"Seizing the opportunity to humanise banking."
Banks have been under immense pressure, contributed largely by a smattering of financial crises, sluggish economic growth and the emergence of new competitors from "the rapidly-developing fintech sector, offering new banking, payment and financing options"1. Also, consumers are expecting more value and won't hesitate to try new service providers to fulfil evolving needs. This "lack of trust, changing behaviors and expectations set by digital innovators and increased competition from new players are eroding traditional banks' relevance"2.
Whilst DBS has taken steps to stay ahead by innovating the bank as a whole to be digitally-led – which led to us being awarded "World's Best Digital Bank in 2016" by Euromoney – we recognise the need to do more than what is expected:
In short, we challenged ourselves to humanise banking, and bring to life DBS' commitment to understanding what matters in life and integrating banking seamlessly with everyday life so as to reconnect with our consumers and foster brand love.
1. ey.com, 2015
2. fintechnews.sg, 2016
3. Entrepreneur.com, April 2015
"Forget traditional advertising, let's create a drama series about bankers and banking, based on real client stories!"
Just as how we re-examined the business, we relooked at how we were communicating with consumers – how do we create content that sparks conversations and speaks to consumers in a genuine and relatable manner? SPARKS was thus conceived.
SPARKS, an industry-first online mini-series, follows a group of young bankers navigating work and personal lives. Inspired by true client stories, SPARKS depict how these bankers challenge the status quo and go above and beyond when solving unusual client challenges.
"Embedding SPARKS in the lives of our audience"
Considering that the mini-series was a reflection of true life stories, it was imperative that the amplification strategy was highly-relatable and consumer-centric. Since creating this mini-series is already a departure from the traditional way of advertising and marketing, we had to test, learn and optimise our marketing and communications approach with every episode launch so as to raise Awareness, Affinity and Advocacy for SPARKS.
Generating Awareness through our Digital Marketing Mix
Driving Affinity through Content Marketing and Partnerships
Fostering Advocacy – Engaging and Growing a Community of Fans
4. Singapore Business Review, November 2016
5. Online quantitative survey on the Future of Banking Community – 341 respondents completed the 24-minute survey
A) Driving Awareness, Affinity and Advocacy cost-efficiently
In total, SPARKS Episodes 1-8 have amassed over 110 million views and over 12 million digital engagements across our key markets (Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia and China). Our ongoing regional campaign optimisation has also seen us halve our cost per view since the first episode.
B) Raising Brand Awareness and Core Values around the DBS Brand in the region
Inspired by real client stories, we were able to deliver key messages of what the brand stands for in an authentic manner. The creative format (long form video) allowed us to demonstrate our core values, enabling a better understanding of our brand. Our target audience agrees, as reflected by our quarterly brand health surveys which registered an increase in overall brand awareness, as well as key values associated with SPARKS.
C) Created for Advocacy and Recognition from the Start
SPARKS is proud to garner these recent wins to date - a vote of confidence that we're on the right track to securing hearts and minds of our audience: