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Special Project

Special Project
From the 15th Annual Shorty Awards

Demystifying DeFi | Morning Studio x Cake DeFi

Audience Honor in Native Advertising


The objective of this campaign was to build awareness of Cake DeFi’s services while also creating top-of-mind recall for the brand when users thought of decentralised finance. Cake DeFi also wanted to demonstrate thought leadership in the cryptocurrency space with content that increased people’s consideration of crypto investing by simplifying the topic of DeFi and making it feel more accessible. The brand sought to target not only existing crypto investors, but also high-net-worth individuals, crypto-curious people and companies looking to build partnerships in the DeFi space, with the aim of growing the overall base of individuals and organisations interested in cryptocurrency. The content had to engage readers who had little to no knowledge about DeFi or crypto investing, pique their curiosity in exploring this space, and demystify complex concepts for them.

Strategy and Execution

With crypto being such a hot topic from its growth in 2021, Cake DeFi wanted to educate SCMP readers about decentralised finance (otherwise known as DeFi). The challenge was to create a piece of content that was easy to understand, educational and drove action – it had to motivate the readers with practical steps. Our strategy was to present a “DeFi for Rookies” guide – a visual primer for those who want to know more about decentralised finance and its potential. To engage the attention of readers who were unfamiliar with the subject, we zeroed in on using a visual approach, and developed an appealing multimedia infographic page with animations and scrolling actions that the reader could play around with. There were ample insights to support our visual explainer approach. According to SCMP Lighthouse, our first-party data platform and insights generator, readers interested in cryptocurrency and personal finance were 6.2 times more likely to engage with photo essays than the average reader, demonstrating a preference for a visual medium. They were also 3.2 times more likely to read explainer pieces, which factored into our choice of format as well. The first episode of the series was an explainer video, where Julian Hosp, co-founder of Cake DeFi, explained the different concepts of decentralised in and easy-to-understand way. The video was infographic-led, utilising animated visual representation of different cryptocurrency concepts, and gave real-life examples so that audiences would understand the concept of DeFi. The video was able to both showcase Julian Hosp's thought leadership in the space, while also being an educational video to audiences who wanted to understand DeFi a bit better. The second episode of the series dives deeper into the key terms in decentralised finance, and is explained through an interactive infographic published as a "recipe", using a cake as the hero visual, tying directly into the brand name. The keywords were presented as ingredients to reinforce the idea that crypto can be explained in a simple way. As readers scrolled through the infographic, it showed the “cake” opening up, with each “ingredient” revealed inside. The “ingredients” highlighted and explained the main elements of DeFi such as cryptocurrency, staking, liquidity mining, lending, and borrowing by drawing parallels to traditional finance practices. The infographic then showed how readers could get started in DeFi by getting a crypto wallet, buying or depositing digital coins, and investing in select products. Cake DeFi was mentioned as a platform that offers reward-generating products, but not overly pushed to readers, keeping in line with the brand’s aim to educate and grow the target market. The infographic also shared expert tips from three Cake DeFi representatives presented as a stack of “food reviews” to further reduce the barrier to investment for potential new investors. The language used to explain the crypto concepts was kept casual and conversational, positioning DeFi as a new and on-trend way to earn income and generate returns.


The two-part series was launched on the South China Morning Post (SCMP) website and was easily discoverable under a unique URL. To increase visibility, banner ads were distributed across multiple Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) formats, including Billboard, LREC, and native, mobile leaderboard and interstitial ads on the SCMP app. Additionally, a social media campaign was launched on SCMP's Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (Stories) channels to drive traffic. The series received excellent results, with 144,946 page views and 98,239 unique visitors during the two-month campaign period. The distribution plan delivered 4.4 million impressions across all channels, including, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The audience was highly engaged with the video story and multimedia infographic, spending an average of 2 minutes and 30 seconds and 2 minutes and 26 seconds on each respective page. This engagement was 208% higher than SCMP's editorial benchmark, indicating that the content was highly interesting and engaging. The accompanying article for the video and infographic contained run-of-channel banners linking to the Cake DeFi website, resulting in a click-through rate (CTR) of 1.13%. This demonstrates that the content was highly successful in encouraging the audience to learn more about the client's offerings.


Video for Demystifying DeFi | Morning Studio x Cake DeFi

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Morning Studio, South China Morning Post


Entry Credits