National Heritage Board pushes for virtual Ramadan amidst pandemic

The National Heritage Board (NHB) has launched its Ramadan campaign titled "Ramadan Together". Done in collaboration with agency The Secret Little Agency (TSLA), the campaign depicts a different kind of Ramadan celebration during this circuit breaker period.

The campaign kickstarted with a 90-second film featuring the Muslim community in Singapore. The film showed empty places in Singapore such as markets and mosques during this period, and includes narratives from different Singaporeans who share about what they will miss this Ramadan. It then transitions into the different Muslim families using technology to continue visiting each other during Ramadan.

The film aims to take viewers on a journey on how faith and community is important, while recognising the challenges faced by the Muslim community during this period. With the implementation of Singapore’s circuit breaker measures, the team at NHB and TSLA produced the film remotely by interviewing participants via video conferencing and sourcing for user-generated content from the local community. The campaign is supported through-the-line, with activations to bring the community together online throughout the month.

The "Ramadan Together" film is launched on NHB’s Facebook page and its heritage portal "Roots Sg" YouTube channel. It has garnered 210 reactions on Facebook at the time of writing, consisting of likes, love, and crying reactions. 

Commenting on the film, one Instagram user said “Brb (be right back) going to teach my grandma how to use Zoom”. The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore also shared the film on its Facebook page, calling on Muslims to “celebrate the month with (their) families and friends through a different kind of connection this year”.

Additionally, NHB created a "Ramadan Together" microsite on its Roots Sg website, where it provides informational content about Ramadan and its traditions, as well as debunking some myths regarding the festival. NHB has also created a Facebook event to encourage the Muslim community to break fast together on certain days. The Board also hints at upcoming initiatives such as "Masak Together" where Singaporeans can learn how to prepare a traditional Hari Raya dish, and "Concert Together" where they can sing along to Hari Raya tunes with local celebrities. The campaign will run the entire duration of Ramadan 2020, until Hari Raya Puasa.  

Norfaiz Noeryamin, digital manager at the NHB said it hopes that the campaign can provide some inspiration and joy for everyone during this period of time. "We hope Singaporeans can also join in and try something they’ve probably never done before, such as the virtual 'Iftar Together' and 'Concert Together' events," Norfaiz added. 

Eunice Tan, partner at The Secret Little Agency (TSLA), said: “With the extended circuit breaker, we know that families everywhere will be affected in many different ways. The spirit of Ramadan and Hari Raya remains the same, but the ways in which we come together and share our faith, whether in Singapore or around the world, will change.”

With the circuit breaker measures, brands in Singapore are turning to virtual productions to reach out to their audiences. This week, Prudential unveiled a social ad shot entirely on Zoom for its newly-launched Pulse app. In a statement to Marketing, a spokesperson from Vaynermedia, the agency behind the ad, said it took three weeks to produce the ad, and it was filmed entirely on Zoom and virtual green screens. "With the current situation, we think people are also in a more forgiving space, and are okay with videos that may not come across as perfectly polished like a fully produced advertisement," the spokesperson added.

Marketing's Content 360 conference is going virtual, and will bring together industry leaders to discuss challenges and share insights on future content marketing trends, as well as successful strategies to help tackle the complex marketing landscape. Sign up here!

Related articles:
Instagram runs #MonthofGood initiative in time for Ramadan
Nas Daily to run Ramadan content, sets aside aid for small SG businesses
What Grab learnt by shooting its campaign for Ramadan virtually
How Malaysian brand and agencies are evolving their Ramadan executions in light of COVID-19