Byravee Iyer
Sep 5, 2013

Philips’ Plus Project kicks off in Singapore

SINGAPORE - Royal Philips launched its ‘Healthier Schools, Brighter Kids’ initiative today in Singapore as part of its larger online crowdsourcing campaign ‘The Plus Project’.

Hesselink joined kids in an exercise session
Hesselink joined kids in an exercise session

More than 3600 students across three schools in Singapore participated in mass exercises and cooking classes that promoted healthy eating.

There are three key components to the campaign: Healthier eating, healthier sleep and healthier eyes. To promote healthier eating, Philips arranged for nutritionists to consult with canteen vendors on preparing healthy and nutritious food. Cooking classes and demonstrations were conducted for students, parents and teachers.

As part of the healthier sleep programme, a sleep doctor engaged by Philips educated students, parents and teachers on the importance of sleep, and how sleep can improve children’s concentration in class and help them stay healthy. Healthier eyes involved optometrists educating parents and teachers about visual hygiene and ergonomics.

The Plus Project is Philips new experimental approach to marketing. In 2011, brand head Arent Jan Hesselink developed the Plus Project with the aim of changing the perception of Philips from a company that sells products to one that creates solutions, particularly in healthcare. It was also a message that it was moving away from a consumer-centric company to one that sells services to businesses and governments.

“For us to be most effective in providing solutions in healthcare, it’s important to work tirelessly to explain about the solutions that we can deliver and where we are going strategically,” Hesselink told Campaign Asia-Pacific in an earlier interview.

As part of that, Philips initiates crowdsourcing projects online to find out what consumers really want and need. In October last year, Philips launched the project in Singapore by requesting feedback from consumers. Two months and 6,833 votes later, the winning idea was picked. The platform allowed people to vote and rank five concrete ideas from the company that are likely to improve their lives.

The healthier schools idea won the crowdsourcing contest with 45 per cent of the popular vote and received US$50,000 in funding from Philips and its key partners.

Similar Plus Project campaigns are underway in Thailand, Indonesia and Korea, and Philips is keen to make the campaign bigger and broader, said Hesselink. He also foresees spin-off campaigns in the future.

According to Hesselink, there has been a noticeable difference in brand perception following a Plus Project campaign in Indonesia, where Philips witnessed a double-digit increase in brand preference. "In almost all the markets, we've had very good results," Hesselink said. "In fact, in terms of purchase intent and brand preference, the results were much better than we were expecting."

Philips also released results from its online survey on the personal health and well-being concerns of the residents of Singapore. The findings showed 78 per cent of respondents are satisfied with their quality of life, and that a key determinant of satisfaction is their work-life balance. People who rated their work-life balance positively tended to be more satisfied with their quality of sleep (60 per cent) and their current eating habits (73 per cent) than those who do not have good work-life balance. People who rated their work-life balance negatively also ranked all other drivers negatively.

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