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Tropa For Life

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There are up to 800,000 Filipinos in the UAE. These Filipinos reside together in troops, they eat together, go out together, perform their religious rituals together and even have their own Facebook pages. They tend to call themselves “Tropas” meaning troops. Filipino expats in the UAE weren’t connecting with du and were dropping out of the network due to lack of brand/product relevance.  

To rekindle its relationship with this audience, du created the unique Kabayan Daily Bundle. It provided subscribers with free minutes within the UAE to other bundle subscribers, free daily calls to the Philippines and unlimited access to Filipino social apps and websites, which allowed this audience to stay close to their loved ones.  

They are migrant workers who moved to the UAE alone to provide better lives for their families back home. To them, everyday life is filled with group activities: be it listening to the latest music releases (as they are heavily into music), riding with office-mates/friends on the metro, or enjoying a meal with their group on the weekend before they go out for a karaoke night (a popular Filipino pastime). They make time to attend Friday masses, either with friends or family.  

They’re the kind of people who would spend a little extra on a call home if they missed a family member as connections are far more important to them versus money.  


The first challenge was to break through the communication clutter and get the attention of Filipinos who are extremely price conscious and have become accustomed to aggressive price offers. Starcom thought of a way on how it could retain them on the du network and build an affinity with them. Both the above challenges were set up in the backdrop of Etisalat hitting this audience with multiple tactical price-off messages.  

From a Business Objective standpoint it wanted to: 
• Stop the downward trend in Filipinos opting out of the du network. 
• Increase the subscriber base by 10% in 6 months. 

From a Marketing perspective it wanted to acquire: 
• 5,000 opt-ins every day. 

Communication Objective: 
• Reconnect with the Filipino expats through the creation of original and relevant branded content. 
• Increase brand loyalty.  


du introduced the Kabayan Bundle by upholding the number one rule of a Tropa: To always stick together - no matter what. It led to branded content titled “Tropa For Life”, which aimed at becoming a part of the Filipino mainstream culture in the UAE. This was brought to life through various channels.  

The campaign began with a film shot by a Filipino director, set in one of the community’s most popular hangouts in the UAE, the Satwa Basketball Court. Amplifying the story was the music used in the film – an original ‘Tagalish’ hip-hop track featuring the vocals of the Filipino rapper, Twisted. The song put a comedic yet positive spin on how being part of a Tropa means always sticking together no matter the challenges. 

Distributed Leaflets at various retail outlets and in-store posters were used to spread information about this new product. Posters were hung around their famous Filippino restaurants and churches. As the campaign progressed, feedback on social media indicated the rising popularity of the TVC’s original music. The audience continuously asked where they could download the song.  

Hence, the campaign strategy shifted to promoting the product through the music. ‘Tropa For Life’ the single was released online as a free download, along with a music video featuring the same cast from the TVC. Local DJs and producers were invited to remix the song and share the remix on social media.  


• 85% of the Filipino community was reached  

• Sales increased by 180% 

• The song was requested over 150,000 times on the radio 

• 10,000 opt ins a day vs the 5,000 target which was initially set 

 Revenue increased by 110% 

 $62,000 in earned media on YouTube and $25,000 on Facebook 

 The conversation among Filipinos tripled with a 300%+ increase.

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