Paypal: Seasonal Security Campaign



Client: PayPal
Category: Retail (mCommerce)
Agency: PHD/ Airwave
Areas: Hong Kong, Singapore
Year: 2016


Campaign Summary

This campaign, which ran in Hong Kong and Singapore, was initiated to address a problem that PayPal was having -- a dwindling customer base. The campaign was initiated when the bulk of PayPal’s online registered customers were inactive online shoppers and had the common complaint that PayPal lacked security. PayPal was reaching only eight percent of its online shopper population. To encourage the transactions needed to deliver fans for life, PHD/ Airwave developed a Seasonal Security campaign aiming at creating high-frequency PayPal usage among mCommerce savvy young professionals and educated techies. Those groups are more likely to buy gifts based on social media chatter than other groups, according to InMobi -- but, they are easily discouraged. A single disappointing online shopping experience is enough to turn them off from future transactions with that vendor.

To drive engagement, the campaign was launched in the festive shopping season when shopping behaviors result in significantly more purchases than usual. Security and promotional messages were seamlessly woven into interactive and viral social media messages. Seasonally relevant offers and videos, for example, reinforced the campaign’s messaging with social endorsements, such as testimonials from PayPal users about PayPal’s security protection capabilities.

PayPal’s Seasonal Security campaign successfully spread messages about PayPal’s protection and security policies by tying PayPal and its security to holiday gift giving. PayPal connected with the right audience.


Objective and Context

The Seasonal Security campaign’s objective was to increase the frequency of PayPal use through unique offers so as to stimulate repeat transactions and habitual behavior, stressing PayPal’s security benefits to online shoppers. Research helped define the messages and targets. Internal data showed that people who used PayPal at least three times in the first 90 days were more likely to habitually use PayPal in the future. Nielsen revealed that mobile shopping activities were high in developed Asian markets such as Singapore and Hong Kong, where over 30 percent had used mobile to shop within 30 days; 44 percent browsed products through mobile, and this activity resulted in a 20 percent purchase conversion. To increase the frequency of usage and discourage drop off, PHD/Airwave aimed specifically for consumers to complete three transactions in 90 days, and for consumers to understand PayPal security benefits. 


Creative Strategy

The wide digital campaign focused on Instagram, where consumers could show off creative talents and make a #PaypalWish for their chance to win a daily Christmas gift of their choosing around the time of Black Friday, Christmas, and Boxing Day. PayPal wishes and real-world affirmations were captured in a visually inspiring board, on a campaign-specific site. The site had sticky content, pulling in interesting visual wishes content from Instagram hashtags, as well as enticing promotional offers from participating merchants. To amplify consumer receptivity and positive word of mouth, PHD utilized sharing mechanisms across all major consumer mobile communities. Targeting techniques maximized relevance to existing mCommerce users, regular shoppers with PayPal merchants, and inactive PayPal users.

PHD identified mobile as the best channel because mobile could target users anywhere and anytime. Location-based targeting identified major shopping centers in Singapore -- such as Wisma Atria, Paragon, Plaza Singapura, and Vivo City -- where people who were shopping for Christmas gifts were targeted with PayPal’s message.

PHD targeted consumers who had downloaded competitor m-commerce apps from American Express, Visa and MasterCard, among others -- and consumers who had downloaded retailer apps supported by PayPal’s payment system, including eBay, Luxury retailer Reebonz, ASOS, Agoda, TinyDeal, Garena and Instagram. PHD segmented consumers who had already downloaded PayPal to spur them to become more active users. Once targeted, exclusive offers enticed them to use PayPal. Partially engaged users were re-targeted ensuring that users were reminded of the PayPal brand.

To support an overarching digital #PaypalWish campaign, PHD ran rich media units, banner displays and video ads across multiple channels, seeding them based on copy relevance and contextually relevant areas. A highly targeted frequency plan ensured that the target audience was receiving content during contextually relevant moments, including during competitor usage moments and during shopping moments. Rich media banners mimicked video content by featuring an interactive duct-tape animation that plastered over the user’s screen, before displaying the most contextually relevant message and image based on the user’s browsing activity. For example, a fashion related call-to-action would appear if the user was browsing in a fashion app, and so forth. To enrich the message, videos were inlaid within rich media and pre-roll and video interstitials.

PayPal’s campaign could only be successfully executed on mobile, where user browsing and app-usage histories could be targeted and re-targeted, especially via contextual targeting based on keywords to do with Christmas, shopping and gifts that initially engaged users. The searches enabled tailored messages based on time, place and offers. PHD re-targeted users who viewed the video within the rich media banners.



The campaign ran from mid-October through the end of 2014. In that time, there were over 12 million video impressions, 99,000 completed video views, and 106,000,000 clicks. The clickthrough rate of 0.99 percent, was well beyond that of Sizmek’s SEA industry average of 0.47 percent. PayPal saw a 114 percent return on investment in incremental purchase volume. The campaign’s CTRwas 88 percent higher than other campaign tactics.

As a result of the campaign, users in Singapore and Hong Kong understood that they were protected against items not received from a seller when they used PayPal, that they were protected against products that were different from sellers' descriptions, and gained confidence that PayPal is the safest way to pay online.

Transactions in new and churned PayPal users increased 29 percent in Singapore and 10 percent in Hong Kong. Consumer perception shifted, with an 8 percent in buyer protection awareness uplift in Singapore and a 7 percent uplift in Hong Kong. Singapore alone saw an increase of 13 percent of total PayPal users and 2 percent of churn/zero transaction. PayPal users indicated they would use PayPal more regularly. After seeing the buyer protection campaign, 85 percent of users in Singapore and 80 percent in Hong Kong said they intended to use PayPal more.  

The consumer campaign was deemed a massive success with 220,000 engaged consumers transacting during the campaign whilst also stimulating 156,000 newly activated consumers.



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