Ad Nut
Apr 15, 2016

Singapore Kindness Movement makes awkward bet on web series

From Singapore: ‘Awkward Ah Seng Goes Social' for Singapore Kindness Movement

Singapore Kindness Movement makes awkward bet on web series

Dear Singapore Kindness Movement,

Ad Nut has been kind, very kind, but the madness must end.

Just like when you lay a smackdown on that obnoxious vegan cousin who won’t shut up about his new pair of skinny jeans from that organic hipster brand in Denmark, some not-so-kind-words are needed today.

Ad Nut supports your cause. It’s a good cause. More kindness in the world? Consideration for fellow beings? It should be the stuff that warms the cockles of this furry ad-lover’s cold, brittle heart.

But no, instead Ad Nut now has an indentation on Ad Nut’s favourite oak tree from banging head over such epic demonstrations of missing the mark—not by inches but miles.

Just to recap, first there was that weird “be kind to your noisy neighbours” attempt that lectured not the person making the noise but the people who have to put up with it.

Then that confusing video that essentially told people that daytime is good but nighttime is bad. OK, you did get consolation points for using some neat tech with the “double-sided” video execution.

And more recently, that ‘Sum of our moments' effort that once again, pressured people to intervene in a tense situation in public, rather than addressing the "colossal asshole" (as Ad Nut put it) causing the whole commotion in the first place.

Now comes this latest effort, the 'Awkward Ah Seng Goes Social' web series. Before you say, “But Ad Nut, you didn’t really give this new campaign a chance”, let Ad Nut state for the record that Ad Nut watched three episodes.

Three! That’s about 20 minutes of time committed. And as you very well know, we squirrels have much shorter lifespans than you humans.

Ad Nut will excuse the cheesy overacting. Ad Nut will also not point out how the web series casts an ensemble of bumbling locals being supervised by benevolent white (Eurasian?) guy—working in an ad agency no less!

Ad Nut will also excuse the “explain it to me like I’m 5 years old” style of trying to impart some very important lessons about how to conduct oneself in a digital and social media-driven age.

Ad Nut will even admit there were some briefly funny moments, but those had more to do with idiosyncrasies of life in Singapore than they did with being kind to people.

Here's the thing Ad Nut can't ignore: Ad Nut is appalled to find out there are two whole seasons of such work in existence, starring this unfortunate character. And that it is claimed, repeat, claimed to be successful “especially among the younger crowd.” 

Ad Nut will not demand audited figures of view counts, hashtag mentions or testimonial from a real live young person. The fact remains that this effort, and the past ones, have been mediocre or painfully unsatisfactory executions for a movement that deserves much better work.

There’s surely a better way. Nay, there must be a better way to achieve the goals of your organization. This ad-loving squirrel is begging you to find the answer, because there’s a limit to how many trees can be abused in fits of frustration and despair.

But as a squirrel hailing from far off woodlands, it could just be that Ad Nut is not the target audience for such an audiovisual onslaught.

To make sure it’s not a warped perspective due to too much tree head-banging, Ad Nut sent links to Singaporean friends because you know, misery loves company.

The response? “The video CMI lo”

(For the uninitiated, CMI means ‘cannot make it’ and yes, that’s bad.)


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