by WeiWen Sng
April 27th, 2018

Collaborating with Mastercard to promote their innovative cashless solutions in the market, Weber Shandwick Singapore developed an equally creative campaign encompassing an interactive multimedia timeline, bespoke chatbot and educational offerings at schools and museums to celebrate the history of economic innovation in South East Asia.

Weber Shandwick Singapore’s efforts secured extensive coverage across South East Asia and drove a 221% spike in social conversations around Mastercard. In 2017, the campaign was recognised with a SABRE Award in the category of Persuasive Content.

The Beginning: Building Southeast Asia’s Innovation Narrative

The evolution of money is deeply entwined with the path of innovation in Southeast Asia. Thousands of years ago, people in the region bartered cowries and gold rings for food and land. Today, technology has vastly expanded Southeast Asia’s payments ecosystem’s reach and capabilities. No longer beholden to cumbersome payment tools, people trade plastic and printed paper for goods and services and exchange taps and swipes in pursuit of richer lives.

As Mastercard’s partner agency, we were tasked with telling this story of  change in newer, more compelling ways that would resonate with Southeast Asia’s diverse audiences and celebrate the region’s history of innovation.

Hence, Mastercard’s bespoke Interactive Timeline – From Cowries to Contactless – was born. It was a simple idea, crafted by our Senior Managing Editor, Moska Najib. This infographical narrative would delve into the dollars and cents of the history and future of money in Southeast Asia. Have a look!

Starting from the use of shells and gold in the 10th century, to the possibilities of wearables, selfies and artificial intelligence, the Interactive Timeline brought information about each currency to life with bite-sized facts, striking visuals and mini quizzes. Each insight was a mini-history lesson, providing relevant information about the convenience and safety of adopting cashless payments.

Taking Flight: Propelling The Story Across The Region & Beyond

Jumping on the global No Cash Day on 27 June 2017, we leveraged the interactive timeline across paid, earned, owned and social channels to ensure a full 360blitz.

We also established a content partnership with Facebook – a chatbot called Bus Uncle, targeting Singaporean audiences to promote the timeline and lend a light-hearted local voice to the everyday use of cashless payments. Here, we drafted bespoke jokes and call to actions that reached an audience of 20,390 people.

To propel the timeline further, we also shared it with educators and museums in Singapore to teach youths about innovation in the region.

Touchdown: Generating Mileage & Resonance

With its hyperlocal tone and thought-provoking visual story, From Cowries to Contactless resonated strongly with consumers in and beyond Southeast Asia, generating curiosity, buzz and incredible results:

Our #NoCashDay efforts generated widespread positive media coverage in top-tier local dailies and technology media across Southeast Asia, including Business InsiderThe Business TimesThe Daily Star PhilippinesKoran Jakarta, and The New Paper. These pieces of coverage helped drive Mastercard’s  significant 20% lead in Share of Voice ahead of its closest competitor.

The Timeline has also attracted strong social media traffic. In its first week, it generated 338,070 impressions, 17,734 engagements and a 277% spike in organic Twitter conversations.

Numbers aside, the Interactive Timeline won a 2017 SABRE award for Persuasive Content, was well-regarded by various schools and opened doors to potential partnerships with cultural institutions in Singapore.

“So good to have this wonderful educational resource shared with us. I will forward this to the Humanities Faculty for use in their classes, especially the History and Economics/ Business lessons.” Tan Siew Hoon, Vice Principal, Anglo-Chinese School (International).

Achieving these results was not easy. Stories on innovation are often perceived as cold and dry, particularly by people outside this field. We sought to humanise Mastercard’s innovation story by imbuing it with warmth, wonder and possibility. At the end of the day, people love a good story, especially one that tells them something about themselves, where they’ve come from, and where they could go next.

To explore how we can collaborate with your organisation, get in touch.

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