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Case study: DBS video mini-series success

Creative content wins again

DBS Bank took a unique financial content marketing approach, through the creation of a video mini-series, titled Sparks. With episodes between 12 to 15 minutes that follow the lives and work relationships of their fictional bank employees, Sparks connects with audiences through well-produced storytelling. But it’s not just the unique content format and high production value that has made this financial content marketing campaign so successful. DBS also employed a number of effective marketing tactics alongside the mini-series that enabled it to significantly improve brand awareness and generate meaningful leads. Here we explain what Singapore finance brands can learn from the success of DBS Bank’s video mini-series.

Sparks, a video mini-series by DBS

DBS Bank’s mini-series focused on storytelling over trying to sell a product or service. The mini-series began with the idea that it was unfortunate most of the general public didn’t understand what bankers do or their daily lives. So, Sparks was produced to share this with audiences.

Creating emotional connections was a strategic priority for the DBS team and enabled it to form authentic customer relationships. This worked in its favour, with the series being attributed to 10% of leads for loans, SME products and wealth products. In addition, the series also garnered 230 million views, became one of the top 10 ads watched on YouTube, and led to a 159% uplift in brand interest and a 46% recognition score in awareness and advocacy.

Sparks, the mini-series, garnered 230 million views and led to a 159% uplift in brand interest and a 46% recognition score in awareness and advocacy.

Karen Ngui, Head of Strategic Marketing and Comms at DBS explains: “We were very surprised because 10% is actually quite a healthy percentage. Ngui adds, “It goes to show that people, while being very promotion sensitive, really want to bank with someone who shares values that they can identify with.”

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Facebook in-stream video ads

While the focus on storytelling and its high production value contributed to its overall success, DBS also utilised several other marketing techniques. While producing great video content is a crucial component of a successful financial marketing strategy, your finance brand must also consider content that supports its success and generates awareness.

DBS saw great success utilising Facebook’s in-stream video ad campaigns. Facebook in-stream video ads, is content that appears as ad breaks in longer-form video content. DBS Bank’s in-stream video ads showed a 15-second snapshot of a Sparks episode and was targeted towards 25-44 year olds.

The simple goal was to increase brand awareness of the second season of its Sparks mini-series and attract more viewers, which they achieved. By utilising this style of campaign, DBS gained a 39-point lift in ad recall, a 9-point lift in brand awareness and a 6-point lift in action intent.

The ‘phygital’ experience

Alongside the mini-series, DBS launched an in-person campaign called Sparks Studio. This is an interactive space where consumers can visit and learn about recycling and reducing waste consumption (the major storyline in season 2 of Sparks).

By seamlessly combining the digital experience of the Sparks mini-series with a physical experience, DBS can form stronger connections with consumers and reach different demographics. Research by Forrester has suggested that providing a phygital experience may result in a 17% increase in conversions, 16% increase in revenue and a 20% increase in customer satisfaction.

While a mini-series won’t be a content strategy that aligns with every Singapore finance brand, DBS’ success highlights the importance of producing high-value, creative content that’s supported by a range of marketing strategies.

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Ella Boyd
Having graduated with an English Literature degree, Ella understands the power of great words. With extensive experience in copywriting for a diverse range of businesses and executing marketing strategies for financial brands, Ella is an expert in crafting content that connects with customers. When not at work, Ella is running an ultramarathon, practicing her cycling skills for her triathlons or reading a book with a cup of tea.