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Your Shot: Why DDB Singapore Is Challenging Societal Norms to Inspire Future Teachers



Creative director Khalid Osman on the agency’s first campaign for the Ministry of Education

Your Shot: Why DDB Singapore Is Challenging Societal Norms to Inspire Future Teachers

No matter how much a student may complain about their teachers, a good teacher can be truly life changing. As well as bestowing knowledge and exam preparation, a teacher guides students through some of the trickiest and strangest years they’ll ever experience. DDB Group Singapore honours the profundity of the student-teacher relationship in a new campaign for the Ministry of Education, it’s first campaign for them since winning the account last year. The integrated campaign, which has launched with a three-minute online and TV film, tells the story of a student and his teachers challenging society’s social norms of success and failure. LBB’s Addison Capper spoke with DDB Group Singapore creative director Khalid Osman to find out more.

LBB> This is your first work for the Ministry of Education - what were you thinking when the account first came in?

KO> We saw it as a great privilege, but there was also immense pressure to deliver and do justice to the amazing vocation that is teaching.

LBB> What kind of brief did they present you with for this project?

KO> We were tasked to launch an integrated media campaign as part of the ministry’s new recruitment drive to encourage teaching as a career.

LBB> What kind of research and insight informed the idea?

KO> Since time immemorial, we have looked to teachers for solutions, for answers, for results. We look to them to make a difference, to solve a problem, to fix an issue. As a team, we felt, sure, those are important aspects of teaching, but just as critical as teachers’ answers are sometimes their questions.

“What is your dream?” “If someone has to lead, why not you?” “Why can’t we turn failure into success?”

Because these questions challenge us. They inspire us to discover more, to want more and to be more. They set us on roads less travelled. Paths that perhaps even the teachers themselves have never been on. But that is exactly the point. 

Teachers are not an end; teachers are a beginning. Our campaign line is a simple but powerful reminder of that fact: It All Begins With A Teacher.

LBB> You're really challenging 'norms' within the film - why did you decide to take this route?

KO> Grades are often seen as the be-all-and-end-all of education, and failure in exams is often regarded as failure in life. But that cannot be further from the truth and we wanted to challenge that thinking.

LBB> How is teaching seen as a profession in Singapore?

KO> Teaching is still regarded as a noble pursuit in Singapore and is a highly respected profession. However, whilst the education ministry and its teachers have moved the focus from grades and scores, to knowledge, value and life skills, public perception has not kept up.  

LBB> How has public reaction been to the film?

KO> In less than a week, the film has garnered close to 400,000 views on Facebook and has clocked more than 7,000 shares and likes. Even the national paper picked it up. Also, not only did the film strike a chord with teachers and teachers-to-be, it moved the student in all of us, with many students tagging their teachers to the film and thanking them.

LBB> What are your most memorable moments from the film's development and production? / What were the trickiest components to overcome and why?

KO> Creating an auditorium full of people with just 100 extras. Scary, fun, mind-blowing – all captured in the opening scene. But on a more serious note, perhaps, the most memorable moment was when we were shooting the funeral scene. The way the young actor prepped for that scene was truly impressive.

LBB> Any parting thoughts?

KO> We think it’s time to flip the script: those who can, do; those who can be more, teach. 

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Genres: Storytelling

Categories: Corporate, Social and PSAs, Education

DDB Asia, Wed, 02 Mar 2016 15:22:16 GMT