“Next week, Next Week!”: Ministry of Manpower Foreign Workers’ Campaign

Posted on February 9, 2010 by admin

W3-O Design Lab can do consumer electronics in its sleep. But what about something that’s entirely on a different spectrum. The agency tried and won its first ever integrated marketing campaign pitch against eight other agencies. How? We stepped out of our comfort zone.

The objective of the campaign is to promote messages to the foreign workers on safety laws, responsibilities, and regulations in the workplace. The agency looked into the past campaigns and garnered feedback from the target audience. The (realization) is that the current and past ads didn’t seem to speak to the target audience. Yes, the messages are clear, the consequences are quite direct. But do they understand the entirety of these laws, rules, and regulations. There was something lacking in the campaign ads and that’s where W3-O tapped in and concentrated its efforts. There are 3 things:

1. Using conversational copy and simple visual to represent the rule or regulation
2. No need to explicitly show consequences
3. Call to action needs to be direct and clearly seen

Here were the proposed layouts the agency initially submitted that eventually won us the pitch:

The final artwork turned out like these:

It was also the agency’s first time to dabble on media strategy planning.  They key insight was looking into mediums that haven’t been tapped on and make it work to our advantage. One of the mediums was the use of Prepaid Phone Cards.  Most foreign workers oftentimes call home constantly to get in touch with their loved ones.  Other than the basic necessities such as food and clothing, the phone cards become essential to their everyday use.  Bingo! A medium with almost a hundred percent exposure – and with an interesting design, these cards will even be kept in their wallets as long as possible. In partnership with the calling card company, IDT Asia, the agency proposed a voice recording of the MOM messages for the campaign period. Once the foreign workers activate the cards, they will be hearing the message in the language they have chosen (English, Tamil, Bengali, Thai, & Chinese).  To ensure that the foreign workers will get the opportunity to get all three messages (3 cards), the agency crafted a collection mechanism.  The 3 cards will roll out in different timings to get longer exposure time.  IDT Asia will blast out SMS to the current database to remind foreign workers when a certain card is coming out.   All 3 cards must be collected to enable them to redeem a free T-shirt towards the end of the campaign.  These T-shirts then served as walking advertisements for MOM.

Other mediums used were MRT Ads at Little India and Chinatown Station – 2 key MRT stations that targets Indian and Chinese target market, 6-sheet Bus Ads and Bus Shelter Ads across Singapore.  The introduction of a new platform  – use of private buses that ferry foreign workers to their workplaces and dorms came out as the 3rd highest is terms of ad recall (1st: Bus Ads, 2nd: MRT Ads).  All of these comprised the media proposal.

Overall, the clients found the campaign a relative success comparing to last year.  There was a considerable increase in ad recall, as well as more people have used the MOM hotline. For W3-O Design Lab, it was an experience that placed us on the map of Singapore.