Inside St George’s Diwali campaign that saw Happy the Dragon’s first ever selfie

St. George’s quirkiest campaign to date was an innovative one on an extremely tight budget.

Campaign: A Happy Diwali

Client: St. George Bank

Agency: Etcom



Marketing issue badge The Social issueThe festival of Diwali is the most significant celebration in the Indian subcontinent. Known as the ‘Festival of Lights’, it is a time to celebrate new beginnings and the victory of light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance. The word Diwali means ‘rows of lighted lamps’. Diwali is known as the ‘festival of lights’ because houses and public places are decorated with lamps called diyas. The lamps are set to attract the goddess of wealth, so that she’ll find her way into people’s homes.

Etcom developed St.George’s first social campaign targeting the Indian community to join them in celebrating Diwali. It was a devastatingly simple idea: post pictures of your Diwali celebration to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using the campaign hashtag, #StGeorgeDiwali to enter. A video was produced to explain the competition and promoted on social media. Print and radio have traditionally been key channels to reach Indian-Australians, but Diwali is about colour and emotion. Its visual, interactive and exciting nature prompted Etcom to deliberately select video and use targeting capabilities in Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to serve the video to Indian-Australians.

STG Diwali 2



St.George wanted to communicate its support for the community by celebrating Diwali with them.

To achieve this, St.George engaged Etcom to reach out to the Indian community in a fun and unique way via social media. The target audience for the campaign was Indians living in
New South Wales, Queensland and the ACT. The video was targeted to this community through a fluid mix of channels. It was advertised on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and across the Google Display network with the purpose of fostering engagement with the target audience during this important cultural period.

The campaign needed to reach the community through a cost-effective channel that promoted engagement in an authentic way. In order to produce accurate content, Etcom teamed up with Zee TV, a pay TV channel from India with an international footprint and extensive experience in producing entertainment content for audiences from a South Asian background. This ensured the commercial successfully captured the essence of Diwali.

Success was measured by impressions and the amount of new Facebook followers generated by the ad over the short campaign period.

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Campaigns targeting the Indian community have primarily been restricted to traditional channels such as press and radio. Given Diwali is all about colour and emotion, Etcom aimed to build a campaign that was visual and interactive to capture the excitement of the festival. Video was chosen as the most appropriate medium to convey the liveliness of Diwali.

The campaign needed to reach and engage the community cost-effectively. Research shows Facebook is ranked as the Indian community’s most popular media platform, with the networking site’s second highest user-base coming from India.

These insights led to the first ever 100% social media campaign targeting Indian communities across Australia. To get their attention, Etcom knew it had to tap into what they valued most: family. So it created a video showcasing a family celebrating Diwali. The incentive to encourage the community to enter was via a competition to win flights for two to India.

Etcom has a strong understanding of audience behaviour, cultural nuances and channel targeting within the multicultural space. Its team is as culturally diverse as the campaigns on which it works, allowing Etcom to bring valuable cultural insights to its campaigns. Etcom managed all aspects of the campaign from the research, to strategy development, content creation and media buy.

Related: This Indian brand’s ad campaign washes away generations of bias »

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We teamed up with Zee TV and to ensure the commercial successfully captured the essence of Diwali, it featured lighted diyas, traditional attire and a family feast. St.George’s lovable mascot, Happy the Dragon, was also featured, accepting a plate of treats and celebrating with the family to demonstrate the brand’s desire to be a part of the Indian community.

Australia’s east coast Indian communities were targeted through Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and Indian sites across the Google Display network. A video, hashtag and competition were launched, inviting people to capture themselves, friends, food and celebrations as they partook in the festivities of Diwali. People could share and tag their photos on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #StGeorgeDiwali.

The competition ran for two weeks in the lead-up to Diwali and people could enter as many times as they liked. A Diwali feast featuring traditional attire and food took place at St.George Bank in Martin Place, hosting customers. This was a way to further engage with the public and promote Diwali and St.George’s involvement in the multicultural celebration.

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The campaign succeeded in delivering a fun and engaging way to capture the attention of the Australian Indian community. It was colourful, interactive and all about emotion. During the busy Diwali period, the campaign stood out from other campaigns and other brands.

St.George’s quirkiest campaign to date was an innovative one on an extremely tight budget ($40,000). Etcom successfully tapped into the social channels, using emotion to stand out and illustrate St.George’s support for the community, emanating the fondness that the Indian community feels for Diwali.

The campaign resulted in the ad achieving 888,833 impressions on Facebook alone in 10 days. Those impressions generated 7073 clicks and the Facebook ad generated 149 new followers of St.George’s Facebook Page.

The YouTube ad generated 121,610 impressions and additionally Google Display networks received 112,497 impressions. Details of the competition that were promoted on St.George’s owned media channels (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) generated 995 likes, 72 shares and 24 comments, highlighting that the campaign was generating a lot of engagement among St.George followers.

A total of 191 entries were submitted. Positive comments and activity on the campaign proved the community was truly impressed by the activity. Mainstream media covered the campaign further, spreading the message about St.George’s support for the community.

Etcom became the first Australian company to successfully target the Indian community through a 100% social media campaign. It was also the first time St.George’s mascot, Happy the Dragon, had been featured in a Diwali celebration and the first time he’s taken a selfie. The ad evoked a sense of nostalgia and was well-received by the community, showing that homing in on what matters most to the community will help drive awareness and engagement.

The success of the campaign has motivated the team to continue to drive awareness and engagement around fun and quirky multicultural campaigns. Based on the success of this campaign, Etcom has been briefed to manage another social campaign for the coming Diwali festival. The campaign was a finalist in the 2015 Australian Multicultural Marketing Awards.


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