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Using Real-Life Conversations to Create Post-Pandemic Optimism for Singaporeans



What are residents in Singapore most looking forward to once the ‘circuit breaker’ is lifted? LBB’s Natasha Patel speaks to BBH’s group creative director about how one survey led to a moving and emotional short film

Using Real-Life Conversations to Create Post-Pandemic Optimism for Singaporeans

It’s official: some of the world is finally starting to move out of lockdown. But what will countries look like once residents can meet and greet others? BBH Singapore developed a short clip for insurance website NTUC Income titled ‘Emerge Stronger’ centred around some of the conversations residents have been having during lockdown – and their hopes for the future.


The video uses real soundbites and has been created to inspire Singaporeans to be more optimistic about their future and think about better days ahead. The film drew insights from an online survey commissioned by Income to find out what locals would like to do after the ‘circuit breaker’ set of lockdown measures ends. The survey found that the most popular activities - apart from eating out and meeting family and friends - were playing sports, dating and going back to work.

The 110-second film features visuals of empty spaces and streets with narratives from Singaporeans talking about their plans once the circuit breaker has been called off, recorded from calls of real-life people. These include one from a kindergarten teacher who is looking forward to welcoming her toddlers back to school, a grandmother who is yearning to hug her grandchildren and a mother-to-be who can’t wait to shop before her baby’s birth. 


Khairul Mondzi, group creative director, BBH Singapore shared a little more insight into the clip and what he hopes the message will send out.


LBB> What inspired this moving piece?

Khairul> The general sentiment of the times has been very much focused on the now. What’s being done, who’s doing what to help? Which is terrific, but we felt there was an opportunity in asking ourselves, “What’s going to happen after all this?” Deep down inside we know that this will all come to an end as we look forward to the things we plan to do.


That little bit of hope and positivity, that outlook into the future, was something we felt each one of us needed amidst all the challenges we are currently facing. It’s good to acknowledge the present, but we also believe that there’s a future to look forward to.


LBB > Considering the restrictions, how was shooting done?

Khairul> Only two images were stock, due to current production restrictions. The rest were shot by the creative and production team over the past few weeks of the circuit breaker.


The team had to take pictures in a socially responsible manner, strictly doing so only while out on grocery runs and daily exercise like jogging and cycling.

LBB> What message do you hope this campaign sends out?

Khairul> There is hope of a future beyond all this, and we should hold on to that as it will drive us to get through this together and see through all our plans.

LBB>  The clip has a handful of languages used throughout - was this intentional and how will it impact the reach of the message?


Khairul> We let the interviewees answer and speak in their most comfortable manner. Whether it’s in dialect or their mother tongue, or a smattering of English and local slang, we were gunning for raw authenticity, which we felt would resonate with a more mass audience.

LBB> There are pregnant mothers, children, grandparents, teachers all featured in this piece. What inspired you to get insights from a range of people?

Khairul> The feelings and emotions showcased are very human and universal. We all know what it means to miss someone, or to look forward to doing something we love. And the interviewees are characters in society we are familiar with.


So whether it’s family or friends, or a place, longing for something is a basic human trait that everyone can understand and relate to, even if we ourselves have not experienced something that is that specific to some of the things mentioned by the interviewees.

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BBH Singapore, Mon, 11 May 2020 15:14:09 GMT