If I’ve achieved anything at all over the last 20 years in Singapore, it’s a certain notoriety for being a dab hand at winning government pitches.
The life blood of most local ad agencies (and not a few international ones too), the challenge is always to come up with a concept and slogan that resonates with everyone – but doesn’t lapse into the usual lowest common denominator stuff.
Obviously this is easier to say than do – but I’ve had a fair amount of success ‘doing’.
Low Crime Doesn’t Mean No Crime is the slogan I’ll always be associated with. But I’ve also come up with plenty of other successful ideas for Clean & Green Week, Senior Citizens Week, Quitting Smoking, the Courtesy Campaign (yeah, I know it didn’t work) and many others.
This pitch for the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) is a good case in point. The challenge was to come up with a concept and slogan that would inspire Singaporeans to take up a brand new sport.
But the fact is, most people are dubious about taking up a brand new sport because, well basically, they don’t want to make a fool of themselves.
(I know how it feels. I still have painful memories of been the very last to be selected for team sports back in secondary school.)
Our idea was simple. There are activities we do every day, without even thinking about it, that translate very easily into sporting activities.
The well groomed office lady who manages to sprint for the bus in the rain – while wearing precarious high heeled shoes. The busy executive – obviously late for work – who runs up the escalator. The coffee shop uncle who tosses empty drink cans across the room and into the bin with unerring accuracy.
All of these people are demonstrating abilities and skills that could easily be applied to sports like running, track and field and bowling.
And so we developed a series of ads that showcased examples like these.
And our slogan, BE A SPORT, captured perfectly the essence of our communication.
I personally think the work we produced was spot on.
And I’m sure the client would have too – if only our account service had managed to submit it on time…