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#MARKiesAwards 2021 spills: Find your 'why' and win your audience, says Viddsee

#MARKiesAwards 2021 spills: Find your 'why' and win your audience, says Viddsee

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Founded in 2013, Viddsee is a video entertainment platform headquartered in Singapore, with offices in Malaysia and Indonesia. Cementing its position as one of the leading video entertainment platforms, Viddsee empowers storytellers by enabling the creation of films and amplifying stories to targeted audiences. Viddsee also launched its "As One" campaign, which captured the Singapore experience during the pandemic. With the campaign, the company managed to clinch the bronze award for Most Creative – Government Sector / Non-Profit Marketing at MARKETING-INTERACTIVE's MARKies Awards 2021.

Viddsee co-founder, Derek Tan told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that strong stories are great for marketing and advertising as it had the ability to captivate audiences. Since the stone age, stories have always given people the why, how, and what to do anything. "In today’s world where you can easily find just about hundreds of brands selling any one product, stories become all the more important to win over your customer. When a brand is able to provide that emotional connection, it will be able to win over its customer," he added. 

Tan shares more on the takeaways one can learn from the pandemic, and how interactive stories are able to help brands reach a wider target audience. 

This interview is done as part of MARKETING-INTERACTIVE’s winners and finalists’ interview series for MARKies Awards 2021. To find out more about the awards, click here.

Tell us about the campaign you won and what was the most memorable aspect of the campaign for you? 

Tan: The “As One” campaign was a collaboration with Gov.sg to capture the Singapore experience during the global Covid-19 pandemic. To do that, our creative studio worked with Gov.sg in identifying the first responders in the pandemic, public service officers who had to react quickly to the crisis and followed them on how they responded, where such an event had no precedence and no pre-set protocol.

The event being a global crisis was clearly memorable, an once-in-a-lifetime experience. What impressed us were the personal stories we learnt when making the film – how the public officers had to mitigate their way through a lot of unknowns as well as the impact on their families as they work to resolve the number of issues that kept coming up at work.

In translating these inspiring personal stories into film, we wanted to capture the human experience for these stories to resonate with the audience as well. We don’t get to read much about the work done, so we wanted to amplify these ‘untold stories’ through our films – the hardwork and dedication these officers put into their work to keep things running as well as how swiftly they had to work to roll out a coherent national response in a crisis.

What do you think makes for great marketing/advertising these days? 

Tan: Strong stories captivate audiences and that makes for great marketing / advertising. Stories have always given people the why, how and what. Stories have stirred up emotions and helped people communicate since the stone ages.

In today’s world where you can easily find just about hundreds of brands selling any one product, stories become all the more important to win over your customer – by providing the “why” your brand over your competitors. When a brand is able to provide that emotional connection, it will be able to win over its customer or consumer.

For us, background research into the audience is just as important for our stories to connect with the audience.

For every film, our creative team gather as much data points around the target audience as possible to better understand their motivations before we craft our characters and story plot.

This helps us to tell as authentic a story as possible, helping people connect and sell the “why”.

What is one specific marketing/advertising trend you are looking forward to exploring and experimenting with in 2021 and beyond? 

Tan: Epic films are remembered for centuries and are told and retold in many forms. Brands recognised that films are power tools to shape perspectives. In that way, as content producers, we are vested in how our stories connect to our audiences. Viddsee allows brands with limited budgets to co-produce engaging content. We see ourselves as an enabler for brands to be seen just like how The Lego Movie can boost product sales.

We are exploring how stories can be more interactive, for the audience to be part of the story and hence, experience the story. Social media platforms have already monetised this aspect where there is buying and selling through live video streams. As social media platforms incorporate more features on their platform, the interactive element will only increase. So we will need to weave these new features in our stories for our clients.

We are actively exploring different modalities and platforms which will showcase the plethora of stories on Viddsee. Podcasts are trending again and this meant presenting stories in the auditory modality, like what we did in our collaboration with Audible to turn a five-part romantic comedy, Love Story, into a 23-minute audio drama pilot. This was an exciting project and we are really proud of it. For its crisply written script, Love Shop has won recognition as an official selection at the Melbourne WebFest 2020, and won ‘Best Romantic Comedy at the 2019 Asia Web Awards.

So while not all brands or stories may have the big budget to create the cinematic masterpieces meant for the big screen, there is always the opportunity to produce a digital version that can be broadcast on mobile platforms and channels, like Viddsee, where the people can consume on the go.

What was one lesson learnt during the pandemic that all marketers can take away? 

Tan:

The adage ‘expect the unexpected’ rings true.

Marketing is an industry which is relatively fast-paced because of fast-changing trends and technology. Seasoned marketers would have come across many situations where they are forced to think creatively and out of the box. During the pandemic, marketers would find themselves coming up with creative solutions and fast, as the event was sudden and the situation fast-changing, so they would also have had to adapt quickly.

Our “As One” campaign is an example of how we helped Gov.sg create and produce a creative public service message quickly, to reach the masses and help the public better understand what goes on “behind-the-scenes” when the government rolls out nationwide measures.

Viddsee is already a mobile and online platform so we have our technology up and running, which mostly works well for us. However, filming and production had to be done somewhat differently in adherence to the safety measures. This meant practising patience with our colleagues, and also patience with ourselves, as we pivot and adapt to the new working situation. So while we have a structure in place, we’re ready to adapt and respond accordingly to our circumstances.

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