National Youth Council unites Singaporeans for NDP with SGMojis

Each year, the National Youth Council (NYC) engaged young people for their views and feelings on national issues. Historically, this was often done through physical engagements and workshops. However, since the pandemic hit, NYC decided to use virtual chats instead. That said, these formats were not scalable and limited the number of collected sentiments.

Also, NYC realized that the topics of discussion usually revolved around “Our youth’s perspective on the 2021 budget” or “Women’s development in Singapore”, among others. With each of these pledges positioned and marketed as a national interest pledge, the council faced the risk of having a narrow view of what young people in general really thought, because it was always the same profile of young people who s engaged each time – young people who were already invested in these subjects.

With this in mind, NYC decided to launch the “SGMoji: Singapore’s First Avatar Builder” campaign, to spark conversations among young people about who Singapore is today. The campaign managed to impress the judges and won the Gold Award for Excellence in Integrated Marketing at INTERACTIVE MARKETING‘s Marketing Excellence Awards Singapore 2021.

Challenges

As Singapore approaches its 56th anniversary, NYC has partnered with the National Day Parade (NDP) to collaborate on a campaign for young people. For NYC, the campaign was particularly important. Emerging from a national circuit breaker and Singapore entering its deepest recession yet, more than 100,000 Singaporeans asked to withdraw from NDP Funpacks last year, even leading to questions such as “The NDP should it even be conducted?” and “Can the funds used to organize the NDP be better spent elsewhere in this time of need?”

This sparked a huge debate among Singaporeans over whether NPD was seen as an event or an expense. For years, the program and the spectacle took precedence over anything the NDP did. The marketing was driven by the program, with content mostly surrounding the show and the people on the show – the build looks like a concert with little to no content about what the biggest NDP narrative really is. This contributed to Singaporeans’ perception that the NDP is just an event, and like any event during the COVID-19 period, it was a must and audiences could go without.

Following the theme “Together, our spirit of Singapore, NYC x NDP” sought to ask young people what their interpretation of the spirit of Singapore meant to them. By doing so, NYC hoped to help the next generation not only reflect on the spirit of Singapore, but also raise awareness of the true intent of the NPD celebration. Keeping in mind the need for a wide range of viewpoints, NYC enlisted the help of marketing agency DSTNCT to come up with a campaign that could encourage people to reflect and speak their minds, but also to attract a myriad of young people to participate and express themselves.

Strategy

By questioning what constitutes Singapore’s identity, NYC has created a campaign that will inspire Singaporeans from different walks of life to reflect on these topics, using the NDP as a platform to bring everyone together in a show of patriotism without fault.

Additionally, by riding the viral wave of “Memojis”, through Singapore’s own “SGMoji”, NYC was able to inspire young people to find their representation of what makes being a Singaporean a Singaporean.

Execution

Rather than asking for outright promises which may seem drastic, NYC chose to create an “SGMoji”. With this “SGMoji”, young people were able to tap into individuality, coming up with an emoji that could be considered a creative expression. Through this creative expression, NYC aimed to help young people realize a message that, with every instinctive choice made, is a representation of a true Singaporean.

With this knowledge in mind, NYC got the ball rolling by activating youth communities and KOLs in areas such as dancers, content creators, musicians, arts and culture, and young families. These influencers were to share their experiences while creating “SGMojis” on various social platforms. Additionally, NYC appealed to ministers across the country to publicize the campaign.

On the social media front, NYC and DSTNCT have created shareable content pieces based on its “SGMojis” assets.

Results

Through the campaign, NYC reached a total reach of over two million people. Moreover, within three days, the view of the website managed to reach over 40,000 views. According to NYC, the ‘SGMojis’ have been able to drive focused thinking and creative expression of what makes an individual a true Singaporean. He was also able to mobilize the public to think deeply about what the spirit of Singapore really means, which made this year’s NDP celebration all the more meaningful.