Singapore Celebrates National Night – How a Video Went Viral
Cheeky government video has people talking
What was once a little known fact is now becoming common knowledge.
Singaporeans, for all their efficiency and productivity, don’t want to, well, reproduce. Our government has offered financial bonuses for married couples to have children. The more you have, the more you receive (to a point). But as it turns out, this cash offer just isn’t like taking candy from (and for) a baby.
Two weeks before Singapore’s National Day, a music video surfaced and started making the rounds on the interwebs.
Made by Mentos Singapore and BBH Asia Pacific, the video features cheeky lyrics that combined a good blend of humor and topics Singaporeans could relate to (“Exploring your body like the Night Safari / We gotta go all the way for Singapore”), sultry voices and suggestive moves rapped out in detail encouraging Singaporeans to “Get their National Night On,” and do their civic duty for their country.
Long story short – do the deed and spike the birth rate numbers. The video itself, a visualization of floating lyrics flying in and out of your screen, got picked up by Singapore’s key bloggers and Twitterrati who started sharing and spreading the music video within their networks.
Pretty soon, mainstream media started talking about it and other bloggers started chiming in with their opinions, be they good or bad.
Initial reactions were negative but mainly because everyone thought it was another lame attempt by the government at being ‘hip and cool.’ Funnily enough, when word got around that both Mentos Singapore and BBH Asia Pacific did this without any government funding or support, sentiment for the video turned positive.
The music video has now appeared beyond our shores and has been picked up by Business Insider as well as American celebrity blogger Perez Hilton amongst others.
At last count, it had 371,000 YouTube hits – pretty good for a “government” video.
So why did it go viral?
- First off, both the client and ad agency collectively decided to not take themselves too seriously. They decided to stop just saying “let’s think out of the box.” They got up, went and did it.
- They then picked up on topics that would always attract attention or create controversy – what better topic than sex and low birth rates?
- Third is timing – We’ve always heard the phrase “Location! Location! Location!” That’s all good and dandy but you need to get your timing spot on. There’s no point being at the prime location when everyone’s asleep. They decided to tie their whole topic to an event that would garner an entire nation’s attention – National Day.
- Quality and content. From the performers to the lyrics, the entire music video allowed locals to identify with typically Singaporean references like “I want to tap you like an EZ Link Card.”
- Once you have these ticked off, the last (but not least) step is to seed it to the Influencers and BlogFathers.
Only when your content is sound, will your content be shared. This applies across all mediums whether they’re traditional via word of mouth or digital via social network sharing etc.
Don’t get me wrong though, not everyone liked the video. Where it made some people laugh, it made others cringe. (You can view the video yourself below – keep in mind some of the lyrics flashing across your screen might be NSFW, depending on your office culture.)
It had industry creative directors from the top ad agencies in Singapore casting their expert eyes and giving their sought after thoughts on the campaign. Many gave it a positive review but agreed that some things could’ve been done a little better. (Hindsight tends to do that). A few gave it scathing reviews for being tacky and cheesy.
The fact is, it got attention; A LOT of attention and provoked a reaction from everyone who watched it.
Reset that “Viral” button.