Ad-xciting-ly Singapore

Happy Birthday Singapore! As Singapore matures by yet another year, SINdie takes a looong hard look at the intense efforts from the government and other organisations at the task of 'nation-building'. We are looking campaign videos. From cautioning you against drink-driving to asking you to eat more fruits and vegetables, the window dressing does get fancier by the years even though the messages are more or less similar. We bring you 46 Singapore campaign videos to mark our nation's 46th anniversary.

We begin with the dept that started them all - courtesy.


We think Singa's much more of a charmer than Merly (and Lyo, for that matter), but it has been more than 30 years since the courtesy campain was introduced - and we still hear mobiles going off during weddings. At least the pagers are gone.



Such a lovely tune. Such a nicely filmed ad. Such lovely smiles. If only we could see such sights every single morning when we go to work.


And littering too.


Slumdog Millionaire, anyone? This ad broadcast on Vasantham has a unique charm to it - without the help of the Singapore Flyer or the Esplanade in the background too.



Interesting concept, but do we really need someone who looks like he hails from Mainland China telling us not to litter? In the real world, they seem to be the culprits.


The Anti-drink-driving department also worked very hard.


Flashy editing plus some clever word play make this 2008 ad short, sweet and effective.



One year on, the police feels that it is more important to reach out to the hip executive crowd by infusing a jazz tune into this ad.



Rui En sings well in this 2010 ad, but the lazy photo montage didn't really work with us. Bring on some blood and gore!


Who can forget these? Played ad nauseum at all train stations since LTA decided on this yearly tradition.


We'll let the ad speak for itself. Just one thing, whoever came up with the idea of transforming the train cabin into a disco (check out the flashing lights from the tunnel!) for PCK to dance and rap is quite a genius.



Those who complained that PCK was irritating must have regretted when this ad came out one year later. They probably call this comeuppance.


If numbers are anything to go by, we can conclude the men-in-uniforms have the deepest pockets.


We are guessing that this army boy doesn't ask his mum to help carry his field pack.



We have no idea what demographics this girly ad will appeal to. What intrigued us though, is what happened to the heavily criticised "My Boyfriend Our Army" version. It's nowhere to be found on the official Cyber Pioneer TV channel.



Strangely, we love this 2009 ad. Don't you love it when things aren't taken too seriously?



We can imagine Michael Bay directing this. Bring on the Autobots and the Decepticons!



The things that caught our attention weren't the fighter jets and helicopters, but that scary looking eagle at the beginning of the ad.



A beautiful ad that doesn't fly the fighter jets into your face. The lovely vocal in the background gives a sense of heavenly peace too.



The idea of chess stands out well in this well executed ad.



We can imagine Martin Scorsese directing this. Or even Andrew Lau and Alan Mak.



This ad is so much better than that dreadful drama series aired on our national TV a while ago. And we are not just talking about the acting here.



That outfit morphing superpower is very cool - an idea for a local superhero, perhaps?



Some nifty special effects make this short clip a pleasant and effective ad.



The concept isn't groundbreaking, but seriously, how innovative can an armed forces ad go?


After Mas Selamat


Decent idea, cute kids, nice camerawork - but the voiceover seems to be a tad too overbearingly serious.


The common demons - gambling, smoking and drugs


A simple but poignant ad about the heartbreaking family tragedies out there, no thanks to gambling addicts.



Disturbing but it gets its point across - casinos are BAD.



Okay, in another 30 years, i would imagine half my friends would look like this.



This ad which appeals to housewives who have too much time on their hands, is equivalent to simply putting up 'fine $XXX' sign. A bookmark listing all the fines would have been more useful.



This anti-drug campaign video (1 in a series of 4) demonstrates how you don't need a drama queen to deliver real drama. The 'lazy-tongue' delivery of the girl adds a strange poignancy to it all.


Of course, health is not just about quitting smoking.


MOH ad borrowing the warm appeal of the MYCS ads.



This is a bit like the classic Ribenna ad with the innocent conversation between a girl and a boy except that they are talking about fever and getting pastules on their hands.



Ang Moh-looking kids show Singapore the way to healthy eating, basically don't eat anything too Singaporean.



Catchy tune that makes you want to get into some..... er.... line dancing. Wonder if the trail of people in action is meant to resemble Singapore's favourite pastime - queueing?



Somehow the juxtaposition of a mosquito's 'coming of age' and the family's dallying around does not quite hit the right chord. Especially when it resorts to scaring you point blank towards the end.



The dengue ads never seem to hit the right notes. Then again, they are just here to scare. Like how this does - that dengue could almost turn you insane!


The education ones never fail to soften even some of the hardest cynics.


Sometimes, getting the message across is not about articulation, when asked by Mrs Chong why he sold pirated goods on the street, all he could say was he's very tired. Point delivered. Now pass me the tissue box.


A novel way of illustrating a universal truth. The flaw in this is that you need a campaign video to enlighten fellow Singaporeans.



Clever play of words on the idea of a 'classroom' though it tries to bring you to too many places. Those too inpatient for the punchline at the end may find the text labels in each set of frames redundant. I mean we can tell what is a choir, a wall for rock-climbing and the earth.


The biggest gems of all - the family advertisements.


The juxtaposition of an upbeat tune, a burning dream and the reality of the handicap makes this quite a statement.



This ad on reciprocating the hand that fed you is is undeniably cinematic in its treatment with the only letdown being it preachiness. Sometimes, the moments of silence when the characters respond speak more than the taglines.


Somehow the family ads always get it right, even though it is a little long-winded like this one. While the gesture of love can cause your eyes to well up, what stirs you more and unknowingly is how it demonstrates how love in single-parent hood runs even deeper than in a conventional family.



The late Yasmin Ahmad's present for Singapore, already a classic. Makes you forget that its a funeral and then the camera pans to the photo when the eulogy ends. Timeless.



One of the best Singapore videos of the year 2011, without government budget.


Vivian Balakrishnan has some big shoes to fill, these are ads are beautiful!


Looking at Clement Chow reminds us how old we are. But this is one brilliant gem of a campaign ad, feeds you with morsels of nostalgia and gives what an inanimate topic like the environment a human side.



Possibly one of the most beautiful and effective campaign videos ever. A fine example of an expensive ad whose cost is well-justified. Balances the poetic with the documentative.


Finally, watch how Singapore has been repackaged beyond recognition!


Short, sweet, effective and UNIQUE.


This feels more like a patriotic National Day video than a tourism ad, with a strong MYCS-ish undertone.


In this tourism video about Singapore called Your Singapore, what viewers from the other side of the world will not realise is that we really just walk around in our flip flops.

Jointly compiled and written by John Li and Jeremy Sing.

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