Creative in association withGear Seven

DDB Singapore’s 'The Frog Prince' is the Emotional Outlet We All Need Right Now

Advertising Agency
Singapore, Singapore
Singapore’s National Water Agency, PUB, creates tear-jerker to mark Tomb-Sweeping Day, writes LBB’s Natasha Patel

DDB Singapore is hitting us all in the feels with their new tale of sons and fathers, The Frog Prince. The emotive short is the latest instalment in a water conservation drive from PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency. It honours the values and morals passed down between generations – invaluable gifts as precious as water.

At a time when the world is dealing with stress and disruption, this tearjerker has proven to be popular with Singaporeans, transporting them away with a lushly-produced film.

It’s been created to celebrate Singapore’s Qing Ming festival, or the Tomb-Sweeping Day. Qing Ming is a time to remember loved ones and the values they have taught others. The Frog Prince has been inspired by the traditional saying: ‘Every tree has its roots, every river has its source’. It expresses the virtue of honouring our parents, appreciating what they have sacrificed for us and the values they have passed down to us. The film brings this virtue to life and reflects the spirit of remembrance that is the essence of the festival.

The Frog Prince tells the story of a poor family with a kim zua (joss sticks and paper offerings) business in the 1980s. Their son yearns for new toys and clothes so he can be more like his friends – luxuries his parents cannot afford. As he grapples with temptation and jealousy, the boy uncovers the life lessons behind his father’s words and deeds. Despite a tragedy occurring part-way through the young boy’s childhood, he is able to understand just what wisdom his father has been trying to pass down to him.

Cindy Keng, director of 3P Network, PUB says: “The ‘can-do’ attitudes of our forefathers in building a sustainable water supply for Singapore is something that we can all be proud of. We must cherish what we have built up over the years. We hope that the film serves as a reminder to how far we have come, not just for our Singapore Water Story success, but also for everyone to take a step back from our busy lives to remember the precious life lessons imparted by our forefathers”.

PUB’s on going message of fostering a water-conscious culture across Singapore is woven through the film, touching on how our older generation came up with creative ways to save and reuse water as part of their everyday routine. Pots and vases collect rainwater that is reused around the house. In another scene, the father scoops water from a classic dragon urn instead of a running shower. The gripping film serves as a reminder that the values passed on from parents are as precious as water.

“While Qing Ming often comes and goes without the usual high-spirited celebrations of other festivals, there is value in remembering and learning from previous generations,” said Benson Toh, creative director at Tribal Worldwide Singapore. “We’re thankful for the chance to once again partner with PUB and create another memorable film.”

The short film was launched on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube on 25 March. Since the film’s release last week, many have commented on Facebook that they were reminded of their relationship with their parents, while some wrote that they were moved to tears as it was something close to home.