My virgin marketing article on Lianhe Zaobao, zbWeekly on 3 May 2009. In case you hadn’t seen the ad prior to reading this article, you can view it on youtube. The article gives an overview on the success and failure of this campaign attempt. I have translated a copy in English for your reading pleasure.
Is Creative Success True Success?
I believe everyone has already seen the ad, “The Funeral”, which was greatly hyped recently. The first time I saw it was on Facebook. When it touched on the words, “In the end… it’s these small things that you remember. Little imperfections, that make them perfect.” tears filled my eyes with warmth in my heart and a smile on my face.
The effectiveness of a creative ad.
It is rather rare for Singapore to produce an ad of such technical visual quality and rich content. It is indeed even harder to find one that is able to touch the hearts of the general audience in a short 3 minutes clip. MCYS seem to have gained approval and positive critics again after its success with “Family”. But is creative success a true sucess?
It is a very successful advertisement to a certain extend. Creatives of such is an unprecedented attempt in Singapore. Tapping on topics of taboo and controversy has always been the killer strategy for “buzz marketing”. And using themes to do with death is one of the 6 main strategies as suggested by Mark Hughes in his best seller marketing book, BuzzMarketing. The other strategies include “the unusual, the outrageous, the hilarious, the remarkable & the secrets“.
You can easily locate about 137 blog entries if you do a simple search for the topic on Google Blogger. The contest that “The Funeral” organised on Facebook also attracted many fans participation. Everyone uploaded photos with their loved ones accompanied with proclaims of love. This ad has also become the talking point at the dinner table.
Will the young compromise with an imperfect partner?
Those whom were the most influenced (or should I say most active in commentary) are the younger audience, aged between 16 to 30. But when the ad has passed and forgotten, will this fickle-minded group give up the pursue for perfection and compromise with the reality of imperfection? That might not be the case.
Although both “Family” and “The Funeral” has received much positive feedback, but it cannot exist as a holistic marketing strategy on its own. Actually, the theme of “Beautifully Imperfect” has much room for further development. Upon capturing the attention and becoming a public topic, MCYS should further on the theme, thread it together and strengthen through-the-line marketing efforts, to effectively imprint the key messaging into hearts of the single men and women. The slogan should also be more outstanding so to establish it as a top-of-mind recall. And hopefully people will cease to indulge in a Hollywood-style fairytale when making the considerations for a lifelong partner.
Agency did not make the best of it
Through the website of the family campaign, thinkfamily.sg, which is also the URL shown towards the end of the ad. It is easy to observe that the key messaging and concept design was not carried through. The blog and forum topics in the website are also not directly related to the campaign, as though it was not meant to be built on the same communications frequency. Also, I have yet to see any spin-offs from the current TV ad.
If not dealt with care, this successful million-dollar ad could risk to become yet another trending topic to be forgotten in time. A set of complete and successful marketing strategy should strike the iron while it’s hot and repeatedly enhance the key message so it will grow to find a common ground with the people. To achieve maximum results, the following tv ads should also be edited into a shorter version for people to remember it vividly. Just like the “Stop at 2” birth control campaign the government executed in the 70s. Although the overly successful campaign led to the problems of a declining birth rate after.
In any event, “The Funeral” has deeply touched me and given me a hope that I may too have my own family one day. I hope MCYS will make better use of the success of this ad to further strengthen the publicity stint. And perhaps this one perfect funeral could turn into many more perfect weddings in the near future.