Better advertising for car brands in Singapore?
Singapore is a small island of roughly five hundred and eighty (580) square kilometers. This island has a problem. If this beautiful tropical island cannot keep her car population in check, then before long, there will be a possibility of a complete standstill on the roads.
Imagine the inconvenience and sufferance that residences of this island have to go through, let alone the negative economic impact, as a result if this scenario pans out.
What has this got to do with advertising?
Well, I do not know the exact amount of advertising dollars that car brands pump in every year. Having said that, by observing the number of car-related advertisements, one can assume this amount to be huge. And what is the effect that these car brands hope to achieve?
"To induce demand for cars, of course!", you say. Well, hang on a second. On the one hand, the car population needs to be kept in check, and on the other hand advertising dollars are spent to induce demand for cars. "Is this not counter what is really needed in Singapore?", I hear you asking.
From an adman's point of view, I fully agree that these companies need to get their brands out there, currently through advertising campaigns, in order to steer consumers towards consuming their products. They are running businesses after all.
The question is, instead of spending on advertising campaigns that are aimed at purely generating demand for cars, is it possible for car brands, together with their agencies, think more the possibility of deriving additional social benefits from the spending of these dollars?
I think it is possible. How about spending the advertising budget on campaigns that, for instance, are carefully designed to help the needy or society at large?
How about using the advertising budget to design campaigns that help make Singapore a better place to live, work, and play.
I am not advocating a complete void of advertising, in the form that exists today, by car brands in Singapore. All I am saying is that car brands may want to consider putting a larger portion of that advertising budget into corporate social responsibility campaigns.
Ng Chong Yang, Business Development Director, Tangoshark