Republic of Singapore Navy takes a jab at Coffee Bean's SAF Day promo

The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) has taken a jab at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf's Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Day ad furore in a celebratory post on Facebook. The post mimics Coffee Bean's ad, which has since been removed, featuring a soldier wearing a Chinese military uniform and a 50% discount.

RSN said in the post that while it could not offer a promotion, it promises to give its 100% in "defending our everyday", as it has been doing since 1967. It even slipped in a fun fact that approximately seven kilograms of coffee were shipped to Singapore by sea in 2018. The Facebook post garnered over 1,300 likes and 730 shares within a day. Netizen reactions were mainly positive, with several netizens applauding the move, calling it good humour and a "classy" move. Others also thanked RSN for its commitment and commented with GIFs and memes.

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The initial image by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Singapore copped flak from netizens for not accurately using an SAF personnel – which varies across the Singapore Army, Republic of Singapore Air Force and Republic of Singapore Navy. The coffee chain has since put up a new poster on its Facebook page as a replacement.

In 2017, RSN appointed Wunderman Thompson Singapore as its creative partner three years. The agency helped to drive recruitment, and lead integrated marketing, communications and events to mark the RSN’s 50th anniversary.

In Singapore, government bodies have been increasingly leveraging social media platforms to break its barrier with the everyday citizen and reach out to them. For example, SCDF was seen jumping on a TikTok trend to create a video to shed light on its servicemen working behind the scenes. Meanwhile, Singapore Police Force took to Facebook to spread awareness about popular Korean boy band BTS’ tour tickets scams circulating online by wittily sliding in titles of some of BTS’ hit songs into its Facebook post.