MEDIA & MARKETING | Contributed Content, Singapore
Louise Reid

The cleverest SG50 marketing campaigns


With preparations for the big day in full swing, it seems that the little red dot is practically everywhere – even gracing special edition sardine cans! Some commentators are sceptical about businesses trying to 'cash-in' on the wave of emotion and excitement about the nation's special day. I think they should lighten up.

After all, Singapore and its Government want anyone and everyone linked to the nation to celebrate its success and you can't really apply caveats to that positive sentiment.

So with the spirit and goals of one of Singapore's biggest ever marketing campaigns in mind (celebrating our shared values, affirming our aspirations and committing to a brighter Singapore), here's a run-down of my favourite participants:

1. Great Eastern SG50 wishes – the insurance provider is asking people to 'pen their wishes and aspirations' and say they will fulfil the 50 most meaningful ones. This is a great way to encourage hope and aspiration, while presumably only rewarding those ideas that help others or contribute to the community – rather than giving out free holidays or flash cars! It also nicely reflects the brand's goal of providing customers with security and peace of mind for the future.

2. Changi Airport #iamhomeChangi – a stirring social media campaign that encourages Singaporeans to visualise the sentiment of home through images. It cleverly draws on national pride while providing the opportunity to showcase key features and facilities of the airport.

3. Lego's PR dream – it is unclear whether Lego had anything to do with orchestrating the amount of PR coverage it is getting in Singapore right now, or not. Perhaps it's one of life's wonderful strokes of luck (for them anyway). If you've not heard the buzz, here's the story: the MOE is giving free commemorative Lego sets to 600,000 students and teachers on National day. Made up of 244 pieces that can be used to build three Singaporean icons – the Cavenagh Bridge, Changi Control Tower, and the Supertrees from Gardens by the Bay – the sets are being pre-sold by some recipients online for as much as $100 each. The amount of on and offline column inches being given to this controversy would have cost Lego a small fortune by any other means!

4. Special edition sardines – popular local food producer, Ayam Brand, held a design contest last August and selected 6 winners whose designs can now be seen on their oval cans. Covering themes such as multi-cultural Singapore, landmarks, and 1960s street hawkers, the eye-catching pack designs are some of the most novel SG50 collectibles I have come across.

5. Share a Coke with Auntie – the global share a Coke campaign has been adapted in celebration of SG50, with cans featuring Singaporean nicknames and phrases such as Auntie, Uncle, Ah Boy, and Chiongster. They will also feature favourite Singlish phrases such as Gam Siah, Relak Lah, and Chiong Ah. It will be interesting to find out how successful this campaign is in terms of sales increase. I am sure there will be aunties and uncles everywhere drinking Coke like never before, if only for the novelty factor.

6. Tiger beer's unofficial history of Singapore – a tongue in cheek advertising campaign that includes mockumentaries charting key milestones in Singapore's history – such as the invention of chicken rice thanks to a fantasy chicken plague! This lighthearted campaign combines the casual feel of an alcohol brand with a clear link to Tiger's own heritage and beginnings – which are entwined with those of the nation.

While some people are already experiencing red dot fatigue, the creativity and diversity of some of the campaigns being developed is sure to keep most of us entertained, excited, and positive about SG50 and everything it stands for.

So here are the top six of my favourite SG50 campaigns, what are yours?

The views expressed in this column are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect this publication's view, and this article is not edited by Singapore Business Review. The author was not remunerated for this article.

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Louise Reid

Louise Reid

Louise Reid is a linguist, published author, and seasoned international b2b marketer who helps multinational b2b brands to grow their profile and business around the world. She established and runs BDB Asia, a specialist b2b marcomms agency in Singapore and is client services director of the agency's global business, led out of the UK.

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