Singapore telco Singtel has launched a Christmas film that extolls the need to connect with the family at Christmas, particularly as we’re so connected to our phones.
The tagline ‘never lose connection with family’ is brought to life with the story of a family facing a Christmas eve dinner without their teenage daughter, who is more interested in hanging out with her friends.
The daughter, oblivious to how hard her mother has to work to keep funding her consumerism, deals the final blow when she loses her phone while out shopping, demanding a new phone from her mother.
Just before heading to her party, the daughter accidentally hears her parents arguing about the situation she’s putting them in and decides to stay for dinner, after all, apologising for her behaviour.
Lian Pek, Singtel’s vice president for group strategic communications and brand, said: “In our hi-tech world of shiny gadgets and devices, parents often feel compelled to indulge their children, even if their demands are excessive. We thought Christmas was the perfect time to reframe the spirit of giving in our increasingly digital society, that we really ought to be prioritising family time and connections in the deeper sense of the word.”
Singtel has become well-known for its story-centred strategy for ads around key calendar events. In 2017, the Christmas ad also asked families to switch off and be present. Last year’s Christmas ad received mixed reviews as the storyline deviated slightly from the family angle, with a naughty young girl who befriends a busker. For Chinese New Year the focus tends to be around the reunion dinner, with one year looking at a family that lives across the world and another at students that go abroad to study.
According to Singtel, last year’s “Grace’s White Christmas” chalked up more than 11m views on Facebook and YouTube. During this year’s Chinese New Year, “From Ma, With Love” garnered more than 19m views.
“Our films are not solicitations to transact with us, but rather, to appreciate our values which would hopefully spark some desire to interact with our brand for the long haul. Today’s customers don’t just want to transact or buy from companies that meet their requirements profitably. They want to support and engage with companies that have heart,” added Lian Pek.
The ad was created in partnership with Akanga Film Asia and will play on TV and cinemas in Singapore.