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How a Taiwanese realty firm tackled young people's fear to get married and became the most viewed local ad

Sinyi Realty’s 'In Love We Trust' brand campaign

What made Sinyi Realty's brand campaign, designed to encourage young people to overcome their fear of commitment, emerge as the most shared and liked Taiwanese ad. The Drum finds out

Taiwan, a small island country in East Asia, is known for things as diverse as its night markets and themed restaurants, to being one of the first to offer free and mass Wi-Fi. The country has been suffering from a unique social problem of late: of having a divorce rate that has surpassed the marriage rate, ranking first in Asia and second in the world. These are odd statistics, especially when one looks at the size of this Asian nation. This culturally dysfunctional trend has led to a scenario marked by the failure of young people to commit to relationships out of fear of divorce.

In this backdrop, Sinyi Realty, the leading brand in Taiwan’s property market, was concerned about the long-term impact on business, since newlyweds are typically a major source of customers in the property market. To tackle that issue, the company launched seven-minute film, 'In Love We Trust', conceptualised by Dentsu Mcgarrybowen Taiwan.

The film, about the emotional journey of a young girl who works at the Household Registration Office in Taiwan, which is responsible for birth, death, marriage and divorce applications, has caught the attention of the nation. So much so that it emerged as one of the most shared and loved ads of 2020 in Taiwan.

The brand film is a depiction of how the girl experiences heartbreak daily even as she works around the marriages and divorces, and gradually loses faith in marriage and stops counting the numbers. Then she goes through an emotional experience that helps restore her faith in the institution of marriage.

The film

The Drum speaks to Alice Chou, the chief creative officer at Dentsu Mcgarrybowen Taiwan, the agency behind the brand campaign to know more about what went into making the unusually long seven-minute plus film, why it makes good business sense and what made it such a widely popular film.

On solving the key category challenges

The realty business, in general, suffers from trust issues and it is no different in Taiwan. As a leading brand in the country, Sinyi Realty wants to re-establish the trust between people and create an emotional link with the younger generation customers, shares Alice Chou.

On reflecting the realities of a post-Covid world

The pandemic has intensified the uncertainty about people’s future, whether, around love or marriage, there is an overall sense of fear and uncertainty, says Chou. The real estate firm wants to convey the message of trust, love, courage and hope which is even more meaningful at this time, she adds.

On the unique nuances of the Taiwanese market forming the backdrop of the film

Taiwan has a very high divorce rate which is the second largest in the world. The situation has become so complex that the young generation does not want to make any commitments, out of the fear of the uncertainties about the future, shares Alice.

Not just the divorce rate, even the ‘household registration office’ is another unique feature of Taiwan which houses everything to do with the members of a household, from birth to death, from marriage to divorce, and also the place where all local people go when they need to update their records. That is the place where the lead protagonist of the film works.

On the business case for the film

Marriages in Taiwan are also about ‘building home’ and also the important driving force to buy a house. Adds Chou, “with falling marriages, the impact on the new home purchase was being felt and needed to be addressed”.

Thus, this film was launched. Through the engaging film, “we encourage young people to stay together rather than be worried about whether they will be separated in the future.”

In addition, the idea behind the film is also to reaffirm Sinyi Realty’s leadership status and help set it apart from other competitors, she says.

On the challenges of making and selling a seven-minute plus brand film

Long films, like all of the advertising, have the tough task of keeping the viewer attention ongoing. And like most markets, most Taiwanese people are also sceptical of advertisements. Interestingly, the young audience in Taiwan does not mind spending time going after long-series dramas or searching for interesting content, informs Chou. Video films and movies remain the most popular content formats in the local market. Data shows that Taiwanese people spend an average of 16.4 hours per week on YouTube films which also means that if the content is appealing to the audience, duration length is not an issue at all, adds Chou.

The key challenge for this film was that it had to be interesting, entertaining, and also let the audience be able to link back to the key brand message, says Chou.

On it acquiring the cult status

To me, says Chou, “the most important achievement of this campaign is not the number of likes or it’s becoming the most popular film in Taiwan but it’s the ability to move people and leading them to share the film on their own.” It has helped create conversation among the younger generation and help them realise that decision of being together should be backed by love and not be stopped by fear, she adds.