Ad Nut
Dec 2, 2019

Why does Singtel hate teenagers so much?

Merry Christmas, you ungrateful, self-centred cretins.

Ad Nut has come to look forward to the annual Singtel holiday film—in much the same way that one might look forward to a root canal: You'll be glad when it's over, but it's going to be unbearable while it's happening.

This year's entry, 'The Gift', is not quite as excruciating as last year's truly astonishing offering (see "Singtel, you owe Frank Capra an apology"). But it is painful nonetheless.

The story in and of itself could have worked: Teenager realises she's been a bit selfish and comes to appreciate the sacrifices her parents make for her in time for Christmas. Fine. Sure. Heartwarming. Whatever.

But somewhere along the line, the filmmakers (Singtel made it in-house) decided that they needed to dial up the girl's selfishness—to a pretty insane degree.

Her venality is so over the top that it starts to feel weird. Like someone involved in the production has a personal problem with a teen and was using the filming to work out their own demons. The girl is an absolute ingrate, and her parents are absolute saints. When the girl's change of heart finally comes around, we can't buy it, and the whole affair comes across as unforgivably preachy.

It's truly bizarre to see a company paint its own future customers in such an unflattering—and patently unfair—way. Corporations and the adults who run them need to realise that teens get enough grief. Managing their schoolwork and their social lives, not to mention their hormones, is as hard as it ever was for earlier generations. And technology, particularly social media, complicates the process in ways older people simply cannot imagine. Teens deserve empathy as they try to negotiate this treacherous path, not ridicule and demonisation.

And anyway, if Ad Nut wanted a Christmas sermon, Ad Nut would go to church.

Instead, Ad Nut will just pray to the gods of commercial filmmaking that Singtel wlll stop subjecting us to this annual ordeal.

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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