Ad Nut
Feb 21, 2020

Why is there a strange human-cat roaming Singapore?

EXCLUSIVE: If you think you've woken up in the middle of the movie 'Cats', you can thank/blame telco Circles.Life.

Why is there a strange human-cat roaming Singapore?

Rebel Singapore telco Circles.Life has deployed a rogue 'cat' to roam Singapore to flaunt its almost ubiquitous 4G coverage (99.92%) in the country—a stunt that has given Ad Nut quite the fright.

Here's what happened. Ad Nut awoke to a fine drizzly morning in Singapore. Ad Nut especially likes it when it has drizzled in the Lion City, because the air feels lighter and less humid, like a crisp spring breeze. "What a fine morning!" Ad Nut exclaimed to the wildlife and trees around. "Ad Nut thinks Ad Nut may skip the bus, and take a leisurely stroll to work instead." And so Ad Nut packed some acorns and set out on a jaunty stroll, when suddenly, WHAM! A strange human-cat hybrid stopped Ad Nut in Ad Nut's tracks. "What is the meaning of this?!" Ad Nut asked. You see, Ad Nut has a tortured history with cats. They remind Ad Nut of a sneakier, more intelligent version of the 'murderous beasts' that Ad Nut loathes and fears.

The answer is this. Circles.Life, which operates on the M1 mobile network, wanted to celebrate its 4G coverage and the fact it has the fastest video-loading speeds of Singapore's top three telcos, according to Opensignal's December 2019 report (which technically places Singtel and M1 at a draw).

Working with recently appointed agency The Secret Little Agency (TSLA), the telco decided that a cat (actually a human dressed as a cat—you can't fool Ad Nut) could be used to test Circles.Life's coverage. The feline creature was chosen "because they can get into every nook and cranny, like our network", head of creative shop Megan Yulga told one of Ad Nut's minions at Campaign. If we’re talking about creatures that can get into every nook and cranny, Ad Nut can think of a few better examples: mice, rats, cockroaches, ants. But perhaps humans dressed as cockroaches wouldn't evoke the response they are hoping for.

The 'cat' has been travelling on the MRT and has even take a pit stop in one of Singtel's phone booths:

If you want to know how Ad Nut reacted, look no further than this poor woman on the MRT:

Today's (February 21) activation will be supported by influencers who will be tasked with pumping up social engagement by encouraging Singaporeans to find the rogue 'cat'. The telco is hoping to ignite organic social interest. The only paid element of the campaign is a print ad that is running in today's Straits Times directed at its two rival telcos, which alludes to the fact Circles.Life has lost its cat in its vast network. The print ad was created in-house.

The 4-year-old telco has a history of cheeky ads. To announce its entrance to the telco scene in 2017, it launched a campaign called 'Data Dare', that played on the fact that telco plans at the time were skimping on data. It also ran an "open letter" print ad in April last year congratulating its rivals for "following our lead", to advertise the fact it was upgrading users to a new plan.

This is TSLA's first project for the telco since it was appointed the lead regional creative agency in January, following a competitive pitch that involved 27 shortlisted agencies. VML previously worked as lead creative agency for the brand's 2017 launch campaign.

Ad Nut is a surprisingly literate woodland creature that for unknown reasons has an unhealthy obsession with advertising. Ad Nut gathers ads from all over Asia and the world for your viewing pleasure, because Ad Nut loves you. You can also check out Ad Nut's Advertising Hall of Fame, or read about Ad Nut's strange obsession with 'murderous beasts'.


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