Faaez Samadi
Sep 18, 2017

CASE STUDY: How Circles.Life got Singapore to consider a new telco

Circles.Life worked with VML to launch a 'daring' campaign that challenged consumers to question their existing mobile-data plans and their relationships with the established telcos.

CASE STUDY: How Circles.Life got Singapore to consider a new telco

Background and aim

Circles.Life, the latest entrant to Singapore’s telco industry, is also the country’s first mobile virtual network Operator. Circles.Life uses only digital touchpoints for all its customer-facing operations, and does not have a physical store network. Despite this unique positioning, Circles.Life faced core challenges in gaining awareness and establishing credibility amongst consumers. This was unsurprising given the company’s status as a new entrant, low visibility and its unfamiliar mobile plan offerings.

In April 2017, VML was brought on as the lead creative agency to help Circles.Life build upon the momentum created through the launch of 2020 - a campaign that offered customers 20GB of mobile data for SG$20. VML’s role was to ultimately get users interested in switching to Circles.Life as their provider of choice.

To get a better understanding of the landscape, VML and Circles.Life conducted a survey amongst users of the existing telcos. It found that three in four Singaporeans are dissatisfied with their current data allowance offered by the major telcos. Yet, because they have become accustomed to the limitations set by the incumbent telcos, they have gradually come to accept these as an industry norm.

Aware of the frustration that mobile users feel, VML aimed to surface this sense of restriction, awakening customers to the fact that they were simply not getting enough data from their current telcos, thereby strengthening the appeal of Circles.Life’s proposition.


VML created a campaign called “Data Dare”, where internet users were asked to download a 2GB image on their smartphone using their mobile data, to stand a chance of winning a brand new Samsung S8. Highlighting the pinch of sacrificing 2GB worth of data brought to the fore the low data-capped phone plans offered by other local telcos. The campaign ran from 22 May to 22 June, and saw Circles.Life give away 30 mobile phones.

“Data Dare” was rolled out as a 360-degree integrated campaign. All channels drove traffic to the campaign landing page on the brand’s website. They had both participation mechanics, as well as a direct call-to-action to sign up as a Circles.Life customer.

VML created customised content for every platform, including short-form videos and GIFs for Facebook, Instagram stories and Live Videos. It also developed billboards at high traffic MRT stations and malls, as well as bus wraps and digital LED placements at popular shopping centres. A series of on-ground activations were carried out at Chevron House and Wisma Atria to engage both prospective and current users.

To encourage current users to participate, VML created a “boost” mechanic, where they could get one additional GB of data per month for free, simply by changing the name of their hotspot to “Circles.Life” and the password to “DataDare”, and sharing it with passersby who were not already customers. This meant that the latter could participate in the challenge without being constrained by their own existing data plans, while simultaneously enabling Circles.Life to tap into its existing customer base, incentivising them to take on the role of brand advocates without much effort.


In the weeks following the launch of “Data Dare”, Circles.Life witnessed an impressive performance in terms of website visits, actual conversions and an increase in overall brand awareness. This included:

  • A 22 percent increase in conversion rate (measured by increase in number of sign-ups for Circles.Life plans) as compared to performance in Q1 and Q2.
  • A 38 percent campaign completion rate (measured by the percentage of people who went through the entire campaign flow, from filling the form to completing the download, after clicking an ad or accessing the site), beating all internal forecasts and benchmarks.
  • A 25 percent increase in click-through rates for paid media
  • An increase in social reach and engagement, with Facebook seeing a total of almost 2 million users, just under 10,000 interactions with Circles.Life’s content, and 310,000 people who were motivated into participating in the action.

Tripti Lochan, CEO of VML, SEA and India, said:  “This campaign demonstrated that, though digital is ubiquitous, and has become a staple in any campaign, offline activations are still important in driving buzz and creating conversation.”



Ishan Chatterjee, client solutions director
Joaquim Laurel, creative director
Andrew Yap, art director
Giulyanna Simmonds, senior project manager
Sophie Abdi, client solutions manager
Ishy Punjabi, social media copywriter
Dilip Garga, senior planning manager
Fenning Peh, planner


Delbert Ty, brand & marketing lead
Megan Yulga, marketing manager
Gaurav Gupta, digital marketer

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