YouTube this week released its first half leader board of branded videos in Singapore and P&G got the top spot for Gillette with its ‘Gillette Salutes the NSman in You’ campaign.
The campaign was launched to celebrate both 50 years of National Service in Singapore and 30 years of P&G in Singapore. The video was directed by Singaporean celebrity Jack Neo and includes a song that plays on a well-known army chant, which aims to stir pride and humour around Singapore’s National Service to the men of today.
Relevance for local markets
According to Utkarsh Mohan, P&G shave care category country leader for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, using cultural references helps Gillette stay relevant in its local markets and drives success on content and social media platforms like YouTube.
“We found that instead of just talking about Gillette as the best razor, we had the unique opportunity to link it to a core idea that resonates strongly with Singaporeans. It was about bringing together a compelling story that stirred a deep sense of pride among Singaporeans.
"We believe the campaign got Gillette to the top because of how relatable it was to Singaporeans. National Service is a common experience shared by generations of Singaporean men and that was the core idea of our campaign."
“By working with local director Jack Neo, Gillette strengthened the local flavor of the campaign, and successfully draw in our target audiences, the NSmen themselves and people with NSmen in their lives. By playing on the well-known army chant, the team managed to evoke the emotions associated with NS among our viewers,” he told The Drum.
The decision to celebrate national service was made because Gillette knew it had created a connection with consumers, but it also played on the brand’s long-term association with the SAF.
“As a brand with over 100 years of heritage, and an especially strong history with the military, Gillette has always been about giving The Best a Man Can Get, hence the decision to celebrate NS50 in Singapore came very naturally for us. Through our ‘Gillette Salutes’ campaign, we hope to recognize and thank the NSmen, of past and present, for their dedication and pride in serving the nation, and ultimately helping Singapore to prosper,” he added.
However, the brand couldn’t do that alone and, as previously mentioned, roped in a well-known director to add gravitas with Singaporeans.
“Working with Jack Neo and his team at J-Team definitely had its advantages.
As a household name in his own right, Jack Neo has a number of local movies and experience on his belt, and we trusted in his ability to bring out the local flavor in our campaign and make it quintessentially ‘Singaporean’ and relatable for viewers. The goal was for those who served NS to feel an instant connection with the message, and for those who have never served to easily understand the sacrifices the NSman in their lives go through, all while ensuring we retained the Gillette brand message of providing The Best a Man Can Get,” he explained.
Adding to the noise
Mohan also believes that another aspect impacting its success is a wider P&G strategy to create less noise with content and become more meaningful with the content it pushes out.
“Beyond the Gillette Salutes campaign, P&G has seen a shift in how we create content. We were producing thousands of new ads, posts, tweets, every week, month and year. Eventually we realized that we were merely adding to the noise. The moment we decided to stop the noise and step up our game, was when we started creating meaningful content that was not only a reflection of the brand identity, but also resonated strongly with our main target audiences. This is our challenge; this is what we aspire to do across our brands.
We hope to continue strengthening our content offering and transform the way we connect with our consumers in locally meaningful ways,” he added.
In terms of what Gillette learnt from the success of this campaign, Mohan says it gives the brand the confidence to pursue creative ideas but ensuring that it never loses sight of its core identity. According to Mohan, the key is to make sure that it will always be about Gillette and being ‘The Best A Man Can Get’.
Earlier in the year, marketers from DBS, the Singapore Government and Google shared their tips on how to connect with Singaporeans on YouTube.
The top 10 most watched brand videos on YouTube during the first half of 2017 are as follows: