Ad of the Day: Singtel’s Christmas ad asks families to switch off and be present during the holidays

Singtel has gone down the emotional storytelling route for its Christmas ad, showing the story of Ah Ma’s Christmas and how it was nearly ruined by technology.

The ad starts in a now familiar family setup, in which everyone is very busy and constantly on their phones. It follows Ah Ma as she prepares for the festive season, with no one helping her get things ready. After finding last year's present - a phone that her son hasn’t had the time to teach her to use - she starts recording videos, capturing a moment in which she laments for more quality time.

Lian Pek, Singtel vice president for group strategic communications and Brand, said: “It’s a simple tale that warns against the regrettable phone habit of phubbing – where we inadvertently snub others in favour of our mobile phones. In today’s hyper-connected world, it’s easy to lose sight of the most important things in front of us. We may be all about connectivity as a company but we also value connectivity in the deeper sense of the word. We’d love to see people dropping phubbing in favour of better relationships! ”

In a more humorous turn, Ah Ma sends the video to the family by mistake and as the family realise the importance of the moment, she takes a selfie. The message ending with this is intended to show that sometimes technology can bridge the generational gap and bring people together, linking to the company’s Savvy Silvers programme.

“Digital technology can and must empower everyone, even the elderly and we need to help them get on the bandwagon,” added Pek.

The campaign was created by BBH, which won the Singtel mandate earlier this year, and directed by K. Rajagopal, the film will be aired on Singtel TV and social media channels from 8 to 30 December.

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Charlotte McEleny

Charlotte McEleny is The Drum's Asia Editor, charged with finding all the interesting industry news and insights from the Asia Pacific region. During her year in Asia, she's covered topics as wide ranging as industry overwork to artificial intelligence, and interviewed top CMOs such as Alibaba's Chris Tung, and world famous creatives such as Rankin.

Based in Singapore, she travels the region regularly, attending and presenting at many top events, such as Spikes, Ad Week Asia and Innovfest.

Prior to her role as Asia Editor, she spent 10 years working across the London marketing trade magazines, even picking up an award for Best Digital Team at the PPA Digital Awards during her spell as digital editor at Marketing.

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