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As a relatively new entrant in the eCommerce space, Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) brand Atome needed to differentiate itself from competitors. Working with VaynerMedia APAC, Atome wanted to create awareness by launching Atome Week as Atome’s ownable, iconic, and high-anticipated annual shopping event, across its core market in Singapore and developing markets in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Indonesia. The campaign developed brand assets that were well received and gained attention within the advertising landscape, impressing the judges and winning the bronze award for Excellence in Brand Awareness at MARKETING INTERACTIVE’s Marketing Excellence Awards Singapore 2021.
With fast-emerging competitors vying for a slice of the BNPL pie in APAC, Atome needed to stand out in terms of brand differentiation and provide unique value as extensions of BNPL, especially considering how easily the BNPL business model and solutions can be replicated.
Atome also had to compete with the barrage of other mid-year mega sales such as the Shopee 6.18 Great Global Sale, Lazada 6.6 Great Singapore Sale and Amazon Prime Day happening in the eCommerce world. This meant that Atome is not only competing for attention amongst BNPL players, but also with these big eCommerce brands that have deep pockets to engage a diverse roster of world-renowned celebrities as brand ambassadors. Atome needed a solution to combat influencer fatigue and deliver an Atome Week experience that would impress and surprise the Millennials and Gen Z audience within a small budget of US$100,000.
To address these challenges, Atome needed a strategy that would improve its brand awareness among Gen Y and Gen Z shoppers, increase the number of interactions and engagements on social channels, and drive installations of the Atome app.
Recognising that its target audience, Millennials and Gen Z shoppers, regardless of their motivations, often had to postpone their passion pursuits until they have saved up enough to get what they wanted, Atome hoped to create a world where they no longer had to compromise their pursuit of passions just because of financial limitations.
To compete for consumer attention and change the negative perception of BNPL, Atome needed consumers to realise that Atome Week has so much to offer beyond shopping deals. Research was done to gain insight on Millennials and Gen Z consumer behaviour changes and motivations to purchase to achieve their desired lifestyle. The team discovered that shoppers have come to expect the usual campaign elements: a standard jingle accompanied by a dance, a famous face or a celebrity, all towards promoting sales on a single day almost every calendar month.
According to Atome, majority of influencer campaigns were merely glorified product placements and influencer fatigue had set in with the savviest of customers not trusting recommendations from them. Based on a survey conducted by Collective Bias, only 3% of consumers are found to be influenced by celebrity endorsements in their product purchase decisions.
To turn tired heads and to surprise the already surprised, Atome needed a one of a kind campaign that would be a disruptive head-turner in the payments and commerce landscape and generate virality, talkability and brand love. Apart from a call to shop, Atome also wanted to resonate with Gen Z and Millennials and make sure they speak their language.
Atome wanted to turn the eCommerce’s standard influencer marketing formula on its head, through the inclusion of real kittens, a music video, and a sale week with combined shopping and entertainment. This was done by preparing for a unique shoppertainment event featuring world’s first feline supergroup, The Atome Kittens (inspired by renowned British female trio Atomic Kittens from the 1990s).
To address a spectrum of audience with different lifestyle behaviours, the kittens’ personas were crafted with different personality traits in mind. Their different personalities personify the brand values of Atome: Aspirations, Access, Advice. For example, Zesty is the passionate self-improver (Aspirations), while Savvy loves to share hacks and tips on smart shopping (Advice). As for Sassy, she’s the trendsetter with access to the latest and greatest in fashion, beauty and lifestyle (Access). As younger consumers turned to 90s music to find comfort and connection, Atome hoped that the Atome Kittens would evoke nostalgia and capture the attention of its target audience.
To focus efforts on where Atome’s target audience was, “Atome Get It Week '' was primarily run as a digital- and social-first campaign, with communications going out via the channels of Tiktok, Instagram and the Atome app. These are key touchpoints for new Millennials and Gen Z consumers who are looking for specific information, as well as existing customers who are regular fans of Atome, looking to keep up to date on online shopping deals. They also allow for flexibility in asset type, granting the team the ability to churn out creatives across statics, Gifs and videos for Atome Kittens.
To excite customers and get their attention with something different, build brand affinity, talkability and footfall with a bold never-seen-before shopping campaign from Atome, the team let the cats out of the bag literally - with the Atome Kittens Music Video and soundtrack. The soundtrack was placed on Instagram, YouTube, Spotify, TikTok, advertorials and radio spots, weaving in Atome and featuring merchants’ products cleverly.
The Atome Kittens made their debut with a new single titled "Let's Get It, Get It" that drummed up hype for Atome Get It Week which ran from 11 to 20 June in Malaysia, Indonesia and Hong Kong. The campaign in Singapore was launched on 25 June.
Atome wanted its target audience to be intrigued by its unexpected influencers and share the catchy music video and GIFs with their friends. Other than the music video, the feline supergroup Atome Kittens made even more dedicated appearances on two key channels: TikTok and Instagram. Atome created a special TikTok #AtomeKittens challenge encouraging consumers to dance along to the tune with their pets and launched a #GetItToWin AR Filter game on Instagram, featuring Zesty with exciting prizes up for grabs.
The Atome Kittens also hosted their own live social media talk show with daily deals as well as fronting Atome’s own line of stickers, filters and collector’s items. Titled "The Not So Late Night Show with Atome Kittens", the live talk show featured Sassy and TikTokers in each market, making banter, demonstrating makeup tutorials and revealing fashion hauls. On Instagram, a Q&A - “Guess the Purrize” and a poll quiz “The Category is…” was also created to encourage users to have some fun with pets and win vouchers to shop with Atome at the same time.
Through these creatives, the target audience became active participants of Atome’s Get It Week campaign, subtly building brand affinity with Atome. Memes featuring the Atome Kittens were also created to speak to Atome’s young target audience tactically and effectively in a manner they would engage with most.
Atome’s “Get It Week” campaign was a success, gaining a 46% increase in brand awareness in Singapore. Atome’s regional number of interactions and engagements on social channels increased by 200.6 % and achieved a 124.4% increase in regional app installations. The campaign also delivered original brand assets for Atome that are fully ownable, with the potential to scale for future campaigns. This is hugely valuable and goes beyond creating buzz and turning heads only in the short term.