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Takagi Ramen brand sentiments plummet after Iswaran social post

Takagi Ramen brand sentiments plummet after Iswaran social post

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Ramen chain Takagi Ramen has been in the news lately for a trendjacking ad that seems to have landed quite poorly in the eyes of the public. Following the high-profile corruption case involving Singapore's former transport minister S. Iswaran, the ramen chain took to social media to offer an e-voucher just for Iswaran.

The post by the ramen chain directly addressed Iswaran and offered him six months of free flow ramen at their Dhoby Ghaut outlet in lieu of his court case which took place last week. 

"We are deeply saddened and disappointed to hear about the recent high profile court case involving you," the post read. "Sorry we don't have any private jets or expensive racing VIP tickets to offer you but here are six months of unlimited ramen vouchers for you on us," it said. 

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The post added that the voucher was only available at its latest Dhoby Ghaut MRT outlet because Iswaran used to be Singapore's transport minister and that the outlet is "nearer to court".

"Oh, and lastly, thank you for serving West Coast Residents dedicatedly over the last two decades. You will be missed by many Singaporeans," it concluded. 

Since the post, Takagi Ramen's brand sentiments have plummeted to 37.2% negative and 21.3% positive, according to media intelligence firm CARMA. 

Keywords associated with the restaurant brand were also entirely focused on the campaign and not the quality of food they serve, according to CARMA. Some stand out words included 'Iswaran', 'unlimited', 'private' and 'offer'.

This is not the first time that Takagi Ramen has capitalised on government incidents for its promotional material. Last year, following the revelation that speaker of parliament Minister Tan Chuan-Jin and Tampines GRC MP Cheng Li Hui had resigned over an ongoing extramarital affair, the ramen chain took to social media to offer an e-voucher just for Tan and Cheng so they can meet and “end things once and for all” over free ramen. 

In the post, Takagi Ramen said: "We understand that your boss [Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong] already advised you guys twice to break up but you guys didn't. Let us help you, here is an e-voucher to the both of you to enjoy a bowl of hearty ramen and talk things out."

"We hope Takagi Ramen can be the place where the two of you meet to end things once and for all and start spending time with your loved ones who felt hurt by this," it continued in the caption. 

The image attached to the post offered two free bowls of ramen specifically to Tan and Cheng and noted that it was valid till 23 November 2025 and only at its Marine Parade outlet. 

At the time, it received much disapproval from netizens and marketers alike. CARMA reported last year that its brand sentiments tanked with only 7.4% positive comments and a whopping 45.3% negative ones.

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