COVID-19 continues to disrupt advertising production around the region, forcing brands to improvise new ways to get their messages out. In Indonesia, Grab, the Singapore-headquartered ride-hailing company, enlisted its army of drivers to produce a Ramadan-themed video that got over 13.2 million views on various platforms including YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.
As a bonus, a video about the making of the video also garnered a lot of interest, further amplifying the campaign. The behind-the-scenes video has scored 1.1 million views on Instagram.
"We came up with the new campaign idea in two days when the government imposed the lockdown," Dan van Leeuwen, GM of marketing at Grab Indonesia, told Campaign Asia-Pacific. “At that point, we just took a leap of faith.”
Instead of shooting its Ramadan campaign through a production house, Grab Indonesia sent equipment and gadgets to its staff members and remotely instructed them on how to shoot the video.
"It is a good opportunity to push for creativity," Puncaputera, creative director of Grab Indonesia, told Campaign.
The experience proved valuable, but the process took longer than usual. "In the beginning, it was a bit messy," Puncaputera recalled. There was a lot of uncertainty about asking non-professionals to shoot editable videos, and the fact that everyone was working at home added to production time. But in the end, the online collaboration worked out well. With people doing the work at home, their family members got involved, and it created a bigger echo among the audience. Although Van Leeuwen said it is a bit too early to evaluate the feedback, the "behind the scenes" video itself has attracted 9.5 million views on YouTube since it debuted on April 20. And more user-generated content is coming out using the same hashtag, #siapantarramadanmu (which translates to "preparing for your Ramadan").
"The COVID-19 outbreak really changed everything,” Van Leeuwen said. “And we learned to embrace randomness. I think this campaign process also becomes an aspiration for other production houses."
People's behaviour will change after the outbreak, Van Leeuwen added. Social distancing may just continue after the virus, and that will accelerate some of the trends that are already happening in the advertising industry. "Production house will become more digitised in the future," Van Leeuwen said. "Everything will be going online. This is one takeaway from our campaign."