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6 Things Shameless Singaporeans In CB Taught Me About Marketing

Digital Marketing, Marketing, What's Trending

Marketing Tips From Creative Agency In Singapore

People do the weirdest things at the strangest of times, and of course, we’re talking about Singaporeans during the Circuit Breaker (CB) period. Some of these irregular behaviours have actually revealed the motivations behind Singaporeans’ actions, which you can identify for your next creative campaign or digital marketing strategy.

From ‘creative’ masks to disorderly conduct, we’ve seen our fair share of peculiar events abroad and locally brought on this coronavirus pandemic. While the world is not a better place for it, the Internet (thank you social media and memes) is.

Interestingly, these weird behaviours are not just good for laughter, they’re also good for learning. It’s not easy to navigate times of crisis, so to help those planning their next big campaign post-COVID-19, here are some of the 6 things shameless behaviours by Singaporeans will teach you about marketing:

All About Timing

This one is for all you McDonald’s lovers out there. When McDonald’s decided to cease their operations on 19 April, many fans of the red and yellow fast-food establishment were hit hard by the news (ourselves included, bye-bye hashbrowns, McGriddles and Double Cheese, we’ll meet again).

Almost immediately, some rather ‘interesting’ listings related to this showed up on Carousell:

McDonald Marketing on Carousell, Creative Agency Singapore

(Taken from Today)

S$50 for a McGriddles Stack. Yes, you can now add McDonald’s to the list of things scalpers will sell. As disappointing as this is hilarious, this shameless behaviour is really the epitome of marketing in Singapore.

If you plan it right and do it at the right time, any product can look desirable (maybe not this McGriddles but you get the point). You should plan your marketing around key moments in Singapore for maximum impact. Be reactive but you got to do it carefully to avoid looking like you’re just riding on the bandwagon inappropriately.

Trend-Based Demands

Given the nature and size of our country, our economy is unsurprisingly reliant on exports and our demands are highly affected by external factors.

When the first COVID-19 case came about, the same thing happened to us. Even when the government was calling for people to relax on the mask-buying, they were still sold out across supermarkets and pharmacies.

Cue the scalpers and profiteers.

Marketing Singapore, Creative Agency Singapore

(Taken from Mashable)

It didn’t take long before businesses capitalised on the situation (*shakes head*) and rack up the dough while they could.

Not that you should learn from any of these unethical business practices, but it pays well to have your ear to the ground. That means paying attention to digital marketing trends or any trends for that matter and devise a creative ad campaign that adjusts to these trends.

Want What You Can’t Have

It’s the forbidden fruit effect: we always want what we can’t have. It really explains yet another phenomenon in Singapore that shouldn’t have occurred. We think this meme should accurately depict the point that we’re saying:

When the circuit breaker measures were announced, a lot of our daily activities and social life was cut out from us. Don’t get us wrong, we’re all for it. But it started making some Singaporeans have early cabin fever and it manifested in the above behaviour.

People who never exercised came out of nowhere and began training for the now-postponed Tokyo 2020 (jk).

What you can take out of this is people crave things more when they’re scarce in numbers, which is why limited edition is a thing. You should look to brand yourself as a luxury, and don’t be afraid to jump out of the price competition wars.

Having troubles with that? Approach an award-winning creative agency in Singapore to develop a branding campaign that will recreate your business as an indulgent brand.


Let’s face it, Singaporeans are cheap and there’s no denying it. Everyone wants a great deal, free stuff and complimentary services. Believe me, we’ve heard every single one of those requests before.

To provide support for the lower- to middle-income, the government set-up a COVID-19 Temporary Relief Fund (TRF) for Singaporeans fitting the criteria to claim S$500 in the face of financial troubles brought on by COVID-19.

It didn’t take long before shameless amongst us to start abusing it, and once again showing that we can’t have nice things.

COVID 19 Scam Singapore 1

(Taken from Channel News Asia)

This goes to show that nothing is a bigger motivator than free things (especially cash). So, if you need to get your follower numbers up or eyeballs on your campaigns, just whip out a couple of freebies to incentivise your marketing and you should be seeing some positive results.

Fear Is A Great Motivator

Oh yes, it is. Fear makes you do things you don’t expect, and COVID-19 has brought on a lot of fear and a lot of weird behaviours at the same time. The worst of them all (to us, personally) is the hoarding of daily necessities and essentials. #DontXiaSuay (Translation: Don’t make everyone look bad)

Hoarding Singapore, Creative Agency Singapore

(Taken from Straits Times)

Upon our neighbour’s Movement Control Order (MCO) announce or any PM Lee’s announcements for that matter, Singaporeans took to the streets and the supermarkets for some hoarding fun. (We say that sarcastically)

Trolleys on trolleys of rice, toilet paper and other food were seen at various supermarkets in Singapore, and they were unnecessary behaviours to say the least.

Goes to show that fear motivates people better than incentives and authority. Though it’s a negative emotion, don’t be afraid to approach a fear advertising strategy just because. They can be surprisingly effective when done well.

Diversification Is Key

If we had a national drink, it’d probably be bubble tea. From the childhood days of slurping Oreos Chocolate Ice Blend to the wide range of choices of KOI, GongCha, Liho and R&B etc., it was a trend that became a norm in Singapore.

Considering the hot and humid weathers of our country, an ice-cold boba is always welcomed to beat the heat, which explains why people queued for hours at bubble tea shops before they closed amidst the tightened circuit breaker measures. *shakes heads*

Turns out, they didn’t have to, especially since there were still a couple of BBT shops still opened!

It’s all thanks to diversification. By expanding their businesses to sell beyond just drinks, a list of bubble tea shops remaining opened during this circuit breaker provided hope to those craving them at home.

The same applies to your marketing. Diversification works as a marketing strategy by introducing a complementary product line to boost your bottom line, and in this case, food paired with BBT.

Our Shameless Plug: A Creative Agency In Singapore For Your Brand

We did not do any of the things that we mentioned in this article, so allow us to put in a shameless plug — we’re a unique full-service creative agency that’s willing to help any brand triumph this difficult time, be it through our digital marketing services or web solutions prowess. In this instance, be brave and be proud, and then reward our shamelessness by contacting our brand guardians to let us help you and get our partnership started.

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The I Concept Team