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Mentos’ National Night rap: cheeky or cheesy?

Mentos’ rap song encouraging locals to “do their duty” for National Day and get frisky to boost the nation’s flagging birth rates has received mixed response from the online audience as well as the industry.

The video has already garnered close to 60,000 views on YouTube since it launched last week with many net users seemed to find the video amusing, while others called it juvenile.

Done by BBH Asia Pacific, a note on the video says: “Mentos is out to celebrate Singapore’s National Day in the freshest way possible. By celebrating in a way that is also going to help tackle the country’s unbelievably low birthrate. ”

The rap song airs on various channels such as Sound Cloud and social media sites, aside from YouTube. It will also be played by local cover bands around Singapore leading up to National Day.

The lyrics of the song run with lines such as “Let’s not watch fireworks, let’s makem’ instead…”

Here’s what the industry had to say:

Jean-Paul Burge, CEO BBDO Singapore, president BBDO South East Asia

“I like this work. It’s on the right side of edgy, well crafted, a bit irreverent and in doing so holds up a mirror to an issue that Singapore is facing. The brand is a bit of a bolt on, but they often are, and the work will fly and be talked about – produce much conversation and will be shared liberally. All of which Mentos should be happy about. Well done to the client for signing it off.”

Farrokh Madon, chief creative officer, Y&R Advertising
“It’s an attempt to stand out from the usual bland National Day messages. So it’s fresh and hence, on the money for a mint brand. But the lyrics are pedestrian and the song isn’t funny. Overall, it comes across as a shallow stab at humour.”

Robert Gaxiola, creative partner, ManghamGaxiola
“I like it. It’s fun, irreverent and virtually harmless as long as it airs after 10PM. The only thing I don’t like about it is the soulless hip hop track and overused typo animation. But I’m being bitchy. Still, great job to the brave account people who brokered this one. Hats off!”

Keith Timimi, chairman, VML Qais

The core idea is great. A topic that appeals to everyone, an issue worthy of National Day attention – and a new approach that is built out of the core brand values. Bang on, if I can get in on the joke a bit.

The music and rapping actually sound half decent, unlike many ‘made for YouTube’ productions. There is humour and enough edginess to appeal to the target audience. It might offend some very conservative members of society, but I’m sure that Mentos and its agency felt that was worth taking a risk on. Truth be told, they probably wanted to offend a few people, but not too many.

There are some improvements that can be made to the execution. I was disappointed that nothing else was released together with the YouTube video. It would have been great to see the theme being extended, for example content around the best places to be patriotic in, or a guide to the most patriotic baby-making positions, songs to wave the flag to – content that can live on in Facebook or a microsite.

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