Singapore Sports Council Pitch

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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.

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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.

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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…

Senior Citizens Week 2002

 

 

 

 

The brief for Senior Citizen’s Week 2002 was simple. Educate both the general population and older members of society that senior citizens have much to contribute to society.

Obviously nobody can really do very much about getting older. Plastic surgery can only take you so far – just ask Mickey Rourke. But over and above all the other challenges of getting on in years – failing senses, joints wearing out and so on, perhaps the biggest challenge of all is a mental one. The thought that being old also means being obsolete.

In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. With age comes experience. You learn how to deal with all the challenges that life can throw at you simply because you’ve lived through them. And that gives you the kind of perspective and, yes, wisdom, that is an invaluable resource for younger, less experienced generations.

So, with these TV commercials I refused to refer to these people as been ‘old’ or indeed as ‘senior citizens’. Instead I positioned them as people with more experience in life. This approach led to a very nice tagline that had an elegant double meaning:

Share The Experience Of A LIfetime.