Christmas is just another festival in Singapore
I had completely forgotten about Christmas until I walked into a Starbucks and saw their annual special red cups and special Christmas coffee. We have just celebrated Deepavali – the Hindu Festival of Light (and enjoyed a day off in the process) and the Hari Raya Haji – the Muslim Festival )and will enjoyed another day off!).
It’s the wonder of living in a multi cultural and truly cosmopolitan city (not an aspiring one like London….(if they were truly multi cultural they would celebrate other religions special days which they don’t and I don’t call St Patrick’s Day multi cultural…..!) that Christmas is not the be all and end all that it is in many western countries like the UK, US and Australia. There is more to life in Asia, more religions, more cultures, more truly cosmopolitan peoples to take into consideration, more different festivals to enjoy.
Brands here in Singapore look to capitalize on these festivals and sometimes get a bit mixed up ensuring that they cover all bases. I saw an advert outside a shop the other day saying 20% off for Deepavali and Hari Raya Haji! Not withstanding the fact that these are very separate Muslim and Hindu festivals it looked very crass.
Now these festivals are over brands in Singapore are looking at Christmas in the more commercial areas where expats and tourists go such as the amazing Orchard Road (what London’s Oxford Street aspires to be like) and the mega malls like Vivo City. More importantly they will look at Chinese New Year on January 22nd-23rd. )We get a week off for that one! We only get a day off for xmas! No Boxing Day here).
This year is a big one for the Chinese New Year as it’s the Year of the Dragon. There are even adverts around Clear Blue, the pregnancy predictor kit, saying ”planning for a Dragon baby?”!
I’m not sure whether Starbucks are planning on having Dragon themed cups but they can’t be any worse that their terrible new slogan emblazoned on all their glowing red xmas cups saying “let’s rediscover why we’re best friends…..” excuse me while I’m cough up my spearmint green tea.
All they need is a stomach churning (and not in a good way) Adele number to come on and we can all put our mobile phones in the air and wave…..! Are they talking about the consumer and Starbucks or some other long lost friends? Or is that the double meaning trick? If anyone truly calls Starbucks their best friend they are seriously in need of some help and really need to get out more!!!!!
Chris Reed, Regional Partnerships Director , Asia Pacific - at Partnership Marketing (Asia) pte ltd