Advertiser: Unilever Brand: Lifebuoy Creative Agency: Havas Credits: Suhaila Hamid - Unilever, Marketing Manager Lenny Chua - Unilever, Marketing Director Jafri Javed - Unilever, Head of Media & Digital You Ning - Unilever, Senior Brand Manager Uzair Asif - Mindshare, Senior Manager Syamin Yusop - Mindshare, Associate Manager Nisha Mogan - Mindshare, Media Master
Objective & Challenge
In the second half of 2021, while the rest of the world moved towards a reformative situation on the COVID front, Malaysia still struggled with more than 20,000 reported cases daily -the highest since the pandemic began. The importance of hygiene, particularly hand hygiene (Hand Washing and Sanitizing) became most Important than ever before. Lifebuoy as a germ protection brand wanted to be at the forefront of COVID-19 in rural and urban communities. Its mission is to inform and educate Malaysians on the importance of handwashing – as it is our first line of defence against the deadly virus. The challenge: Lifebuoy’s strongest USP is a direct defence against hard to kill germs. Although the timing was perfect to reiterate Lifebuoy’s USP, commercial advertisers are banned from associating or advertising any covid-19 related communication. How did Lifebuoy navigate this precarious challenge in the digital space?
Insight & Strategy
The nation was in a state of panic. Even the slightest symptom like sneezing will send a panic attack and a frantic Google search to validate the next course of action. Based on this insight, we analysed the “Google Trends” data searched on Covid topics compared against the number of daily/weekly reported cases in Malaysia. These two data sets showed a strong Co-Relation of 80% accuracy, which indicated that covid outbreak locations can potentially be forecasted based on Covid searches. We then concluded that if we marry those data points with our media execution, we will be able to activate more targeted education efforts on Hand Washing. This strategy immediately circumvented the digital platform limitations and offered extreme agility and speed to market keeping within the regulated advertising code. THE BIG IDEA Introducing, “The Covid 19 Infection Alert System” – A solution that uses the search data to build a PREDICTIVE ALERT SYSTEM that dynamically activates campaigns across 10 major geographies in Malaysia. In collaboration with the Google team, we designed a first-to-market predictive machine that used a custom-built data script to dynamically trigger Lifebuoy Ads based on the real-time signal.
“The Covid 19 Infection Alert System” is an alpha initiative developed by the Agency and Google – which combined Google Trends & other Google proprietary signals to measure outbreak potentials and automate communications served based on these signals. – Google search data on Covid related queries and mobility data get tracked at the system backend in real-time – Through an API-based solution, we input data sets that contained daily search volumes of the top 10 cities with the highest daily Covid cases. These data sets are automated for daily updates – the higher value of the set indicated the greater number of the searches – We created a customized Google ads Script, that automatically served ads based on the covid heatmap dynamically. This was all done WITHOUT manual intervention. – The campaign was activated via YouTube and Google Display ads. Using geo-target ads, independent assets were customized for each city that was impacted. Each ad contained a message to remind our audience to exercise caution and stop the spread of Harmful Germs.
“This Covid Alert System” allowed us to be laser-sharp with our message delivery, high-risk regions and audiences, without infringing on Covid-19 related topics and keywords. The relevance and efficiency of our message delivery using the predictive alert system resulted in improvement in brand, business and media: – The search intent for Lifebuoy increased by 50% YOY during the campaign period – Lifebuoy’s market share increased by 20% YOY in Peninsular Malaysia. and specifically in the targeted high-risk regions such as Kuching, Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, Petaling Jaya, Puchong, Johor Bahru, Georgetown, Shah Alam and Ipoh. – Due to higher relevancy and efficiency in delivery, our YouTube ads achieved 27% improvement on CTR at 0.25% vs. 0.2% industry benchmark, and lower CPM at RM5 vs. our usual campaign of RM6.5 (30% cost savings) – The display ads achieved RM1.33 CPM vs. the industry benchmark of RM4.50 and hence delivered 70% more impressions at 3.4 million With all the achievements in commercial and media, Lifebuoy is proud to be an advocator for Covid-19 prevention for Malaysians.