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Brand Development Campaign of the Year (Service)

Campaign Title

Rebuilding Trust in Malaysia Airlines in Australia and New Zealand

Malaysian Airline System Berhad

Crossman Communications

The challenge was unenviable: to rebuild trust in Malaysia Airlines after a baffling aviation mystery involving the disappearance of one of its planes, and the downing of another over Ukraine.

The brand’s reputation was severely dented in Australia and New Zealand given that both incidents had affected people from those countries. The aim was to regain people’s trust, improve flagging bookings and position Malaysia as an appealing destination for travel.

The main target customers were affluent business travellers. The brand’s advertising budget was modest, meaning the campaign had to work hard. The strategy was based on advocacy: the goal was to mobilise third-party support and encourage respected outlets to champion the brand. The first masterstroke was also the most difficult: securing Australia’s favourite Malaysia-connected celebrities as airline partners—Masterchef runner-up and TV presenter Poh Ling Yeow, and rising tennis star Nick Kyrgios. Getting them involved was crucial for positive public perception. Poh presented a series of online travelogues under the banner ‘My Malaysia, my airline’, while the airline maximised its partnership with Kyrgios for customers with tennis clinics, meet and greets and hospitality at the Australian Tennis Open.

The agency also undertook benchmarking research on behalf of the airline to measure perception, addressed media desire for a story on rebuilding the brand, provided 24/7 issues management, undertook a sustained media and blogger campaign promoting new developments within the business, and leveraged the airline’s sponsorship of shoe designer Jimmy Choo’s trip to Perth to attend a fashion think-tank, underscoring a desire to build closer ties between both countries.

It’s still early, but passenger numbers are now ahead of what they were prior to the disappearance of MH370. Australia and New Zealand are performing better for the airline than before the disasters, which is a remarkable outcome in two highly competitive markets.

Campaign Title

A global university on the rise

NTU Singapore


In Singapore competition in the higher education sector is intense with six universities fighting for the top students.

However, research uncovered a low awareness of NTU’s strengths, both among digitally connected prospective students and their parents, who favored mainstream media.

To change these perceptions NTU had to show it was a global university on the rise, with research breakthroughs, top-notch professors, successful graduates and world-class partners.

To do this the in-house team created a new integrated multi-media platform called HEY! focusing on punchy, human-interest articles across print, online and social media. These stories were also pitched to the mainstream media and online youth sites.
Students were heavily involved in written and digital production, resulting in a paradigm shift away from stories that NTU wanted to tell to ones the target audience was genuinely interested in.

Across the four communications pillars, the project surpassed the objective of having at least 70 percent positive perceptions of NTU.

Compared to 2010, earned media increased by 45 percent in 2014, 57 percent in 2013, 53 percent in 2012 and 24 percent in 2011.

For paid media, the number of people who viewed NTU positively after seeing admissions ads jumped from 71 percent to 87 percent, while 9 out of 10 people said they had a positive opinion after experiencing owned media.

More impressively, though, is the leap in the number of top A-Level students joining NTU, up 83 percent last year compared with 2011.

Campaign Title

Singapore Celebrity Concierge

Singapore Tourism Board

Adhesive PR

Many Australians hold several misconceptions about Singapore, believing it to be boring, a concrete jungle, lacking in culture and a destination just for business travelers.

From an earned and social media perspective, the idea of the “real Singapore” had not been introduced to give consumers a reason to rethink their views about the destination and consider visiting.

The broad target audience consisted of any Australian considering booking a trip during April 2014.

Agency consumer research identified that Australians like to explore a destination just like a local, getting off-the-beaten track to discover a city’s culture, food scene, attractions, precincts and the great outdoors. This lead to the creation of the Singapore Celebrity Concierge – a first-of-its-kind VIP travel service, which invited Australians to have their Singapore holiday masterminded by some of Australia’s most-loved personalities.

Australians were asked to sign up to the YourSingapore Facebook page to book a Skype call with an ambassador who acted as celebrity travel Agent or download an app that included the celebrity’s interactive tips, so Aussies could build their own itinerary.

The campaign led to 335 pieces of earned media across a 6-week period with a total audience circulation of 54,604,683. Almost 10,000 new fans signed up to the YourSingapore Facebook page during the campaign and 3,548 consumers interacted with the app.

Facebook- related campaign posts over the six-week period received 1,015 shares, 1,289 comments and 11,292 post likes.