How Manulife's emotional film drove a 573% increase in premium revenue

CASE STUDY: With Tribal Worldwide Singapore, the insurer increased awareness, recommendation, leads and sales growth.

Background and objective

Manulife Singapore Critical Illness (CI) insurance plans cover 106 different conditions and illnesses, such as cancer, heart attack, and stroke. While there is an alarming coverage gap in Singapore—four in five people have had trouble paying for treatment costs—the need for CI coverage varies from person to person, and differentiating offerings is a challenging task.

Manulife wanted to establish itself as the go-to provider for all CI protection needs by driving salience in a commoditised market, improve consideration for its CI plans with specific target groups, and grow its market share in the CI category.


Citing IPA research (see below) the brand and agency recognised that an emotional approach could provide an advantage over competitors who tend to advertise rational messages like prices and features.

Manulife's 'Unbroken' campaign centred on an emotional, five-minute film about a family facing critical illness, which came with a surprising twist. To amplify reach, the campaign ran over a three-month period on a Manulife campaign microsite, Facebook and YouTube, bus shelters, MRT platforms, and taxi wraps. Social posts featuring the protagonist's father, his wife, and his daughter were targeted at audiences likely to identify with each character. Lead generation ads were deployed for retargeting on Facebook.


The film received 5.5 million video views and more than 56,000 engagements on social media.

The team calculates that it received $350,000 in PR value, with coverage in 20 publications, including interviews in four key Mandarin-language dailies. This translated to a 38x return on marketing investment and 270 million in combined media reach.

The company's research also showed these results:

  • Awareness: 220% YoY increase
  • Product recommendation: 250% YoY increase
  • Brand recommendation: 390% YoY increase
  • Leads generated: 300% YoY increase
  • Sales growth: 573% increase in annual premium equivalent

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The Campaign Asia-Pacific Team