Friday, October 15, 2010

To Kill a Mocking Bear

Advertising in Singapore has always been boring. It's always the roadshows, sale events and Zoe Tay (Fann Wong if it is abalone). So these days the young Marketing Managers try to come up with something creative, like where's-the-point flash mobs and vandalising postboxes. Recently, they decided to use the bear and received more publicity than they have imagined.

This marketing stunt could have worked for Phillips. Bear vs Shaver. To imagine a bear without fur might be a bit too gross, but at least it was a creative thought. The only problem was the venue. If this "bear" have emerged in the middle of Raffles Place on a sunny afternoon, that crowd who is already used to all sorts of pointless marketing flash mobs would immediately know that the bear is just another marketing stunt. But "it" has to appear at some Ulu Pandan place. In the middle of the night.

So the typical Singaporean who saw the "bear" immediately proceeded with the Kaypoh-Singaporean SOP. Take picture > call Wanbao hotline > Stomp it > put on Facebook > announce on Twitter. The next thing you know, all the task forces from zoo, nature group and police stomped into Ulu Pandan to begin a bear hunt.

I'll imagine that when they finally found the "bear", these were the three words they said:
"A doi?"
"Apa Ini?!?"

Anyway when I read the bear-on-loose news on Twitter, I was skeptical. I know it's common to have monkeys, pythons and monitor lizards running away from their homes in the forest to have a holiday in the housing estates. But bear? Some more a sun bear? Look, we've got no salmon in our long-gangs and no beehive on our Angsana trees, so it is basically impossible for a bear to survive in a Singapore forest!

Unless the bear has swam all the way from Malaysia to Singapore. Which might then be reasonable, since Mas Selamat can swim the same distance using a floating device.

And there is no way that the bear has escaped from the zoo. Even for a bear, it is still too far to walk from Mandai to Ulu Pandan. Unless it took the MRT. Oh wait! It is possible for a bear to take the MRT train without causing any commotion! The SMRT staff will treat any abnormality to be a Marketing stunt by default. Vandalism on train? Must be advertising. Bollywood dancing in the train? Must be advertising. Man jumping onto the track? Must be advertising. Oh wait. He seems to be bleeding profusely. He looks dead. Oh... it's not advertising.

But still, why Ulu Pandan? Hmm... maybe it was not the actual venue. Maybe the guy in bear costume was on his way to work.

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