We Singaporeans can’t do without our mascots – we seem to have one for everything. Be it for NDP campaigns or to send out messages of graciousness, their presences have gradually won over the hearts of many Singaporeans.
From the Thoughtful Bunch to the cheerful Water Wally and Water Sally, here are 5 iconic Singapore mascots that‘ve helped to build an emotional connection between their brand campaigns and Singaporeans.
Image adapted from: NDPeeps
Created by the NDP2021 Committee, August is a male merlion that is the face of 2021’s National Day Parade. In order to get a collective opinion on the mascot’s name, a public online poll was conducted and ‘August’ was born.
With its mission to promote the 2021 NDP and the Singapore spirit, August’s popularity grew steadily during the event. He is a “VTuber” or virtual YouTuber that was featured in the NDP 2021 Theme Song music video, as well as other related instructional videos such as that of the Virtual Dance and Virtual Choir.
August’s debut as a VTuber on YouTube.
On top of appearing in campaigns for the NDP committee’s official instagram, @ndpeeps, August also often shares his “interactions” with other iconic mascots that Singapore’s hold dear: Merli and Captain Green, among many others.
August’s Telegram sticker pack.
Image credit: Telegram
On YouTube, August has his own lofi remixes of past NDP songs, which have since gained over 64,000 views as of May 2022. As his public appeal grew, the NDP committee even graced August with his very own Telegram and WhatsApp sticker packs.
2. Water Wally and Water Sally
Water Wally (left) and Water Sally (right).
Image credit: Make Every Drop Count
While Water Sally’s birth was fairly recent in 2020, her brother Water Wally is no stranger to most Singaporeans. Unveiled by PUB in 2005 to promote the importance of conserving Singapore’s precious water resources, Water Wally is well-loved by the public and even has a series of his own – “Adventures of Water Wally”.
He often appears on PUB’s products and campaigns – one can easily recognise the little blue droplet on NEWater bottles and even stamps.
Water Wally is also a decorated mascot, helping PUB to bag the top prize at the IWA Markerting and Communications Award 2006. At just a little over 1 years old, Water Wally had already helped his parent brand to gain international recognition. At home, he had also helped to raise public awareness of Singapore’s water management issues at the time.
In 2013, the Water Wally Shower dance was shared with the public, as part of PUB’s “Time to Save” water conservation programme targeted at Primary 3 students. As a show of the campaign’s tangible success, it had helped to save more than 88,000 litres of water per school weekly, at the time.
“Bringing Water to Terry”, an episode from The Adventures of Water Wally & Sally.
Now, Water Sally joins him as a social media-savvy partner that promotes sustainability and climate change issues. Her campaigns as a mascot have been targeted at younger audiences, fostering climate awareness through posters and a YouTube series she shares with her brother, “The Adventures of Water Wally & Sally” – the first episode has over 17,000 views.
Water Wally & Sally joins Pink Fong in the music video for “Turn Off TheTap!”.
Image adapted from: YouTube
On top of Water Sally’s introductory film – which is the siblings’ most popular video at over 454,000 views – Water Wally and Water Sally have also joined the ranks of the famous Pink Fong on a song called “Turn Off The Tap!”. The video has since amassed nearly 107000 views, as of May 2022.
3. Thoughtful Bunch – From Bag-Down Benny to Hush-Hush Hannah
This Bag-Down Benny sticker is one of many that adorn the MRT platforms of Singapore.
Image credit: John Campbell
When someone mentions “The Thoughtful Bunch”, these 5 pill-shaped mascots might just ring a bell. First introduced by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to remind Singaporeans to be gracious when on buses or trains in 2014, they still continue to do so to this day.
Senior Parliamentary Secretary at the Ministry of Transport reads the “Max & Robbie’s Magical Train Ride” storybook.
Even till today, their success is evident in their collaborations with local brands like Ya Kun Kaya Toast, and most recently, PCF Sparkletots. Together, they created a storybook spreading their message of graciousness and thoughtfulness, titled “Max & Robbie’s Magical Train Ride”. This book has been distributed across all Singapore libraries.
4. Sharity Elephant
Image credit: Sharity – Official Channel
His name is a combination of the words “share” and “charity” – the qualities that Community Chest’s Sharity Club aimed to promote.
This pink, dungaree-clad elephant first popped into existence in the year 1984 as the face of the Sharity Project, and the older gen might still recall being handed envelopes plastered with Sharity Elephant’s face on it in school for their parents to make donations.
The cover of the “Be a Sharity Star” Activity Card.
Image credit: Community Chest
Fast forward to today, Sharity has since been rebranded by Community Chest. As of 2022, over 72,000 primary students have been part of its “Be A Sharity Star” project, which aims to encourage them to carry out good deeds in the community and at home.
5. Tracetogether’s Swimming Otter
Tracetogether App Check-in page.
Image credit: MS News
Although its debut was cut short by the loosening of safe-entry regulations, we guarantee that this cute little otter swimming across our Tracetogether check-in screens still holds a place in our hearts.
It was under the Tracetogether app’s update for version 2.11, when Singaporeans first saw this tiny otter.
On top of being a public craze that started from the beloved Bishan family of otters, smooth-coated otters have been deemed cute by Singaporeans and most importantly, their name shares a “tt” with the acronym of Tracetogether. These were reasons why GovTech designer Joycelyn Chua chose these adorable creatures.
The app update was designed not only as a way to bring delight to those living in Singapore during the trying pandemic, but also as a useful way for Safe Distancing Ambassadors clear lines to air-conditioned spaces with more ease, while checking for any loopholes in the existing check-in system.
Muttons In The Morning on Facebook.
Image credit: Muttons In The Morning
Muttons In The Morning on Facebook.
Image adapted from: Muttons In The Morning
According to GovTech Singapore, the application and its otter have been praised by the members of the public and even MOH’s contact tracing team for keeping the community safe through such a tool. Its departure has even been lamented by local radio personalities, Muttons In The Morning, and netizens online.
Iconic mascots of Singapore brands
Mascots have long been used as publicity tools for brand marketing – think of McDonald’s Ronald McDonald and Kentucky Fried Chicken’s (KFC) Colonel Sanders. This has been no different for government bodies.
For years now, familiar mascots like Singa the Kindness Lion (previously known as Singa the Courtesy Lion) and Captain Green have managed to spread their brand’s messages and captivate their audiences. They have helped bring their brands to life, motivating Singaporeans to conserve water and reduce waste, or encourage the Singapore spirit of compassion and graciousness.
Today, many of these mascots are instantly recognisable by Singaporeans – both young and old. With such success, we look forward to seeing what other mascots will join the fray in the years to come.