SingPost + Graffiti = Ultimate Fail

I came back from Bali shortly after NYE just to read about some (unusual) act of vandalism involving Graffiti in Singapore. Repeat, “Vandalism involving Graffiti in Singapore”.. Rare! That usually only happens when someone decides to scribble a political statement on the Parliament house walls or if some poor soul didn’t pay up their bills on time.However, interesting for a minute but soon forgotten and replaced by all the other amusing news we get served here everyday.

This morning I was early for my train, another rare thing to happen, so I grabbed one of the free morning tabloid papers, source of more highly comical articles, and here it was again, the Graffiti-Vandalism-Act. But now with a twist of events.

Please Fire The Whole SingPost Marketing Department NOW

What I believe was done under the premise of creating some hip “viral marketing campaign”, turned out to be the worst publicity stunt done by a company in Singapore ever. (Just short before the fantastic campaign to reduce birth rates, which famously worked out much too well leaving Singapore with a serious population issue until this very day).
Must Read: The 6 Most Weird Campaigns In Singapore

Singapore GraffitiActing as a joint runner for the ticket sales and organization of the 2010 Youth Olympic Games, the state controlled SingPost thought it would be some clever thing to send some masked person to spray can a couple of Post Boxes urban style all over the country in the night of NYE 2009. Uhm, yeah, I think that’s just as great as running naked through Orchard Road screaming “I have a bomb in my butt”.

How Not To Run A Viral Campaign

Without any doubt the Singapore people did their usual duty and instead of intervening, they video taped the acts and posted them on the common online places. “Help, I just saw someone doing something bad, but I don’t know what to do, if you read this and you happen to stand next to me, maybe you can go over and talk to the person“. Ridiculous.

The viral-movement had started but as so often, didn’t work out the way its originators had hoped.

Singapore’s (infamous) History With Graffiti

Looking back at Singapore’s history of dealing with Graffiti-Acts and offenders it wont struck my mind how SingPosts marketing department could possibly even consider to run such an campaign of total foreseeable failure.

  • • In 1994 American 18 year old boy, Michael Fay got canned 4 times for Grafitti vandalism in Singapore. The US government interveined and was able to reduce his sentence by 2 strokes up front. (more Information here)
  • • Just one year ago 47 year old Mr. Koh Chan Meng scribbled something on a governmental buildings wall and soon after was sent to the Institute of Mental Health, being decalred as schizophrenic. (more Information here)

Today I have to learn that this new genius idea of a fake Graffiti act advertisement, was actually agreed with the police and state institutions, and there for untouchable for any charges or illegal doings. That’s like slapping you kid for eating the hidden sweets and then taking a bath in chocolate sauce while engulfing in 10kg of Marsh mellows.

In the future the Singaporean government will have problems with justifying any serious punishment of Graffiti Vandalism and the SingPost will have problems with gaining back their customers trust.
Well done boys!

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