SG govt PCK vaccine education jam gets international attention

Ministry of Communications and Information has launched a campaign called #IGotMyShotSG  in collaboration with Tribal Worldwide Singapore, featuring iconic TV character Phua Chu Kang. The campaign aims to encourage Singaporeans to go for the COVID-19 vaccination when offered to them.

In a music video titled Get Your Shot, Steady Pom Pi Pi launched 2 May 2021, the character Phua Chu Kang played by Gurmit Singh, with his spouse Rosie played by Irene Ng urge Singaporeans not to "wait and see" and get vaccinated when it is their turn. The music video additionally addresses public concerns on the safety of the vaccines and the suitability of the vaccines for persons with chronic conditions. The campaign also rolled out a series of informational videos in Mandarin, Malay and Tamil, addressing these concerns.

To encourage Singaporeans to show their support towards the vaccination exercise, Facebook users can now add the #IGotMyShotSG frame to their Facebook profile photo to inspire their friends and families on Facebook to get vaccinated. Facebook users can add the frame when they change their profile photo and search for ‘IGotMyShotSG’.

The music video that is up on the Gov.sg YouTube page has garnered 15,540 views at the time of writing, with 41 comments, some of which shared a common theme of positivity and support. The video has also reached beyond the borders of Singapore, gaining the appreciation of international viewers of the campaign. 

Soffy Hariyanti, director, campaigns and production department at the Ministry of Communications and Information told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that based on ground sentiments and surveys, it understands that some may be hesitant about the vaccines, and prefer to adopt a wait-and-see approach. There are also concerns among those with medical conditions as they are unsure if they are medically fit to take the vaccination. The video aims to address these concerns and encourage Singaporeans to get vaccinated so they can protect themselves and their loved ones.

Hence, it decided to bring back Phua Chu Kang and his wife Rosie, to convey important messages about COVID-19 vaccination in a light-hearted manner, using everyday language that resonates with the audience. "We are both humbled and heartened by the overwhelming support on Twitter, and we hope that viewers will find the information useful and feel more assured about getting vaccinated," she added.

Over the past months, MCI has conveyed information on COVID-19 vaccines through print and broadcast media, as well as Gov.sg’s digital, social media and direct messaging platforms. It is also reaching out to youths through various social media platforms, to keep them informed and updated about the COVID-19 vaccines.

For example, the Gov.sg TikTok team, comprising MCI officers, regularly produces bite-sized content to convey vaccination information in an entertaining and engaging manner to reach out to youths. "We will continue our efforts to reach out to audiences across all segments to address their concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine and encourage them to take their shots when it is time for them to do so," Soffy said.

“COVID-19 vaccination is a complex topic. Through humour, we can make it more relatable and understandable for Singaporeans from all walks of life,” Benson Toh, executive creative director at Tribal Worldwide Singapore, said.

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According to statistics from Meltwater, the video had a total of 97 mentions online between 2 to 4 May in Singapore. Most of them came from Twitter (62) followed by news outlets (17) and forums (14). The trending keywords included "vaccines", "info", "uncle phua raps", and "pck's song". Meanwhile, the trending entities were "Singaporeans", "Phua Chu Kang", "Aiya Rosie" and "Chua Chu Kang GRC".

This is not the first time Gurmit Singh was featured in a video on the Gov.sg YouTube page. On 22 March 2020, another music video titled PCK - Singapore Be Steady! was released on the YouTube page teaching Singaporeans how the can practice personal hygiene and be socially responsible during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The video had gained over a million views and 13,000 likes since the date of its release. 

Most famously, Phua Chu Kang made his mark during the Sars crisis for his Sar-vivor Rap educating the public on hygiene and the need to eradicate the virus. 

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