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The Singapore government explains why its public service announcement ads are a hit

Ads by the Singapore government dominate the YouTube Ads Leaderboard for the second half of 2018.

Public service announcements in Singapore dominated the YouTube Ads Leaderboard for the second half of 2018, taking six out of 10 spots with a formula of using “edutainment” to appeal to Singaporeans.

Coming in at number one was The National Council of Social Service (NCSS) ad on challenging the stigma around mental health. It used a social experiment where it got people who suffered from mental illness to quiz strangers on their thoughts about the issue, without revealing what they were suffering from.

The ad received 521,248 views, more than 3,800 likes and 577 likes.

Explaining why the ad did well with viewers, Pearlyn Tseng, the director of corporate communications at NCSS said that as mental health stigma is a sensitive and difficult topic to broach, awareness of one's bias is the first step to addressing the issue.

“We are heartened that Beyond the Label's social experiment video resonated with viewers and started conversations to reduce stigma and promote acceptance,” she adds.

The Health Promotion Board (HPB) ad on educating the public about why antibiotics are unable to fight the flu virus came in at number four. Omincom’s Tribal created the ad, and Havas handled the ads’ media buys.

The ad received 160,507 views, 290 likes and 44 comments.

Dawn Lee, the director of corporate marketing at HPB tells The Drum that the role of the HPB is to help improve health literacy by adopting technical health information into simple key messages that are relatable and communicating them in such a way that will resonate with its target audience of the general public.

As the subject of antibiotic resistance is relatively new and technical in nature, HPB felt that it was essential to adopt a different creative approach to ensure that the key message about how antibiotics are used to fight bacteria and not viruses would be clearly understood by the general public.

“Hence, a no-frills, simple-to-understand animation video explaining the correct use of antibiotics was created to bring forth the message to Singaporeans from all walks of life,” she says.

The Singapore Government ad’s on helping Singaporeans understand policies such as the SkillsFuture Credit and the Professional Conversion Programme by Workforce Singapore, came in at number six.

The ad titled 'Gunting The Series', which was created by the Ministry of Communications and Information, featured a 10-episode series culminating in a telemovie. The series collectively received more than 495,000 views and 852,000 viewers watched the telemovie.

Karen Tan, the senior director of the public communications division at MCI explained that to reach out effectively to the general public, it had to continuously innovate our content and engage them on relevant platforms.

“We are much encouraged that Gunting The Series was a hit with online audiences,” she said. “Besides the quality production with engaging storyline and characters, the digital media has allowed us to package useful government information in bite-size pieces, and viewers can watch them at their own time and convenience.”

Another mini-series titled 'Love at First Flight', this time produced by Changi Airport Group, proved to be a hit again, coming in at number nine on the leaderboard.

Focusing on storytelling and leveraging on one of the key passion points of its regional audience of idol dramas, CAG set out to tell a different kind of brand story with 'Love at First Flight'.

The airport worked with local production house Weave on the story and filming, and Havas pushed out the video across the airport's social channels and handled the media buys.

According to Kelvin Ng, the director of corporate and marketing communications, the team behind the web series took inspiration from the daily lives of people working in the airport. He says they also worked with Weave to tell a love story while weaving in a narrative of how the dedication of the Changi staff community enables the exacting standards passengers will receive in their Changi experience.

"Riding on the global trend of high online video consumption, Changi Airport Group’s (CAG) marketing team has produced many videos over the past few years to grow brand love for Changi Airport, and to showcase Changi’s facilities and people," Ng explains to The Drum.

"These videos, with content relevant and meaningful to the people we want to reach out to, are uploaded on Changi’s Facebook and YouTube channels. Some of these efforts include collaborations with local music writers such as in 'Coming Home', as well as festive content – such as the most recent 'The Changi Trolley' video, launched on Valentine’s Day."

The airport claims more than 90% of the traffic sources were organic.

YouTube Singapore Ads Leaderboard (July - December 2018)

1. A Social Experiment on Mental Health Stigma | Beyond the Label (National Council of Social Service)

2. iPhone XS — Growth Spurt by Apple(Apple Singapore)

3. Freshness promised. Or your money back.(Redmart)

4. Are your antibiotics in the wrong fight? (HPBsg)

5. My Smart Ahma(Smart Nation Singapore)

6. Gunting The Series (govsingapore/MCI)

7. McDonald's Samurai Burger(McDonald's Singapore)

8. Singapore: The Impossible Story(Economic Development Board of Singapore)

9.Love at First Flight Trailer | 从心起飞预告 (Changi Airport)

10. Singapore Kindness Movement - Be Greater(KindnessSG)

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