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How Pictionary Singapore engaged a nation

Mattel Southeast Asia teamed with VML Qais to launch the new Singapore version of family classic Pictionary, resulting in a 20 per cent uplift in sales.

Mattel had produced Pictionary Singapore, a local version of its family favourite containing famous Singapore landmarks, dishes and of course words from inimitable local slang ‘Singlish’. Mattel Southeast Asia was looking for a cost-effective solution to launch Pictionary Singapore on the country’s 49th birthday, August 9, 2014.

VML Qais had just four weeks to generate buzz and genuine engagement in the run up to Pictionary Singapore’s National Day launch. Given the importance of this national holiday, and significant activity around the annual parade and live telecast, traditional advertising tends to be cluttered. Brand messaging tends to utilise print and TV to either wish Singapore a Happy Birthday, or to wish Singaporeans a Happy National Day. The challenge was to engage people and brands in a meaningful way. The agency’s scope of work included campaign strategy and implementation; art direction, content creation and community management/engagement; media strategy, planning, buy and implementation.

Using #Hashtag: #PictureThisSG the campaign employed Twitter as its primary platform: and Instagram as the secondary.

Having ‘listened’ to Twitter for PictionarySG key-words, VML Qais engaged eminent doodle artist to create pictures in real-time. These were Tweeted, and then retweeted by happy recipients. Twitter users could request bespoke doodles and all the images were compiled into an Instagram ‘library’.

The real-time campaign also reached out to eminent bloggers and influencers on local topics including food, and National Day songs. Brands, government bodies and local landmarks were also invited to join the conversation.

Over the campaign period, there was a 20 per cent uplift in sales, when comparing Pictionary SG with Pictionary classic. Results so far include having doubled the KPIs for Total Impressions, in excess of 1.3 million, while Total Engagements of over 100,000 are 12 times the KPI and typical in-category average.

Food and society bloggers such as Mr Brown and Leslie Tay, plus a multitude of government bodies, local landmarks and brands all engaged with the campaign. National Day TV host, local celebrity Hossan Leong was one of many unsolicited positive mentions. Tapping into trending Twitter hashtag #IAmSingaporean reaped dividends, and targeting games-lovers saw a massive increase in engagement rate to an average 11.27 per cent (typical Twitter in-category average 1-2 per cent). The most engaging Tweet achieved a Singapore high of 17.43 per cent.

“For this campaign, the focus was to deliver marketing effectiveness, real-time response and user delight, and VML Qais have exceeded our expectations on all fronts. It’s been fun and lively – everything that encapsulates the game itself and what has made Pictionary a perennial family favourite,” added Meiyin Leong, Head of Marketing, Mattel Southeast Asia.

Noor Fathima Warsia

A veteran journalist in the Indian marketing, media and advertising fraternity, Noor Fathima Warsia took on the role of Group Editor -– APAC for Digital Market Asia in May 2013. Noor has focussed on tracking trends and developments in the Indian media industry.