The Background:

The e-comm space in Singapore is extremely competitive. Fuelled by a ton of VC money, everyone wants to be #1 in a “winner takes all” market which has resulted in super-high investment in this space. During tactical periods, platforms with the most visibility end up being at the top of mind for consumers and thus get the most sales. This of course leads to more user acquisition and higher revenue/valuations for the companies, so brands invest heavily into marketing during these periods.

What started out as just a yearly affair (11.11 type of sales days) has now morphed into a phenomenon of its own. From 9.9 to now even 5.5 and 6.6, these highly competitive flash sales go on every other month. And that’s where the challenge comes in – there’s an oversaturation of these campaigns in Singapore. Fatigue has set in and every time these tactical periods come around, e-comm players compete to stand out on social media.

The Brief:

In the past, it was easy to just spend a ton of money boosting posts. But in the face of FB’s ever-increasing boosting fees, paid media spend increases every year and creative content thus because more and more valuable. If you were to rely purely on paid media to drive weak content today, chances are you’ll probably get negative ROI for many of your tactical campaigns.

So how could brands create content that still stands out in 2022?

There has to be an element of creativity and organic performance in all your campaigns.

More marketing folks are going to realise this and transition into creating content that can perform well on its own, organically, even before any paid media spend. And sure, this could be further amplified by boosting to do even better. Boosts don’t cost have the same costs. A campaign that performs well organically might have a $0.01 CPC compared to an ineffective campaign that may cost $0.36 and brute-force shoved in front of people. That’s a 3,600% difference in cost. FB rewards high performing content that is boosted with significantly lower boosting fees.

The other issue is the temporary nature of content created for tactical periods. Why invest so heavily in something that would be irrelevant in the next month’s promotion? It would be great if the video could instead be used as an evergreen asset, multiple times.

We’ve built up a great reputation for generating massive amount of views organically on social channels, through our customised branded content and data-driven approach to ideation. Realising the importance of video marketing, Shopee worked with TheSmartLocal to create an evergreen educational video that highlighted the perks of Shopee. They strategically released it in time to promote their 6.6 campaign as well.

What TSL Provided:

We worked closely with Shopee to come up with this original comedic video, where we tackled a topic relatable to couples that are part of Shopee’s target audience – engaged shoppers who are savvy with social media. The video titled “How to tell if your date is a keeper” featured a series of plot twists and dramatic audio cues, one after the other, which kept viewers engaged. We were able to weave in Shopee messaging through clever scriptwriting.

For example:

  • Guy: I also go to a lot of clubs.
  • *Girl panics and internally thinks that he drinks and dances a lot with other girls*
  • Girl: You go to clubs often?
  • Guy: Not so often, maybe 2-3 times a week.
  • *Girl PANICS EVEN MORE and thinks he is definitely a player!*
  • Girl: Dance so late must be tiring hor?
  • Guy: * Dancing? Oh what I meant by clubs is interest clubs. Like a book club or photography club. Quite a few Shopee clubs also like the Beautyholics and Pawrents club.
  • Girl: Ahh right, that’s pretty cute.

For more on this style of comedic video marketing, you can refer to our case study for MOE where we promoted conversational Malay in a similar way, or our video about overprotective boyfriends for Roche. Due to the massive amount of data we have from producing so much organic content, were able to pinpoint with high accuracy the topics that will perform well for brands on social media.

The video ended up being extremely relatable, getting over 1m views organically in a short span of 2 days. Being an evergreen video that would be relevant beyond the tactical period, it also showed viewers how they could maximise their savings and enjoy additional perks when they shop on Shopee.

The Results:

shopee tsl 6.6 campaign

The above is a screenshot from our proprietary data insights tool. Getting over 1m views through paid media might cost tens of thousands of dollars. And that is not factoring in the video production and platform distribution costs.

Our data-driven approach to content creation allowed us to create this viral video that garnered close to 2 million in organic reach with $0 ad spend. We ended up exceeding industry benchmarks by over 7,000%, delivering over 1m views for the video organically and with prominent Shopee brand messaging.

The video was also very well received by readers. We believe good advertising is when ads don’t feel like ads.

Start Your Video Marketing Campaign

The most satisfying campaigns we run are with clients who share a similar understanding to content as us. We depend heavily on data when we do ideation, drawing on the learnings from over 10,000 articles and 700 long-form videos we create each year. This allows us to work on creative content that gets strong results organically. Shopee is always a pleasure to work with and they’ve been pushing the envelope in what can be done with marketing on social, resulting in this competitive dynamic on social media during campaign periods – where brands try to outdo each other for visibility and to push up GMV numbers.

If you’re interested in exploring more content marketing solutions to get an edge over the competition, drop us an email today at to get started!


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