"The topic of family can never be ‘overdone’," says Royal Caribbean exec

Google has announced its YouTube ads leaderboard for the second half of 2017, showcasing a list of top 10 ads that Singaporeans were watching from July to December 2017.

The key themes from the leaderboard includes smartphones, mini movies and vivid graphics, which reflects the eclectic mix of ads on YouTube and the creative use of content by brands and agencies to win attention and drive action, according to the search giant.

Coming in at number three on the leaderboard was Royal Caribbean’s family first campaign, which has 428,153 views at the time of writing. The campaign features singer and entrepreneur Aarika Lee interviewing people of all ages about what family means to them.

Explaining why poignant and heart-warming ads like these generally do very well in Asia Pacific even though some critics have said the format is ‘overdone’ and ‘cliched’, Nicole Lai, head of marketing for APAC at Royal Caribbean, tells The Drum the topic of family can never be ‘overdone’ as it is something that every person can relate to, no matter the country or culture.

“Our aim of this campaign wasn’t to warm the hearts of our audience, but more so to share real scenarios from real Singaporeans on why they do not spend enough time with their families and make our audience do a little self-reflection,” explains Lai, adding that family has always been at the heart of Royal Caribbean’s brand values, especially since many of its onboard activities cater to families.

According to Lai, through social listening, the world's second-largest cruise line operator also discovered Singaporeans were talking about how they wished they could spend more time with their families, which was why this was a topic that it felt it could make a difference in by offering Singaporean families a chance to reconnect with each other onboard a Royal Caribbean cruise.

The theme of family was also the reason why Lee was chosen as her personal values, rather than her reach or influence, were outstanding, according to Lai. “She is a very strong, family-oriented person who puts her family first before everything else, and she proudly shows this in all of her content. Therefore, we felt that she would be perfect to represent our brand,” she says.

This is the first time Royal Caribbean is using an influencer for its ads and while Lai was coy about Royal Caribbean’s influencer marketing strategy and if it sees value in engaging influencers, she explains that as Lee was used as a host in the video, they wanted her more personal side to come through.

“We didn’t want to use Aarika the influencer, we wanted Aarika the wife, the daughter and the loving mom, and we feel that was what made her really bring out the meaning of what the campaign was all about, making our interviewees be comfortable enough to open up to her,” says Lai.

Aside from Royal Caribbean, the other companies in the top three include Apple, which took top spot for its iPhone 7 campaign featuring Dwayne Johnson, and Sony’s Xperia XZ1 phone. McDonald’s McDelivery ad finished last.

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