14 Jul 2021


“Naturally, we’re thrilled to have been chosen as Sentosa’s partner. We have a big task in front of us, as the brand has consistently rolled out great pieces of work over the years. And we can’t wait to get started alongside our partners Section and OLIVER,” said Tim Chan, ECD/Partner of GOVT Singapore in a statement. Alvina Seah, Managing Director of GOVT Singapore, said: “Sentosa has always given Singaporeans that warm sense of familiarity, and it has also never stopped reinventing itself. As a team, we are very proud and humbled to be chosen for such an important brand for Singapore.” “It is definitely an exciting proposition to be onboard and working in a collaborative model with the creative minds of GOVT and one of Asia’s premier destinations. We are humbled and eager to unlock new ways of elevating the Sentosa experience with technology and the diverse expertise at the table,” said CK Tham, Head of Business of Section. “We’re elated to partner with Sentosa, one of the most iconic homegrown brands in Singapore. With Sentosa and our partner agencies, we look forward to building new and more effective ways of working that produces brilliant work with the OLIVER inside agency ecosystem, all brought together by our proprietary marketing technology, Oliver Marketing Gateway (OMG),” said Paul Bonnette, Managing Director, OLIVER and Inside Ideas Group APAC. Under the consortium arrangement, GOVT will undertake the role of Strategic Creative Agency, and Section will take on digital and UI/UX duties, while OLIVER will oversee creative and digital production and connect the entire ecosystem with their proprietary MarTech, OMG. Creative duties were previously handled by BBH Singapore. In a separate appointment UM, the full-service media and marketing solutions agency within Mediabrands, has retained their relationship with the client as media agency of record. As the incumbent on the media business, this win is UM’s second term as media agency of record for SDC.

05 May 2021


After a successful, well-received brand relaunch at the start of the year, Malaysian biscuit brand, Julie’s, has once again teamed up with GOVT Singapore to put their newfound brand of cheeky humour towards this Raya celebrations campaign. The spot takes an inside look at the production of typical Raya ads of the past, where women have been cast in stereotypical roles. In Ini Iklan Raya, Tau?, the women break from script to get us to question if we’re giving them enough credit for the roles they play in our lives, to the comical consternation of the film’s desperate director. With a female as it’s logo, Julie’s felt it was only appropriate to use its platform to give women a little love, with their signature Love Letters range of products. GOVT Singapore, Associate Creative Director, Kevin Joseph, said: “This ad isn’t meant to be a lecture, or an admonishment of any kind. We just wanted to make people chuckle and realise that the women in our lives are more than just caretakers and melodramatic criers. They bring way more to the table than just food. And they deserve our love for it.” The ad features notable names in the Malaysian acting scene such as Fauziah Nawi, Sharifah Shahira, Batrisyia Razak and Amerul Affendy, and was directed by Junad M. Nor. With the exception of Kevin Joseph, GOVT also did its part for female empowerment with an all-female team.

02 Jan 2021


Launching on 1st January 2021, a short film featuring an ensemble of veteran, award-winning and emerging Malaysian cast including Indi Nadarajah, Fabian Loo, Amanda Ang and Bella Rahim will be rolled out on Julie’s YouTube, Social Media and digital platforms. The story-line is fictionalised, comical take inspired by Julie’s actual real-life multi-layered rebranding process, including internal management, employee and stakeholder consultations and navigating insights from actual Julie’s consumers and focus groups. Julie’s Director, Tzy Horng Sai, said: “The rebranding exercise included expertise of its founding members and new generation talent. The process kicked off in 2017 undergoing a vigorous process while the creative collaboration with GOVT started in 2019. “We felt after 35 years, Julie’s needed some rejuvenation. For the longest time, we were kind of just…there. Seen, but not necessarily heard. We wanted to change that. Julie’s will always be Julie’s. We still hold the values that have made us who we are today. But now, we want to shout it out to the world. We want to be bold and thought-provoking, to bring a little optimism to the everyday. It’s a change we believe our loyal fans will be on board with, and one we hope will attract new ones too. Taking a plunge into something new isn’t just something we’ve done, it’s something we hope to inspire others to do too. In partnership with GOVT, we believe these short films capture Julie’s new personality.” GOVT’s Associate Creative Director Kevin Joseph lead Julie’s rebranding filming process, following the team’s award-winning 2019 short-film TRANSLATOR. “To see a heritage brand like Julie’s embrace evolution like this is inspiring. When you’ve been at something for so long, it’s easy to get stuck in the status quo. I’m sure we’ve all been there before, especially in our jobs. In many ways, we’ve poured much of ourselves into the characters in this film. Our hope for anyone watching this, is that they realise that no matter where you are in life, you’re never too old to grow young,” said Joseph. Amid the onslaught of Covid-19, Julie’s had to accelerate its marketing, consumer engagement and product deployment strategies aggressively onto digital platforms. “A lot of the marketers in Asia still rely on physical branding and on-ground promotional activities to engage with customers. We had to hasten our digitisation efforts to best interact with our customers and introduce the brand to new consumers,” said Sai. “Hari Raya, Christmas holidays, Chinese New Year, other festive seasons and celebrations play a big part in the consumption of Julie’s products – when families and friends get together to share and create memories, which was all abruptly halted. We continue to work with retailers on how to best respond to consumers’ changing shopping habits and manoeuvre through new challenges brought on by Covid-19.” “We do believe that our strong family brand identity has brought back fond memories during this challenging year. Julie’s is privileged to have the loyalty of many consumers who have developed an emotional relationship with our brand and our value of sharing. We hope that we are still helping families and friends create warm memories during these trying times,” said Sai.

03 Jun 2020

Advertising agencies ‘adopt’ smaller businesses and come to their marketing aid

To have survived and sustained during the circuit breaker and COVID-19 situation is no easy feat. Over the past two months, there have been numerous lists circulating around layoffs, downsizing and shutdowns. However, there are some businesses lending a hand to those in need through collaborations, of which almost all are free of charge. One such example will be independent creative agency GOVT's newly launched social platform called "Adoptising SG". Through this initiative, GOVT describes itself as not an ad agency. Instead of hunting for clients, Adoptising_SG is an initiative that aims to provide advertising creative services to local small and home businesses who are adapting during this challenging climate. According to GOVT, through the initiative, the team aims to aid 20 small businesses who are in need in the next few months by featuring their products and services. The team will also work to create ads best catered to the business that the local businesses can use, all done without any charges. The Adoptising_SG initiative was launched on Instagram and Facebook on Thursday, and saw many business owners reaching out to the platform expressing their interest to have their small businesses adopted. This started as a passion project by GOVT Singapore's managing director Alvina Seah, who said it was all born from a conversation about the state of small businesses in Singapore now. "Everyone is helping in ways that they can, and we just figured why not take the initiative to help people by doing what we do best," she added. According to Seah, this project does not impact the agency's existing work with clients. She told Marketing that usual work for existing clients is still ongoing, and the leadership team spend the bulk of their time ensuring those things go on as smoothly as they can, and ensure staff stay optimistic and motivated in these challenging times. The first business adopted is a fitness trainer and nutrition coach, Joshua Tay (@joshua_tay_pe). In the coming days, Adoptising_SG also aims to release various "ads" on its platform to attract local businesses in need of its services. Similarly, micro independent agency network Beatnk and TJT Creative Lab have launched a Partners in Pandemic initiative to offer solutions ranging from branding, creative communications, public relations and business and marketing strategies to businesses. As a network of independent agencies, Beatnk has a pool of talent that aims to help businesses address a variety of business problems and challenges that they may face due to this pandemic. As such, the initiative by Beatnk and TJT Creative Labs will assist as a creative communications and strategy aid for businesses during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Designed to help SMEs, local businesses, non-profit organisations/NGOs and governments within SEA, the talents look to provide expertise for free to businesses related to to retail, travel and tourism, waste management, fintech and others. Already on the roster for this project is Beatnk for Singapore and Malaysia, TJT Creative Lab (Thailand/Indonesia/Vietnam), Kulturpop (Malaysia), McGagh Communications (Singapore), Exhibit Lab (Malaysia), ACMF Consultants (SEA), Hot Pictures (Malaysia), REBL (Singapore and Malaysia), Komaci (Malaysia), Roshambo (Malaysia), Square Flair (US), Somnuk Production (Thailand) and Squareteam (Indonesia). Separately, digital agency We! Interactive too jumped at an opportunity to offer Singapore SMEs pay-as-you-wish social and digital marketing assistance, and to build up their eCommerce offering. In light of the recent pandemic, the Singapore government has offered assistance to SMEs during this challenging times through initiatives, such as an expanded SMEs Go Digital programme and an enhanced enterprise finance scheme-SME working capital loan. However, We! said it understands that it takes more than just listing products on online marketplaces for eCommerce to take off. In fact, advertising and marketing efforts are crucial for them to attract and direct people to the online stores, the agency said. Meanwhile, freelance photographer Jeryl Tan has offered his expertise in food photography to F&B businesses. In a Facebook post, Tan said he will provide a free, one-time-off, basic food photography / styling service to restaurants / café / hawker stores offering takeaways or delivery options amid circuit breaker. According to CNA, Tan noticed a 70% drop in projects and jobs during the circuit breaker situation, and has been working on small product shoots to sustain. He also explained that hawkers were moving into social media pages to gain more business, but these owners are not digitally savvy and needed help. Since his Facebook post went live, Tan has garnered 45 interested F&B owners.

21 Apr 2020

Send in the clowns: How to do great work by ‘vibing’ with a new generation of misfits

The Boomers and Gen X may have brought advertising its glorious, Scotch-fuelled Mad Men days, but haven’t you heard… the Millennials and Gen Z are taking over. While they’re at it, they’re also asking for fulfilling lives and ping pong tables. Unfortunately, at GOVT Singapore, since we haven’t figured out how to build the DeLorean, we’ve had to embrace them (and pay these troublemakers, too). So, over the years, we’ve tried to click with them a little more. Here’s what we found. 1. They like lists In our day, we were paid to work as hard as we could towards a vague pot of gold. But with this bunch, treating their goals like a Buzzfeed listicle works better. So, we’re always clear about the step-by-step process in which they can grow and thrive with us. 2. They need a 'purpose' And being ‘the best independent agency in town’ doesn’t cut it. They’re hungry to know what we stand for, why we exist. Beyond a salary, they need a reason to get up every morning. And they need to be reminded of this constantly too. 3. They also need their own purpose within yours In the past, agencies had a few Generals. Everyone else would just follow. But now, Gen Z types are more entrepreneurial, and therefore keen to lead their own skirmishes. So we’re happy to send them on their own little experimental adventures. 4. They're a demanding bunch Flexible hours, the aforementioned ping pong table, more benefits… they don’t seem to be shy about asking for stuff. On the one hand, some may say they’re entitled. But on the other, it shows they don’t shy away from having a POV. And that’s what advertising is about anyway. 5. Very short attention/retention spans The days of long careers in one place are over. The agency is merely a stepping stone to another gig. Which makes keeping people a constant challenge. But instead of lamenting, we throw them challenges worth staying for and keep them sufficiently stimulated. Also, see point two. 6. Alcohol isn't enough An open bar still has its pull, but it’s not quite what it was. They’d rather that we keep our promises, help them experience new things, maintain a culture of having each other’s backs and regular one-on-one chats. Apparently, these are more ‘fleek’ than a beer tap (which we have anyway). 7. You gotta know what they know, but you'll never really know what they know You can’t just walk the talk. You have to TikTok too. They can show us more about popular culture than we’ll ever keep up with. But being open to these cultural nuances also helps us guide our people to use it in our work, and never just for the sake of it. 8. They're the present/future of advertising Whether we like it or not. But we do like them, for many reasons. Our favourite one reminds us of a quote from an obscure ad made at the height of advertising’s golden age: “They have no respect for the status quo.” We can totally vibe with that. Words by Tim Chan, co-founder and director, GOVT Singapore* *Technically, he’s a millennial, too, even though he barely made the cut.

29 Nov 2019


It was also the first time the iconic Singaporean beer and STB ventured out of Singapore together since inking a two-year marketing partnership in June 2019. The Heineken Asia-Pacific Export team worked with GOVT Singapore to conceptualize and produce TIGER ROAR: YUKI EDITION. The event drew a total of over 38,000 visitors across 4 days. The event was a celebration of food, art, fashion and music from Singapore and Japan. It presented a rare opportunity for 10 Tiger RAW artists from both nations to showcase their unconventional talents and uncage their unexpected possibilities. Launched in Korea in November 2018, Tiger Roar is a global platform for undiscovered talent to connect, collaborate, and get inspired. By signing up and submitting their work, these talents will be able to connect with like-minded people, showcase their craft to a wider audience, and submit their work to participate in Tiger Beer’s upcoming initiatives happening around the world. One of the highlights was an exclusive menu specially created by Tiger Beer’s global chef Aaron Wong, in collaboration with Japanese Chef Sakura Akimoto. The menu served up 7 mouth-wateringdishes, each showcasing the amalgamation of distinctive flavours from both countries, such as Samsui Chicken skewers, Japanese Curry Puff, Orh Jian (Fried Oyster Egg) with Miso Paste, Bak Kut Teh Ramen and more. Other interesting collaborations included the pairing of Japanese unorthodox watercolourist, Yoshitaka Nishigaki with Singaporean Polymath artist, Messymsxi. The two teamed up to create The Little Red Dot artwork that symbolised the similarities and differences of both countries, with the artwork further extended to Japan exclusive limited edition Tiger Beer bottles. The duo also further collaborated with Amos Ananda Yeo, a Singaporean fashion designer who was most recently awarded Most Influential International Designer at the China International Fashion Week, to create the limited edition Little Red Dot apparel that includes tees and bomber jackets – for sale exclusively at the event. There was also a unique music and art cross-over, where Ikebana artist Ryota Hagiwara joined forces with Japanese musician, KEIZOmachine! to produce an energetic performance that combined traditional Japanese floristry with hip-hop beats. Visitors were also treated to the incredible voices and music of Japanese electronic artist Sapphire Slows, Singapore’s indie-electronic duo, .gif, and homegrown Spotify sensation Linying. TIGER ROAR: YUKI EDITION further introduced Japan to a new way of drinking Tiger draft beer with the BLADE machine – a revolutionary new counter-top system made for small spaces. It draws from 8-litre PET kegs, using an air compressor to offer better-quality draft beers. Johnny Tan, Japan market lead for Heineken Asia-Pacific Export said: “TIGER ROAR: YUKI EDITION is the epitome of what Tiger Roar represents; There is a tiger in all of us, and we just need the right platform to uncage it. A huge thank you to Singapore Tourism Board and the Global Tiger Brand Team for their belief, support and partnership spirit. A huge congratulations to the entire Japan working team and all the Raw talents for a very successful event.”