News & Views

4G for Good

by Contagious I/O

This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O, our customisable research platform featuring the world’s most innovative, creative and effective ad campaigns and marketing ideas

Singaporeans donate their unused mobile data to the needy

Singaporean telco StarHub has launched an initiative that allows its mobile subscribers to donate their unused data, minutes and texts to charity.

StarHub customers can text a number to opt in to the 4G4Good scheme. The telco will then donate talktime, mobile data and SMS to its five partner charities: Asian Women’s Welfare Association, Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore, Industrial & Services Co-Operative Society, Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped and Society for the Physically Disabled. StarHub chose these particular charities because they serve people who rely on care-givers due to illness or disability and who would greatly benefit from access to mobile phones. The telco will consider the income status of the individual beneficiaries to ensure that those who need the service most benefit. StarHub hopes to give 500 beneficiaries 80 minutes of talk-time, 300 SMS and 1GB of mobile data each month for a year.

While the 4G4Good scheme is only open to StarHub subscribers, the telco is encouraging all Singaporeans to donate their used phones and chargers to its partner charities via its retail outlets.

Via DDB Group Singapore.


Contagious Insight

Differentiation through making a difference / This campaign reminds us of an initiative we wrote about from South Korean telco SK Telecom that let people share their unused data with families and friends. In addition to making subscribers feel like their unused data is not going to waste, both initiatives help the telcos stand out in saturated market and give the brands a point of differentiation. If telcos can’t offer decent coverage and speed to customers, they will inevitably fail. But once they meet these minimal requirements, they have to ensure that their brand is attractive, and this project from StarHub does just that.

The benefits of doing good / We’ve reported repeatedly on people preferring to support brands that give back to society. According to a 2013 Cone Communications/ Echo Global CSR Study, 91% of global consumers are likely to switch brands to one associated with a good cause, given comparable price and quality.

StarHub here is helping people give back themselves, allowing them to get the warm and fuzzy feeling that comes with doing good. As Jeannie Ong, StarHub chief marketing officer said: ‘4G4Good is really about customer-driven philanthropy; StarHub is just the enabler.’

It’s important to note the low barriers to entry here: all customers have to do is send a text to donate something they’re not using anyway. But StarHub is still putting the onus on customers because if it doesn’t receive a minimum amount of pledges it won’t be able to meet its target of helping 500 beneficiaries.

Linking CSR to brand / This initiative comes after previous StarHub efforts to improve the lives of Singaporeans with disabilities. StarHub has not merely raised funds or launched a CSR campaign with little relevance to its business. Instead, as it did with the Third Eye app for the blind, but it has thought hard about what how mobile technology can improve other people’s lives.



This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O. Contagious I/O is our bespoke trends, inspiration, insight and analysis service, providing daily innovative marketing intelligence across a comprehensive range of sectors to brands and agencies across the world. For more information about Contagious I/O contact