Unexpected partnerships in Singapore in bid to celebrate National Day

To rally Singaporeans during these challenging times, the Singapore government has adopted the theme “Together, Our Singapore Spirit” for the upcoming National Day. According to the government’s website, the Singapore spirit aims to encourage Singaporeans to embrace a “dare-to-try” attitude and reinvent to overturn Singapore's natural and geographical constraints. The past year has been tough for several industries, especially F&B players as a result of social distancing restrictions and Heightened Alert phases. Despite this, the industry is still showing their patriotic side ahead of Singapore's National Day and have engaged in creative ways to not only celebrate the nation's birthday but also remain at the top of consumers' minds. 

The Singapore Tourism Board, for example, partnered with UK-based subscription club Craft Gin Club to showcase Singapore’s Brass Lion Gin as the “gin of the month” in its August subscription box. The partnership aims to increase awareness and consideration of Singapore as a destination to visit when the time is right. STB’s collaboration with Craft Gin Club is part of “Made With Passion”, a national marketing initiative and joint initiative by the Singapore Brand Office and the Singapore Tourism Board to promote consumer awareness and appreciation for Singapore’s local lifestyle brands. The August box will also contain local snacks including Poppadoms from Singaporean brand Uncle Saba’s. Through this collaboration, STB hopes to showcase some Singaporean brands, profiling them to audiences outside of Singapore and to hopefully help in their expansion into new markets, an STB spokesperson told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE.

ndp 2021 stb craft gin club

STB is not the only one to have partnered up with local brands for National Day. Here are few other F&B brands that have put a unique twist to spice up their marketing and offerings this National Day. Which one do you think best embodies the Singapore Spirit?

Burger King and Deliveroo

Both parties tied up with AKA Asia to release 85 pieces of limited-edition National Day tees alongside the launch of the Double Ultimate Rendang Angus Beef Burger. A tongue-in-cheek ode to both brands, the shirt’s design was inspired by Deliveroo's teal-coloured app and Burger King’s Rendang Burger. The shirt features a playful twist on local acronyms such as:

  • Sourdough Bun Stack (SBS)
  • Carefully, Perfectly, Flame-grilled (CPF)
  • Ultimate Rendang Angus (URA) 
  • Home Delivered Burger (HDB)

 ndp 2021 nurger king deliveroo

For the t-shirt, Deliveroo’s spokesperson told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that the team went for something bright in colour and trendy in style to visually appeal to consumers. After exploring various concepts together, it landed on using a receipt format, as it comes with all Deliveroo orders and is familiar to customers. The receipt also uses 9 August as its order number 0908. 

The spokesperson also said that while Deliveroo does not have any plans to make this a more permanent initiative, it is always open to feedback from the Deliveroo community and looking for new ways to stay connected with customers in a fun, positive and uplifting way.

KFC and AMOS ANANDA 

KFC also recently partnered local fashion designer turned hawker Amos Yeo to launch the “STATE: ORIGINAL” exclusive streetwear capsule collection. The collection comprises 11 limited edition pieces of apparel and accessories, showcasing Yeo’s interpretation of “the original state of self” in his signature design and style. According to KFC, this marks the first partnership between a quick-service restaurant and local fashion designer in Singapore.

ndp 2021 kfc amos ananda

 The pieces will be available for pre-orders on the KFC Official Store on Shopee from 9 August 2021. KFC’s spokesperson told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that the campaign's success will be measured by the earned PR garnered and the targeted sell-out of the 745 pieces of apparel, adding that "the sale of this collection is not intended to deliver a big sales return, it is really something special we wanted to create for our fans who love KFC as they celebrate the Nation’s birthday this August."

Sim Ann, senior minister of state, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of National Development, shared her support for this initiative and applauded the collaboration. She also encouraged more established companies to step forward to give local designers the opportunity to shine, adding: “Singapore has talented fashion designers, but it is always a challenge for them to grow their brands in a small domestic market. Every bit of help is appreciated."

McDonald’s and Ben Yeo

At the same time, McDonald’s has also released its new Singapore-inspired Crispy “Hainanese Chicken” burger in collaboration with Mediacorp artiste and guest chef Ben Yeo. According to Yeo, he took into consideration the fast-food giant’s “strong chicken menu”, and incorporated his passion for local food. The burger also comes with a sachet of dark sweet sauce on the side, similar to how the local Hainanese chicken rice is usually drizzled with dark sauce. In addition to the burger, McDonald’s is also bringing back its usual seasonal specials banana pie and criss-cut fries, with a new introduction of a “Kopi Frappe”, a take on the classic local coffee in coffee shops.

 ndp 2021 mcdonalds ben yeo

In a statement to MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, McDonald’s said it plans to promote this new campaign with a focus on connecting with customers digitally through social platforms, on top of traditional above-the-line and OOH media. Regarding the collaboration with a local artiste, the spokesperson also added that local relevance and more importantly, local resonance is key to stand out against other brands engaging in similar National Day initiatives.

Playmade and Geneco

Electricity retailer Geneco has also teamed up with bubble tea chain Playmade by Onezo. Geneco is introducing a customisable green “Power Eco Add-on” on 9 August, in line with its ongoing efforts to encourage Singaporeans to make gradual changes at their own pace and promote greater sustainability in Singapore. The add-on option at varying green contributions was designed in the likes of the sugar level choices concept for bubble tea, said Geneco, and will allow greater flexibility to customers regarding how they want to customise their electricity plans.

Joining forces with Playmade, Geneco added that it is offering activities and prizes to encourage Singaporeans to kick start their green journey through small and simple acts such as bringing their own tumbler when purchasing drinks from Playmade. It will also be launching a digital game on 9 August, where winners can redeem free drinks and discounts from Playmade, as well as exclusively designed Geneco x Playmade tumblers.

 genecoxplaymade

Alex Chan, head of marketing, Geneco told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that Geneco felt it was important to “identify partners with the same ethos” and Playmade understood Geneco’s vision that it wants to convey through the Power Eco Add-on launch, adding that brands should also champion the responsibility to help consumers in achieving their sustainability goals with ease.

This campaign, similar to Playmade, aims to ignite more conversations and meaningful exchanges, and inspire everyone to carry out small actions to achieve their goals, said Chan. He added that this is the first of several partnerships Geneco will embark on to promote Power Eco Add-on, and is looking to find like-minded partners such as Playmade who “understands that a big part of product or service stewardship is accepting the responsibility that brands/companies play a pivotal role in reducing the impact on the environment”.

Peperoni Pizzeria

Echoing the concept of localised flavours, Italian restaurant Peperoni Pizzeria has also launched a Laksa Pizza for National Day. Aside from the laksa sauce, the pizza is topped off with familiar ingredients we usually see in our bowl of laksa, such as tiger prawns, Venus clams, squid, hard-boiled egg, and tofu puffs. The pizzeria is also offering a National Day bundle, encouraging Singaporeans to “bring out their patriotic spirit” this National Day.

ndp 2021 peperoni pizzeria

Yeo’s and Shopee 

Local beverage brand Yeo Hiap Seng, more commonly known as Yeo’s, also teamed up with eCommerce site Shopee to celebrate uniquely Singapore. Representative of Singapore's multi-ethnic diversity, Yeo’s repackaged its Chrysanthemum Tea cans, covering it with a variety of Singlish slangs. The beverage brand also put its customers’ Singlish to the test, engaging them by holding a staycation giveaway to winners who are able to identify the number of Singlish slangs on the can.

Chua Cheng Xun, head of marketing, Shopee Singapore told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that the partnership with local homegrown brand Yeo’s was in line with Shopee’s commitment to providing “a hyper-localised and personalised experience” for its users. It also provides an avenue for both parties to promote the national spirit and support local communities during this challenging time, added Chua. Aside from in-app and out-of-app marketing channels, Shopee has also put up pull-up banners, table stickers and cashier wobblers for customers patronising Fei Siong outlets to promote this partnership and boost overall campaign visibility.

ndp 2021 yeos

In addition to the Shopee partnership, Yeo’s is also celebrating National Day by handing out more than 170,000 cans of its chrysanthemum drink to hawkers, healthcare workers and taxi drivers. This is to recognise the difficulties faced by hawkers and taxi drivers in these challenging times as well as the vital role played by healthcare workers in the battle against COVID-19. The specially designed yellow National Day 2021 cans, feature images of Singapore icons such as the Toa  Payoh dragon playground,  the  Henderson  Waves bridge, Joo Chiat shophouses, the Chinese Garden pagoda, the Fullerton Hotel and Pulau Ubin. The packaging also includes a white space for people to leave their well wishes and messages. 

Yeo’s has also produced limited edition chrysanthemum tea cans for its promotion with FairPrice. The chrysanthemum tea with wolfberry will come in a red can, and is dedicated to the “unsung heroes who have contributed much in the battle against Covid-19”, said Yeo’s, adding that it will be given free to customers who purchase Yeo’s products at FairPrice supermarkets.

As one of the official sponsors for this year’s National Day, Yeo’s will also engage local singer-musician Benjamin Kheng to create a unique Yeo’s National Day Parade mash-up where Singaporeans can share words of encouragement via participation in this initiative.

Seen any other interesting National Day partnerships or marketing stunts? Share them with us at layhianl@marketing-interactive.com.

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