SG50: How brands are joining in the celebration of Singapore’s 50th year of Independence

In honour of its 50th year of independence, Singapore is launching a year-long, nation-wide celebration called SG50. With a customised logo for the event, brands are encouraged to use and even adapt the logo to show their pride and support for the celebrations. While some simply use the logo and offer the predictable 50% discount, other use a little more creativity, truly embracing what Singapore means to its people. Take a closer look at four campaigns we thought were a cut above the rest.

History, reimagined

Tiger Beer, Singapore’s first locally brewed beer, took a funny and imaginative approach with their SG50 advertising. Taking culturally iconic aspects of Singaporean culture, the alcoholic beverage company has created the “Unofficial History” video campaign. Released on a rolling basis, each video takes its viewers back in (imaginary) time, to hear how their favourite cultural traditions came to be. Not only are these ads humorous and filled with nostalgia, Tiger Beer has also cleverly succeeded in placing their product at the heart of the country’s pride.

A “heartfelt” apology

Based on actual birth-rate statistics, Durex used a hearty dose of sarcasm and reverse psychology in their “An Apology” ad, which circulated around social media. Apologising for the part it played in Singapore’s quickly falling birth-rate statistics, Durex urged married couples to forgo their product and to “make love your priority this SG50”. Made to look like a print ad in a newspaper, the campaign was strictly digital. Durex published it on the Facebook page for SMRT Feedback, which is known for its tongue-and-cheek humour and for poking fun at Singaporean culture. Targeting this audience paid off, with plenty of shares on Twitter.


There’s no place like home

Using the country’s favourite National Day song, ‘Home’, the telecomm company, StarHub, teamed up with 9 voluntary welfare organisations (VWO) to create a moving campaign with an important message. In a public call for ‘togetherness’, a group made up of the elderly, special needs and underprivileged individuals came together to sing the classic anthem. The song was sung in all 4 official languages (English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil) and reminded the nation to celebrate SG50 as “one united people. One Singapore.” StarHub customers were given the opportunity to support these 9 VWOs by redeeming 50 StarHub Rewards Points, which would result in a $5 donation through the StarHub Sparks Fund.

The old gives way to the new

Paying tribute to Shophouses, the iconic buildings found throughout Southeast Asia and which fill the streets of Singapore, Google set up a pop-up shop and filled it with digital tributes to the city in honour of SG50.

Visitors had plenty to choose from, whatever their ages. For those with artistic dreams, Google held a logo design competition with the theme of ‘Singapore: The next 50 years’. The winning design, created by 8-year old Moh Journ Haydn replaced the traditional Google Singapore homepage logo on August 9th, Singapore’s National Day.


If art isn’t your thing, there were plenty of other digital activities on offer. Singapore Time Walk, a smartphone app, allows you to calibrate your location at various landmarks, and digitally experience what Singapore looked like in these cultural hotspots throughout different periods in history. These images overlay the current view, and are digitally interactive.

Lastly, in honour of Singapore’s 50th birthday, Google added 40 new Singaporean ‘Street View’ locations to its database, acknowledging the country’s growth and prosperity throughout the years.

No matter the brand, each campaign took iconic aspects of Singaporean culture and created memorable campaigns that won’t soon be forgotten. Whether basing their campaigns on hard facts, using real elements from the past, or building their foundation around deeply-embedded cultural traditions, each of these examples shows how much culture can impact marketing success, and what wonderful creations can result from it.

By Carly Coulter


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