Far East

Far East

The social media marketing state of the art in Singapore

26 Sep 2012



Singapore has more than 2.8 million Facebook users; compared with a total population of just over 5 million, this means that 60% of Singaporeans are active on social networks. These figures are guaranteed by Social Bakers.

But that’s not all: the penetration and the diffusion of the Internet reach truly staggering figures – at least that’s what Wikipedia says:

“Internet access is readily available in Singapore, with a connectivity rate of over 99%.”


For sure we are talking about a very connected country; which is not surprising, if we consider that Singapore is located in an area of the world where we can find the highest penetration rates of digital technologies and social networks – such as in the Philippines and Malaysia, as we discussed some time ago.

In recent years, the spread of digital technologies has seen Singapore becoming one of the most attractive markets: there must be a reason if Facebook opened an office in the country back in 2010, and the Singapore Media Awards are emerging as one of the most important Grand Prix on communication and creativity.

Here are three campaigns which – although very different – can help us tracking the state of the art of a country that will have an increasingly important role in the balance of our planet.


Heineken Passport

The idea: a journey from Mongolia down to Bangkok, passing through the streets of Shanghai and the forests near Hanoi. All of this without any money, yet with beer as the only currency to exchange.

Is it the plot of a movie? Almost: it’s the last cross-media campaign for Heineken, developed in Singapore and targeting the whole Asia-Pacific area.


social media asia


Everything is based on a Facebook app that allows users to follow the various stages of the journey of Justin, the protagonist of this adventure. The trip, documented with high-quality video production, is divided into 4 parts (you can find more details in this post by The Inspiration Room).

Inside the app, users can participate in the adventure: Heineken provided prizes, distributed to those who watch videos, share contents and answer a series of questions related to Justin and his journey, with references to historical and cultural aspects of the various places he visited.


Heineken Passport


Here’s the teaser of the campaign, with a tasting of all the adventures faced by Justin… and a strong emphasis on the role of the Heineken bottles, the only object he can barter:



A precise concept, closely linked to the product; a strong interaction, a rewarding system and the cross-media integration: this campaign – designed by the Singapore branch of Iris digital agency – has all the characteristics to be considered a benchmark in today’s digital marketing!


Promoting a bar through online2offline

This is not actually a campaign, yet the analysis of two very strong ideas for the promotion of local businessed via digital media.

The first is a project called Be Disloyal: an initiative started by a blogger and 8 bars in Singapore, who gave birth to the first “disloyalty card” in history.

social media marketing singapore


The name is quite self-explanatory: users get discounts only when they go to all the bars that participate to the project – clearly aiming to protect local businesses from the world conquer of giants like Starbucks.

Even if they didn’t create a mobile app for this – which could have been truly amazing – the idea was born to merge the real world (the card) and the digital one (the online buzz and the Facebook page of the campaign).

But there’s another campaign that went even further, by seamlessly integrating the digital sphere and the normal experience of socializing at the bar. This time via QRcode:



Pretty cool, isn’t it? Unfortunately, even this one is not (yet) a real case history, but just a project set up by the Singaporean team of the Korean agency Cheil for demonstration purposes.


Mentos Singapore – National Night

The last campaign we are showing you is rather aggressive, and it has caused considerable controversy. In the summer of 2012, the brand Mentos (part of Perfetti Van Melle) decided to play with a very sensitive issue: birth rate in Singapore in recent years is decreasing.


Singapore birth


August 9th is Singapore National Day, to celebrate the independence from Malaysia. In this occasion, the famous candy brand set up the “National Night” campaign on Facebook. The message is clear: during the national holiday, Mentos invited Singaporeans to reproduce, thus stoping the negative trend.

Most of the huge online buzz generated – of course – was due to people criticizing the campaign; particularly because it compares the act of giving birth to a child to a “civil duty”, when it’s obviously a much more delicate and complex issue.

And such an issue cannot certain be solved by a brand of chewy candies looking for some exposure.


Mentos Singapore


From the brand communication and media integration standpoint, however, this can be considered a brilliant campaign. Here’s the video: 



A rap song and a video-infographic – musically and visually very well executed – to spread a rather cheeky message, yet certainly irresistible for a young target.

Guido Ghedin

Guido Ghedin

After his University years between Italy and California, today he deals with Market Research and Digital Scenario Analysis at Young Digitals. You can follow him on Twitter: @guido_ghedin.


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