Spikes Asia
Nov 3, 2021

Decoding Creativity x Effectiveness: In conversation with Terence Ling of TBWA HK

Spikes Asia talks to the agency's head of strategy about the Tangrams-winning campaign for Lexus, 'Unbeaten Path: Small Business Drive'.

Decoding Creativity x Effectiveness: In conversation with Terence Ling of TBWA HK

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Title of the work:

Unbeaten Paths: Small Business Drive


Terence Ling
Head of strategy
TBWA Hong Kong

Tell us about 'Unbeaten Paths: Small Business Drive'

Lexus needed to launch the UX in Hong Kong – a crossover built for urban exploration. But the world's most expensive real estate market has made finding interesting small businesses hard. Small Business Drive tapped into the customers' need for exploration within an 'un-explorable city'. At the core of the campaign was creative use of data that personalised a test-drive experience, thereby driving sales of UX while supporting small community businesses. The success put Lexus into a top-three market position and even prompted its group to open the initiative with other brands within its portfolio.

Tell us why your team decided to enter 'Unbeaten Paths: Small Business Drive' into the Tangrams Strategy & Effectiveness Awards (now incorporated into the Spikes Asia Awards).

The Tangrams is a recognised mark of effectiveness that can influence the region’s standard of strategy, creativity and results. TBWA’s Disruption earns a greater share of the future for brands through brand experiences. With this piece of work we revamped the path-to-purchase of a car, leading to a personalised test-drive experience which benefited small businesses, prospects and Lexus at the same time. We felt compelled to showcase the strategic rigour, the experience-based creativity and the multi-faceted achievement that this case represented. Tangrams is an important platform for us to do this.

Every team has their own way of coming up with a campaign idea. In the case of 'Unbeaten Paths: Small Business Drive', how was the idea conceived?

There was a large amount of collaboration between strategy, creative, account servicing, technology production and of course the client throughout our process. From the start, we took a data-informed approach to define the size of the prize, the customer segmentation and the conversion metrics. The detailed and collaborative methodology was crucial to establish the right positioning and experience strategy. It helped all parties collectively make the decision to shift budget from media to the production of a creative test-drive experience that would lift show-up and conversion rates. This paved the perfect path for the creative team to apply experiential creativity to generate the core idea.

As a Gold winner of the Digital Strategy Tangrams, can you elaborate on how 'Unbeaten Paths: Small Business Drive' demonstrated the use of strategic and imaginative solutions that have delivered a measurable and proven impact on the business?

Data played an enormous role in the strategic planning, ideation and execution process. Through meticulous mapping of the conversion ratios along the online-to-offline customer journey, we were able to identify the leveraged effects that the test-drive made on ultimate sales. Platform and open source data on personal interests, visitation history, business listings, road types and real-time traffic were ingredients towards this personalised test-drive idea that drove prospects to small businesses waiting to be discovered. This elevated brand experience was instrumental in lifting test-drive conversion performance—directly impacting car sales during the campaign.

“When creativity is effective and effective work is creative, it has even greater power to positively impact people, brands and the world.” What are your thoughts on this statement?

This is certainly true for this particular piece of work. Hong Kong has the world’s most expensive property market. As a result struggling yet fascinating small businesses hide in industrial buildings within decrepit areas, waiting to be found. We created a solution that helped three parties simultaneously.

  1. The small businesses community benefited from a new source of quality traffic — prospects that were matched according to their own lifestyle interests.
  2. Prospects benefited from the experience of authentic exploration in a city that they thought had little worth exploring.
  3. Lexus benefited from the ability to showcase its Urban Explorer in the true light of exploration, whilst winning higher market share.

The triple-win scenario is the ideal model for a sustainable solution, which supports purpose and profit in a synergistic way.

Campaign Asia

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