January 5, 2021
By: Gabriel Legaspi

We’re proud to announce that our E-PESO campaign bagged the 2020 Gold Stevie Award for PR Campaign of the Year - COVID-19 Related Information. This is the second time Evident has won a Gold Stevie, the first being in 2019 for our STEMpower Our Girls program. The Stevie Award for Women in Business honors women executives, entrepreneurs, employees, and the companies they run worldwide. The Stevies have been hailed as one of the world’s premier business awards.

Answering The Call For Safety

With the COVID-19 pandemic, economic activity came to a near standstill as people refrained from doing both essential and non-essential activities. Since leaving the home presented health risks,  learning to do tasks digitally became a matter of safety and survival.

In a collective effort to keep every Filipino safe, Evident supported the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in its E-PESO Project. Together, we launched campaigns to assist three government agencies—the Central Bank of the Philippines, the Bureau of Internal Revenue, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development—in promoting a shift to e-payment modalities.

In a country where more than 51-million adults have no bank accounts, we consistently communicated the ease, safety, and convenience of setting-up and using e-payment accounts for everyday transactions.

BSP Encourages “Safe At Home” Digital Transactions

A shift from cash transactions to digital monetary transactions brings many questions and concerns. To give the public a sense of security, we launched the “Safe At Home With E-Payments Campaign” for the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

For this campaign, we developed a communication strategy that used social and traditional media platforms to encourage the quick adoption of e-payment accounts and to sustain the use of these accounts even after the pandemic.

As part of our communication strategy, we developed content for the Central Bank’s financial literacy platform, Pisolit; regular press engagements were done with the BSP’s Center for Learning and Inclusion Advocacy (CLIA) unit; and stakeholder meetings were conducted with bank partners to ensure that they amplify the messages.

The banked segment of the Filipino population was hesitant to transition to e-payments because of two main reasons: first, they preferred using cash transactions, and second, they had concerns on safety. To convince the public of the platform’s reliability, it was important to make sure all information was easily digestible by breaking things down into steps.

Along with making the information digestible, it was important to create visuals that are relatable and easy to approach. “I knew that I needed to strike a good balance between credibility and relatability,” says Lance Florentino, our Art Director for the campaign. “By turning everyday objects into kawaii-like illustrations and characters, we were able to give a more human element to the visuals. We knew this would resonate with the market because they are already familiar with these kinds of illustrations. The quirky visuals were then balanced by easily digestible captions backed up by research.”

Our kawaii-style visuals bring a friendly face to an unfamiliar topic.

Digitizing Relief By Promoting DSWD’s ReliefAgad App

In addition to the BSP campaign, we partnered with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to support their efforts to go digital amidst the pandemic.

We played a key role in building awareness for ReliefAgad, the DSWD’s app that digitized the collection of data from and the distribution of financial assistance to the recipients of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP). The service enabled beneficiaries to receive their ayuda through their preferred channels, including e-wallets and cash pick-up, sparing them from the risk of infection in crowded, public spaces.

Our Facebook posts broke down FAQs into step-by-step instructions.

To promote the ReliefAgad App, we adopted different communication tactics in response to emerging issues. We did this through weekly news and social media scans, as well as  multiple media outreach initiatives.

As part of the outreach, media outlets were tapped to discuss how to use the app, specifically radio stations. Radio rounds were done as these are the most effective way to reach people in the provinces, where many people still prefer radio over television. As a result, our efforts helped generate 4.3 million new registrants for the ReliefAgad App.

Improving Revenue Collection With The BIR

Finally, in partnership with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), we promoted the shift to digitized tax collection to encourage businesses to meet their obligations on time using the already existing tax filing and collection platform. This was done by creating content emphasizing the use of e-payment channels on the BIR’s Facebook page.

In addition, we tapped the BIR’s digital payment partners to host a series of Facebook webinars that taught individuals and corporations how to file their taxes electronically. This was done in order to increase revenue collection through online means.

To reinforce our message, we also created content based on audience feedback. One concrete way was to “use a combination of static images and animated video posts to give the answers to the frequently asked questions during the webinars,” says Vic Diesta, our project manager for the campaign.

Our team handles the tech for the BIR’s webinar “How To File and Pay Taxes Online for Corporations”.

Through these three engagements, the overall goal of the government to make digital transactions a solution to the restriction of monetary movement caused by the pandemic became successful. Evident was able to help increase both the volume of e-payment transactions and the average value of e-payment transactions,  which in turn helped sustain a predominantly cash-based Philippine economy.

This is seen through the digital transactions made through InstaPay and PESONet, as they are the e-payment systems used for interbank transactions. The campaign saw a total increase in digital transactions for both, with each gaining an increase of P20.8 billion and P57.4 billion respectively compared to the months before the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).

"The campaigns we designed and executed for E-PESO succeeded because of several things: strategy that is backed by data, sensitivity to a perpetually changing information environment, and the ability of the project team to execute despite many tactical challenges. The only way to produce helpful content is to be cognizant of the realities of our audience and to adjust our art, style, tonality, and channels of choice based on that reality," said Diane Hidalgo, Evident’s Director for Corporate and Public Affairs and lead for this project.

Learn more about the project by watching our case study video below.

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