15 on streaming music; 1.31 on video games; and 0.47 and 0.43 for listening to podcasts and the radio, respectively.
For years now, brands have harnessed the power of social media in boosting brand awareness and generating leads, usually as a supplementary channel to traditional media strategies. Yet as the world is faced with the “new normal” and evolving user needs and wants emerge, brands have understandably been experimenting with digital-only strategies for their marketing efforts.
How to pivot consumer campaigns successfully on digital
Such was the case with Lucky Me!, a leading instant noodle brand in the Philippines under Monde Nissin. Since 1989, Lucky Me! has become a staple in Filipino households for its beloved range of instant noodles, from noodle soup variants in chicken, beef and pork flavors, to its iconic Pancit Canton line, available in Original, Calamansi, Chilimansi, Sweet and Spicy, and Hot Chili varieties. Lucky Me! was named in 2020 as the Top Most Chosen Brand in the Philippines for the 5th consecutive year by Kantar Media, purchased by 97.2% of Filipino households for over 35 times a year.
The brand decided to launch its well-loved Pancit Canton product featuring thinner noodles during the COVID-19 quarantine period. For the campaign, the brand chose to forego traditional advertising in favor of a digital-only strategy, and wanted to test the impact of a purely digital campaign—particularly on brand awareness and purchase intent.
For its digital product launch campaign, Lucky Me! wanted to capitalize on the evolving media consumption behavior in the Philippines, leveraging rising trends in preferred content. Gaining in popularity was captivated viewing—longer sessions of more in-depth content designed to relax or entertain. Vlogging in the Philippines has risen in recent years, with video content creators now making careers and are recognized as local celebrities. Using in-stream video ads, Lucky Me! utilized these to complement their other content, such as animated GIFs.
Lucky Me! shot and created the video ad with the help of popular personality Mimiyuuuh, someone the instant noodle company believed would appeal to its broad target audience of people aged 20–55 living on the island of Luzon. The ad showcased a two-minute video of Mimiyuuuh approaching unsuspecting people who had posted about the brand’s thicker noodles in the past, and encouraging them to prepare the new, thinner variant at home. Those featured in the video are seen cooking the noodles at home with the celebrity, exchanging stories and memories surrounding Lucky Me! and giving their verdict on the thinner noodles.
The campaign ran for four weeks in June and July 2020 across Facebook and Instagram, using reach and frequency buying to reach as many people as possible.
By using in-stream video ads to launch its new line of thin instant noodles, Lucky Me! successfully lifted both brand awareness and purchase intent, including the following results:
- Incremental 1.1 million people reached on Facebook
- 8.6-point lift in ad recall
- 2.1-point lift in brand favorability
- 1.5-point increase in purchase intent
With people in their homes and online more than ever, there exists an opportunity for brands to reach and engage more people.
In a recent Bain study, Filipino respondents ranked social media, video streaming and messaging as their top online activities daily.* According to the same survey, on average, Filipino consumers view 15 short videos per day and 15 medium length videos per day. Short and medium length videos on social media account for nearly all instances of video views online, making social platforms, a key medium for brands to consider when plotting campaign strategies.
The results for the Lucky Me campaign demonstrates that Facebook can deliver results and exceed key goals and indicators in the most important brand metrics.
The disruptions from the new normal have forced brands to rethink what they already know in terms of advertising strategy. With more and more people glued to their mobile and desktop screens, an effective and powerful digital-only strategy is possible for brand campaigns and product launches.
* “Digital Consumers of Tomorrow, Here Today” by Facebook and Bain & Company. (A Facebook-commissioned survey of 16,491 respondents from ID, MY, PH, SG, TH, VN.) Survey conducted May 2020.