Faaez Samadi
Aug 9, 2017

9 campaigns (good and bad) for Singapore National Day 2017

In honour of Singapore’s 52nd birthday, we take a look at some of the brand campaigns and promotions celebrating the Lion City.


McDonald’s: With its localised food menu including a Nasi Lemak Burger, Chendol-flavoured McFlurry and the Bandung McFizz, McDonald’s saw arguably the biggest runaway success of any National Day campaign to date. The products sold out island-wide in two weeks, with a McDonald’s release thanking Singaporeans for their “overwhelming support”.

For good measure, the company also released a touching ‘happy birthday Singapore’ video, showing both its commercial and emotional marketing nous.

Burger King: Treading a very similar path to its competitor, Burger King also released a ‘Taste of Singapore’ menu, containing a new Hainanese Chicken Burger and beef or chicken Rendang Burger. Following streams of other promotions that have picked up on the 52nd birthday theme, the meal is available at a discounted S$5.20. Clever.

SingTel: Teaming up with BBH, telco SingTel launched its month-long integrated campaign, made up of 12 print ads, a customised National Day photo frame on Facebook, and partnering with six Singaporean athletes ahead of the 2017 SEA Games in Malaysia, including Olympic swimming hero Joseph Schooling. Oh, and there’s a 52-related discount, of course.

In addition, Singtel released a National Day video paying tribute to Singaporeans and what the country has achieved in the last 52 years. As legitimate an example of the term '360 campaign' that we've seen for a while.

StarHub: Not to be outdone, rival telco StarHub released its own, more thoughtful campaign ‘#RegardlessofColour. An attempt to celebrate the diversity of Singaporeans, it caused a stir by using Martin Luther King Jr’s renowned ‘I have a dream’ speech as its soundtrack. Consumers said it felt somewhat inappropriate and out of context.

Lazada: The online marketplace has made it clear and simple. Red and white imagery, and discounts related to the number 52. Enough said.

Uber: Taking a break from its fierce competition with rival Grab, Uber launched its #NationalPoolDay campaign—with agency BBH—promoting shared rides for a greener National Day. It actively called out Grab, as well as Mobike and Tower Transit, to get involved, to which they duly agreed. A National Day miracle?

Deliveroo: Going big on the theme of celebrating local champions, Deliveroo’s ‘Guardians of the Gates’ campaign, with help from AKA Asia, asked consumers to nominate their condominium or office security guard to receive a free National Day meal. Another touching effort to reward unsung heroes that has garnered many plaudits.

Maki-San: Onto the bloopers now, and Japanese restaurant Maki-San takes this year’s crown for its celebratory ‘Maki-Kita’ sushi roll, designed by local school kids. The name, meaning ‘our sushi’, was meant to be a play on the first two words of the Singapore national anthem, but in Malay translates as ‘curse us’. Cue much hilarity, outrage and meme action online, before Maki-San hastily apologized and renamed the product Harmony Maki.  

Giordano: Coming in for some more genuine criticism was clothing brand Giordano, which released special edition National Day shirts (right). The advert, however, was pilloried for a lack of diversity, featuring three Caucasians and one Asian girl. The brand was clearly also looking to save a few dollars by reusing a photo from a previous campaign (left), only to botch the Photoshopping in rather amateur fashion. Lessons to be learned for next year. 


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