Singapore welcomed the birth of its first giant panda cub on 14 August which as become the talk of the town. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in a Facebook post that he was delighted by the new addition to the panda family, and congratulated the Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) team for this success as pandas are "notoriously hard to breed in captivity". Speaker of parliamentTan Chuan Jin also engaged Singaporeans on social media to share name suggestions for the panda cub, with notable contributions such as "Panda Miss Joaquim", a pun on the national flower Vanda Miss Joaquim, and "pandai" (smart in Malay) and a portmanteau of "Mandai" and "panda".
Born to panda parents Kai Kai and Jia Jia, who arrived in Singapore in September 2012 on a decade-long loan from China, the baby panda was conceived through artificial insemination during the panda's once-a-year breeding season window, reported The Straits Times. CapitaLand, the presenting sponsor and conservation donor of the Giant Panda Collaborative Programme between WRS and China Wildlife Conservation Association, welcomed the birth of the baby panda in a media release. Lee Chee Koon, group CEO of CapitaLand Group said that the birth "signifies the continued close friendship between Singapore and China, CapitaLand’s core market where we have built a strong presence over 25 years".
The group had previously commissioned a set of sculptures titled "The Panda Family' to mark its sponsorship of the 10-year Giant Panda collaborative programme in 2012. The set of four pandas in sitting positions are placed at the main entrance of Raffles City Chengdu, China, as well as in the open space in front of Westgate Mall in Jurong East, Singapore.
Meanwhile, brands are throwing their own panda baby showers in celebration over the weekend. Which one is your favourite?
The delivery platform shared the joy "from one panda to another", and celebrated the panda baby with a meme of customers with a "bubble tea baby". It also had a limited-time themed promo discount code.
Ho Bee Goldsmith & Jewellery
Local jeweller Ho Bee released a gold baby panda pendant featuring a panda holding a milk bottle, with a tiny elephant as the clasp on the chain.
HomeKong Mart 鄉港旺舖
The birth of the panda cub even made international news, with specialised Hong Kong product store HK mart chiming in with a free piece of its Kee Wah panda cookies with any purchase for the whole of this week. It also encouraged its customers to be a part of the cheer, holding a giveaway until 21 August to select winners who comment "Congrats!" under their Facebook post.
Uncle Jia Jia
Recently rebranded from Jia Jia Herbal Tea, the namesake with the panda parent showed appreciation for the mother panda's hard work for the difficult pregnancy journey.
The parent company of cream biscuit snack Hello Panda definitely couldn't miss out on the fun, drawing the baby panda in the likes of its signature mascot. Its spokesperson told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that the team had conceptualised the idea since April, and its creative intent was always to play off the Hello Panda brand name. "Quite frankly, the stars aligned for us in this regard and it was the perfect opportunity to commemorate an occasion with something quite literally on brand," added the spokesperson. While the brand has no specific plans to market this, Meiji’s intent was "sincerely to celebrate this joyous occasion with all Singaporeans".
In line with the panda-themed party, the homegrown ice-cream franchise is celebrating the whole of the cub's first month with a promotion for its "Panda-stic Panda" ice cream cake, from now until 14 Sep 2021.
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