To have survived and sustained during the circuit breaker and COVID-19 situation is no easy feat. Over the past two months, there have been numerous lists circulating around layoffs, downsizing and shutdowns. However, there are some businesses lending a hand to those in need through collaborations, of which almost all are free of charge.
One such example will be independent creative agency GOVT's newly launched social platform called "Adoptising SG". Through this initiative, GOVT describes itself as not an ad agency. Instead of hunting for clients, Adoptising_SG is an initiative that aims to provide advertising creative services to local small and home businesses who are adapting during this challenging climate. According to GOVT, through the initiative, the team aims to aid 20 small businesses who are in need in the next few months by featuring their products and services. The team will also work to create ads best catered to the business that the local businesses can use, all done without any charges.
The Adoptising_SG initiative was launched on Instagram and Facebook on Thursday, and saw many business owners reaching out to the platform expressing their interest to have their small businesses adopted. This started as a passion project by GOVT Singapore's managing director Alvina Seah, who said it was all born from a conversation about the state of small businesses in Singapore now. "Everyone is helping in ways that they can, and we just figured why not take the initiative to help people by doing what we do best," she added.
According to Seah, this project does not impact the agency's existing work with clients. She told Marketing that usual work for existing clients is still ongoing, and the leadership team spend the bulk of their time ensuring those things go on as smoothly as they can, and ensure staff stay optimistic and motivated in these challenging times.
The first business adopted is a fitness trainer and nutrition coach, Joshua Tay (@joshua_tay_pe). In the coming days, Adoptising_SG also aims to release various "ads" on its platform to attract local businesses in need of its services.
Similarly, micro independent agency network Beatnk and TJT Creative Lab have launched a 'Partners in Pandemic' initiative to offer solutions ranging from branding, creative communications, public relations and business and marketing strategies to businesses. As a network of independent agencies, Beatnk has a pool of talent that aims to help businesses address a variety of business problems and challenges that they may face due to this pandemic.
As such, the initiative by Beatnk and TJT Creative Labs will assist as a creative communications and strategy aid for businesses during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Designed to help SMEs, local businesses, non-profit organisations/NGOs and governments within SEA, the talents look to provide expertise for free to businesses related to to retail, travel and tourism, waste management, fintech and others.
Already on the roster for this project is Beatnk for Singapore and Malaysia, TJT Creative Lab (Thailand/Indonesia/Vietnam), Kulturpop (Malaysia), McGagh Communications (Singapore), Exhibit Lab (Malaysia), ACMF Consultants (SEA), Hot Pictures (Malaysia), REBL (Singapore and Malaysia), Komaci (Malaysia), Roshambo (Malaysia), Square Flair (US), Somnuk Production (Thailand) and Squareteam (Indonesia).
Separately, digital agency We! Interactive too jumped at an opportunity to offer Singapore SMEs pay-as-you-wish social and digital marketing assistance, and to build up their eCommerce offering. In light of the recent pandemic, the Singapore government has offered assistance to SMEs during this challenging times through initiatives, such as an expanded SMEs Go Digital programme and an enhanced enterprise finance scheme-SME working capital loan. However, We! said it understands that it takes more than just listing products on online marketplaces for eCommerce to take off. In fact, advertising and marketing efforts are crucial for them to attract and direct people to the online stores, the agency said.
Meanwhile, freelance photographer Jeryl Tan has offered his expertise in food photography to F&B businesses. In a Facebook post, Tan said he will provide a free, one-time-off, basic food photography / styling service to restaurants / café / hawker stores offering takeaways or delivery options amid circuit breaker. According to CNA, Tan noticed a 70% drop in projects and jobs during the circuit breaker situation, and has been working on small product shoots to sustain.
He also explained that hawkers were moving into social media pages to gain more business, but these owners are not digitally savvy and needed help. Since his Facebook post went live, Tan has garnered 45 interested F&B owners.