Nestlé Singapore's MILO brand has sent a love note to its Japan counterpart on its Facebook and Instagram channels. Done in collaboration with PROTOCOL, MILO Singapore posted its rendition of the "care" emoji from Facebook, except that instead of a heart, it is hugging a cup of MILO. The post is also accompanied with the caption in Japanese, "Dear Japan, hang in there! We'll get through this together! With love from Singapore", with a combination of symbols that resembles a cheering action behind it. At the time of writing, the social post has garnered 108 positive reactions and 49 shares.
This encouraging note comes as Nestlé Japan said that it is suspending sales of its MILO products because it has become difficult to maintain a stable supply. In a press release, the company said it initially suspended sales of one of its MILO products at the end of September 2020, and resumed when shipments came in from 16 November onwards. However, orders continued to be about seven times more compared to the previous year, which far exceeds the supply plan, so Nestlé Japan had to suspend sales again.
It is added that the company is doing its best to resume sales as soon as possible, but will take some time to prepare a sufficient supply system as the raw materials are imported from Singapore. Therefore, sales are expected to resume after March 2021. "We deeply apologise for the inconvenience caused to our customers and business partners," Nestlé Japan said.
In a statement to MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, Kelvin Kao, founder and CEO of PROTOCOL, said MILO Singapore wanted to send its well wishes after hearing about the MILO shortage in Japan. Moreover, it wanted to do express its love and encouragement in a native vernacular.
"We thought seeing Japanese typography appearing in Singaporeans’ newsfeed would be intriguing, and paired with the reimagining of the care emoji, we felt that it would resonate with Singaporeans and Japanese alike," he said, adding that the creatives were done in just under four hours, including all the requisite approval.
According to multiple media reports in Japan, this surge in popularity for MILO in Japan came as a number of social media users shared how they felt more energised after consuming the malt beverage. In one Twitter post, a user claimed to be less tired and more refreshed after consuming MILO every morning for a month. The user also encouraged viewers to try drinking it to see if what he or she said is true.
Tapping onto the consumers' sentiments in Japan, Kao said MILO Singapore wanted to build on both countries’ shared love of MILO as a familiar drink that energises and refreshes through the social media post. This is especially so since the past year has been rather difficult for everyone around the world, with the pandemic situation. "MILO is a brand that carries a lot of meaning to people and we want to continue to connect and engage with our fans at an emotional level," Kao added.
MILO celebrates its 70th anniversary since it established in Singapore this year. To commemorate the occasion, MILO launched four limited edition MILO van collectibles earlier in September. The four MILO van designs, respectively representing the brand in 1950s, 1960s, 1980s, and 2011, is said to reflect MILO’s heritage in Singapore and its journey of nourishing Singaporeans. Throughout the years, the MILO van is most known to be present at sporting events in Singapore.
Besides the four MILO van designs, the beverage brand also created a video featuring four well-known online personalities: Aiken Chia and Sylvia Chan from Night Owl Cinematics, Pamela Lee Nur Shuhadah from SGAG, and Annette Lee. These personalities tried to replicate the taste of MILO from the MILO van in the vide, which was then made available on MILO Singapore’s Facebook, Instagram and YouTube pages in October.
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