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SG50 - What went right, What didn't

Blog post   •   Aug 06, 2015 21:33 +08

The SG50 Campaign. As we approach the jubilee weekend celebrations, it might probably be time to re-access the success (or not) of this nation-wide campaign. We spoke to a number of professional communicators to hear what they thought, and what we could learn from the campaign.

1. Tapping into a shared identity

From fishcake-shopping housewives, to Rolls-Royce drivers, to that man on the bus, everybody can identify with and wants a piece of telling their SG50 story.  

 photo Communicators SG50-05_zpsjbig4lsv.jpg The Straits Times' #myspotinthedot was meaningful and engaging. People get to tell their own story about places in Singapore they frequent and feel a special attachment to. The other SG50 goodie deserving of mention is the Esplanade's series of concerts and events because they reach out to everybody. Rich or poor, there's something for nearly everyone.”                                                                                       

An impactful and classy way of sharing the Singapore story was from the Fullerton Hotel, a historical building. Footages about Singapore were projected on its grand facade for pedestrians to admire. 


(photo from


2. Using an easy to remember, short name. 

As at time of writing, there are 340,000 #SG50 Hashtags on instagram and an average of 600 on Twitter daily. Nevermind whether they make sense or not. 

Singaporeans got creative and came up with a SG50 erotica spoof, which sparked an interesting #SG50shadesofgrey conversation on Twitter:
sg50shadesofgrey photo sg50 communicators-05_zpszxpq2fwq.jpg   

 photo Communicators SG50-02_zpsczxhcq1v.jpg

“I think this might be the first national campaign that has managed to captivate its audiences on so many levels. If the campaign's objective was to rouse the people, companies to participate in the jubilee celebrations, then I think the campaign was a success. Everyone was talking about it in one way or another, companies were quick to jump on the bandwagon of the SG50 campaign to promote their agendas.”                                                       


So much that a site & hashtag  #simisaialsosg50 was created to poke fun at the ridiculous number of products and ways in donning the red logo. 


3. Replicable, visual simplicity 

It is disputable whether allowing free use of the logo has done more good than harm for the campaign. However, it has definitely inspired ideas to get people to show their pride for the nation and to do good at the same time.

Drivers can purchase “Red Dots” to clip it to their car windows as part of a charity drive, for which proceeds will go to 4 beneficiaries: Lions Befrienders Service Association (Singapore), Handicaps Welfare Association (Singapore), Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore and Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped.


communicators sg50 photo sg50 communicators-06_zpsgifnwf55.jpg

"I saw some sushi in the supermarket with the SG50 logo made out of egg and seaweed. Supermarket sushi never looked so appetizing to me. It’s kind of ironic that the Japanese seem to be better at integrating the theme into their brands than we are."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

4. Better guidelines next time, maybe?

 photo Communicators SG50-04_zpsosepkf8b.jpg“I think an overall SG50 campaign for the country during the Jubilee weekend and year is a great effort but without thinking, many retailers and merchants have jumped on the bandwagon and shamelessly peddled or promoted their products with a hastily plastered SG50 sticker."                                                   


 photo Communicators SG50-03_zpsuduvokjs.jpg “I think if we put more care into what SG50 meant, it would have been more powerful. If we had marked out values like Creativity, Resilience, Adaptability, Courage, Entrepreneurial, Leadership, our Challenger Spirit etc, the values that helped create Singapore and that we want to inculcate in Singaporeans. This gives us a link to our past, and gives us permission or strength to continue to embrace those values for the future. These are the soft power skills that we have but are little known for. They hold the key to our survival.”       

And of course everybody agreed this beat all SG50 marketing hands down. #SG50fail:

What did you think of the SG50 Campaign? How can communicators learn from it? Share your thoughts with us.

Meanwhile, have a happy SG50 weekend!

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