Ad Nut
Sep 9, 2021

NTUC Income recommends 'Me first' philosophy

A four-minute film from the Singapore insurer and BBH Singapore explores the benefits of putting one's own future needs above the wishes of one's family.

Ad Nut is betting that you probably know a Denise.

The main character in the above film from Singapore insurer NTUC Income and BBH, she comes across as miserly. She seems opposed to anyone in her family spending any money, and she is not shy about bluntly criticising her family members when she thinks they're being wasteful. 

Her brother Derek stands as her foil; he's prone to over-extending himself on questionable purchases that earn Denise's derision, such as a car and a 4K TV.

In the end, we get some insight into why Denise acts as she does, and whether she's really the selfish bossy-pants she appears to be. The films ends with the slogan 'Me first', and it's part of a campaign promoting retirement planning.

Like another recent film from NTUC Income, 'Me first' starts off by acknowledging death as a thing that happens. That's still a somewhat taboo choice in Singapore, and it's one that Income CMO Marcus Chew has had to defend in the past (see "How NTUC Income's astonishing drone-shot ad almost didn't make it to air").

Here's what Chew has to say about the new work:

We’ve often felt that Singaporeans are choosing to do what is popular or expected of them at a personal expense. We wanted to better understand how people felt about putting themselves first since it’s a philosophy that runs against the grain in our society. Adopting a ‘me first’ approach in our financial planning encourages one to first set aside enough for themselves before spending on other people and material things in life that are also important to them. This philosophy allows one to evaluate more carefully the reasons and motivation behind their current expenditure, and to assess if it can be better spent on securing a comfortable retirement in future.

As a member of a species known chiefly for 'squirreling' away resources for the harsh winter ahead, Ad Nut is obviously a proponent of financial planning. Team Denise, all the way. Any other approach is just...nuts.


Agency: BBH Singapore
Chief Creative Officer: Sascha Kuntze
Group Creative Directors: Janson Choo & Khairul Mondzi
Business Director: Manavi Sharma
Associate Account Director: Shu Li Tan
Head of Strategy: Rebecca Ash
Senior Strategist: Amanda Lim
Agency Producer: Kim Lim

Production Company: Freeflow Productions
Director: Roslee Yusof

Client: NTUC Income
Chief Marketing Officer: Marcus Chew
Head of Segment Marketing: Chloe Fair
Manager, Segment Marketing: Jessica Leong, Christopher How
Assistant Manager, Segment Marketing: Jean-Claire

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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