$100K spent on Raffles Place hoax
Singapore - The infamous 'Raffles Place Ghost' campaign, which began as an online video and eventually snowballed into free coverage on various media outlets, cost recruitment and HR consultancy group GMP just $100,000.
Created by McCann Worldgroup Singapore, the video first appeared online on 21 April, showing what appeared to be CCTV footage of two men being followed out of an office lift by the ghost of an old woman, has accumulated more than 250,000 views on YouTube.
The video directed viewers to a blog, supposedly started by three amateur ‘ghostbusters', and in the next few days it was posted on Stomp. It was then picked up by the daily press and made the front page of Shin Min Wanbao while Lianhe Wanbao featured an article on the 'ghost sighting' in its main news section.
Farrokh Madon, ECD for McCann Worldgroup Singapore said that the Raffles Place Ghost is a "defining piece of Singapore advertising" and a "fantastic example of how a big idea can magnify a small advertising budget".
Madon told Marketing that the video was discussed on over 300 websites with "everyone from Paranormal Societies to Production Video makers offering their expert comments on the video".
GMP owned up to the ‘ghost video', 10 days after it first appeared, and released a statement in another video which featured the company's manager of corporate services, Josh Goh.
The revelation of the ‘ghost video' as a marketing effort made it newsworthy for Channel 5 and Channel U, and both stations ran stories on the campaign in the news. In the video Goh said that no one should work late, and stress and ill health are common downsides of late nights in the office - and if you are really unlucky, you could even meet a ghost.
"Besides great awareness, there was a lot of traffic to the GMP microsite and the number of CVs uploaded increased exponentially," Madon said.
- GMP Recruitment Services Singapore Pte Ltd
- McCann Worldgroup Asia Pacific