Company: Singapore Telecommunications Limited

Agencies: MEC, Ogilvy

Market(s): Singapore

Timing: May – July 2014

Singtel’s “roamaphobia” campaign launched its roaming plan subscription growth rate above and beyond the rate of growth for Singaporean outbound tourism.


Outbound travel from Singapore was growing at an average of 5.3% annually, but Singtel data roaming plan subscription growth was only averaging 2% growth. Singtel sought to generate a 5% increase in growth. This was no easy task, as subscribers have developed coping behaviors like hunting for free Wi-Fi spots and swapping their SIM cards for local prepaid ones — behaviors driven by the fear of bill shock due to data roaming charges.


Singtel’s campaign helped people realize the ridiculousness of this “roamaphobia” by creating “Roamaphobe” personas that Singaporeans could relate to — the Wi-Fi Hunter, Café Dweller, SIM Swapper and the Latergramm-er, and showed how Singtel’s roaming plan was the “antidote” for them to “roam without fear”. These personas were pushed and amplified across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, lifestyle magazines, and mobile opinion-targeting, as well as airline and price comparison sites, e-itineraries and boarding passes. Singtel and their team explored co-marketing options with another MEC client, Scoot, to cross-sell products and services.


Singtel first briefed MEC and Ogilvy on product information, goals for data roaming subscriptions, and challenges to meeting those goals. They then oversaw agency integration ― Ogilvy led creatively to produce campaign content, while MEC recommended media strategy based on consumer insights and past campaign performance.

MEC and Ogilvy worked closely together. For example, MEC contributed knowledge of consumer insights to help Ogilvy formulate the big idea; MEC sent media slides to Ogilvy, who could then create mock-ups for the media content. Tight deadlines necessitated early communication to allow time for feedback.


The campaign set out to achieve 5% growth in Singtel Data Roaming plan subscriptions — it actually achieved 6% growth in subscriptions.