The National Crime Prevention Council of Singapore (NCPC) has taken on a different route in its latest TVC to spread anti-scam awareness. The new 30-second spot uses behavioural science techniques to hone in on the emotional and mental toll of being scammed, and the effect that it can have on individuals.
Instead of showing a scam in progress, the TVC shows the plight of the main character and the scary aftermath and fallout that victims have to deal with. The narrative brings Singaporeans to the realisation that they too could have been victims, through juxtaposition with internal monologues, that capture the train of thought that led them to fall for the scam.
The video shows the victims' disappointment, desperation, anger and embarrassment after the scam with an internal monologue capturing their happiness, excitement and hope before the scam, aiming to create an uncomfortable tension that will draw viewers in. Ogilvy Singapore, Chuan Pictures, and Gravitate Post were involved in the TVC's production.
Ogilvy's executive group director, Mitchell Tan, said many anti-scam ads focus on how scams work and the tactics scammers employ. While they are all logical, Tan said logic alone is not enough to get people to take scams seriously, especially when they think only the un-tech savvy and uneducated will fall for scams and not them.
"Our aim with this latest campaign is to go beyond logic and use emotion and empathy to reach our audience.
Ng Khee Jin, chairman, public communications sub-committee, NCPC and creative partner, Kheej LLP, said many in Singapore have been lulled into a false sense of security by thinking that they are immune to scams. According to him, anyone can become a victim of scams. Therefore, NCPC needs to continue in its efforts to raise awareness and educate the public in recognising the different signs of potential scams.
"We hope that the TV commercial and online video, which forms part of our NCPC anti-scam campaign, will help convey this urgent message to the general public," Ng said.
During the first half of last year, scam victims lost SG$168 million to conmen in the top 10 scam categories, a sharp spike from SG$63.5 million in the same period last year. This comes on the back of a 16% rise in the number of reported scam cases and a 11.2% hike in overall crime, according to mid-year statistics released by the Singapore Police Force.
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