Global network Accenture Song is releasing its first unscripted documentary in Southeast Asia to put a spotlight on hawkers from Singapore.
Titled Second Servings, the documentary highlights hawkers and their reinventions through creativity and digital technologies. It also aims to call for a safeguard of Singapore's hawker culture.
As part of the campaign, three hawkers teamed up with Accenture Song's creatives, designers, strategists and technologists for new ways to preserve their heritage dishes and reinvent their businesses.
"Second Servings is a proof of concept for the reinvention of the hawker trade helmed by many of our veteran hawkers. It aims to spark further industry discussions and kickstart greater collaboration with people and organizations as we create a future where our UNESCO-listed cultural heritage thrives and where local businesses can be relevant for generations to come," Johnny Tan, Accenture Song's SEA chief creative officer told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE.
In Second Servings, Accenture Song uses creativity and insights to reimagine local businesses and the hawker experience. Some of the innovative strategies include enlisting a robot to be the custodian of one of Singapore's heritage recipes.
"Featuring changes across business models, branding, packaging, digital marketing, new food flavours, formats and more, we turned them into relevant businesses that connected with people’s changing tastes and preferences. The transformation captured in the documentary reflects our creativity and use of insights and technology to reimagine local businesses and the hawker experience. It also celebrates the hawkers’ aspirations and drive to learn new ways to reinvent their business and preserve their dishes," explained Tan.
The hawkers featured in Second Servings include a vadai maker, an elderly couple selling chicken rice and a char kway teow master. A casting call was organised through co-producer IFA Media and the featured hawkers were selected based on their diverse profiles and willingness to appear on camera, according to Tan.
"Our casting call was a broad one, as we wanted to represent diversity as best as possible with our three hawkers. Hence, the brief was to look at hawkers who needed assistance, across all races, genders, ages, and types of dishes," said Tan.
"It was important we also considered how open they were to being on camera and featured in the film. We found that some hawkers were uncomfortable with this, and worried about how it might affect their daily business. Ultimately, we chose the three hawkers who were open, charming, and more than anything, excited to switch up ways of doing their business with us," he explained.
Singapore is currently home to 13,000 licensed hawker stalls, according to the Singapore Food Agency. In 2020, the National Heritage Board shared that Singapore's hawker culture was declared an intangible UNESCO Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Hawker culture has become the focus of numerous campaigns since then.
Some of these campaigns include this year's DBS PayLah!' 'Hawker Awards' which shows appreciation for hawkers during a period of rising inflation, rental costs and an increasingly volatile market. In July, convenience store chain 7-Eleven released short films that feature hawkers and the chefs they collaborated with as they try ready-to-eat versions of their own meals. The campaign was done in an effort to allow individuals to conveniently satisfy their cravings for local favourites at their nearest 7-Eleven store.
Second Servings will premiere in Singapore on Mediacorp’s free-to-air television, Channel 5, on 13 December, 930pm SGT.
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