How StarHub married branded content with contextual advertising to improve its brand perception among Premier League fans in Singapore

Partnering with Yahoo Singapore, Starhub’s “Football for All” campaign smashed click through rate averages, reached tens of millions of football fans and cemented its reputation as a ‘reputable’ brand.

After it secured exclusive broadcast rights of the Premier League in Singapore following the league’s 12-year stint with its competitor, telco StarHub partnered with Yahoo and married branded content with contextual advertising to make over 57 million impressions and supercharge football lovers' passion for Singapore’s most-watched league.

The challenge:

Info-communications company StarHub wanted to create a spectacle around the brand’s announcement of its new broadcast partnership with the Premier League, hoping to ramp-up subscriptions for its Premier League offerings.

By partnering with Yahoo Singapore, who have a strong editorial presence covering the league in the country and subsequently a wide readership, StarHub set out to become top-of-mind among football fans with the goal to make “Football for All” by boosting awareness, winning over audiences and fostering deeper and more meaningful engagement.

The solution:

To best capitalise on Yahoo’s audience and popularity among Singapore-based football fans, StarHub incorporated a strategy that leaned on a rich branded content experience paired with performance-based contextual targeting.

The pivotal strategic manoeuvre of the campaign was a first-party data driven programmatic initiative in the form of a StarHub takeover of the dedicated Premier League hub within Yahoo Singapore’s webpage.

Aimed at being a one-stop destination for Premier League fans, the topic hub featured a mix of Yahoo’s editorial and aggregated content and StarHub’s branded content and ads. To ensure the campaign was exposed to the right viewers and encouraged repeat visits, it leveraged Yahoo’s first-party base with the use of strategically targeted ads as well as a range of programmatic tools harnessing real-time signals to serve ads to an extended audience.

The campaign employed a tactical mix of native and display ads across desktop and mobile devices, with waves of these ads served across Yahoo’s owned-and-operated properties, promoting must-read articles and commentaries that directed users towards StarHub’s subscription packages.

The results:

The campaign was successful in driving full funnel engagement with audiences by attracting attention, generating leads and driving conversions.

Viewed by StarHub as meeting its goals “with flying colours”, it achieved the following:

● Over 57 million impressions and a click through rate of 0.61%, 3x higher than the average benchmark

● StarHub emerged #1 in brand awareness against its competitors in a brand lift survey, with the ads helping increase audience’s positive brand perception of StarHub and cementing its association as a “reputable” brand

● The branded content pieces drew over 55,000 unique users and over 80,000 page views, with readers spending an average of 75 seconds on an article

● The brand lift survey revealed that 4 in 5 people said they liked StarHub’s Premier League ads on Yahoo’s website, with 2 in 5 saying they were more likely to subscribe to StarHub’s offerings after seeing the ad

For advertisers looking to increase their brand’s perception with branded content, the results underline the power of both partnering with an already respected brand and effectively using contextual advertising.

Maneesh Varma, Vice President of Marketing at StarHub, said: “Through the partnership, we were able to leverage Yahoo’s editorial expertise and audience into a supercharged branded content experience that informed and entertained our target audience — football lovers and potential subscribers of the Premier League.”

Rene How, Sales Strategist at Yahoo, added: “The core of our partnership was to help StarHub forge connections with their audiences through a strong passion point: football. Yahoo helped them stand out and engage consumers by leveraging exciting ways to connect with their audiences, and reaching more of them at scale — through a carefully strategised mix of branded content and Yahoo’s adtech solutions. This campaign is a great example of employing creative and simple solutions to unlock the full value of marketing at scale.”