Emily Tan
Oct 21, 2013

Case Study: How hipsters, Les Miz and dodgy jeans connected a Thai bank with Gen Y

BANGKOK: Thai Gen Ys (20-30 year olds) don’t like banks or even credit cards and don't really watch TV - so Siam Commercial Bank launched a new mobile payment product (Up2Me) and teamed up with JWT to launch a webfilm and engage the target audiance on its own turf. The success changed the company's thinking.

Music, humour and an app
Music, humour and an app

While Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) is a leading financial institution in Thailand, it's not doing too well with younger generations. “The problem is that Gen Y doesn’t go to banks, they’re not comfortable there,” explained Satit Jantawiwat, ECD for JWT Bangkok. “What they are familiar with though are mobile phones, that, they’re familiar with.”

Seeing an opportunity, SCB launched Up2Me, a credit card solution that user can access with a mobile app.

“Then comes the other problem. Gen Y don’t watch TV, they don’t see TVCs and they’re usually online and on mobile,” added Jantawiwat. “So we decided to make The First Financial Musical Webfilm.”

To reach Thai Gen Ys, inform them of the uses of the Up2Me mobile app, educate them, and get them to subscribe.

JWT and SCB created a humorous yet informative two-minute long webfilm, titled I Missed Already, which featured two battling musically-challenged hipsters, skinny jeans and the score from Les Miserables (watch it here) and launched TV commercials, billboards and print ads encouraging viewers to go online and watch it.

“Because SCB is a bank, it has to be seen as secure and trustworthy, so the ad is essentially functional but it also has to speak to the youth in a language they understand – which in Thailand, is humour,” said fellow JWT ECD, Clinton Manson.

The campaign drew nearly a million views in a few weeks and is still gaining momentum. In its first month, it also drew more than 700,000 click throughs to the app download page and 160,000 downloads.

The webfilm was a first for the client who, like most Thai institutions, traditionally relied on TV and print for advertising. These results however encouraged SCB to redirect a substantial portion of its traditional media budget towards digital and a second webfilm, True Story of a Desperate Loaner, which in its first week reached nearly 200,000 views and 60,000 engagements.

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