It’s that time of the year again in Singapore. Flags are hung up by windowsills and balconies while shops are going all out on their National Day promotions. And while that’s to be expected, some people go all out to celebrate 9th August and show their patriotism beyond just a flag.

For us in the creative industry, we’re always on the lookout for interesting celebratory campaigns that deliver more than just a simple “57% off this National Day.” From McDonald’s and Google Pay, here’s what some brands are doing to ring in Singapore’s 57th birthday.

McDonalds – Limited-edition laksa burger

mcdonalds laksa delight burger national day
Image credit: Eatbook

McDonald’s might not be a Singaporean brand, but they’ve always incorporated Singaporean flavours into their menu. In 2021, it was the Hainanese Chicken Burger. This year, you can try out the Laksa Delight Burger instead.

It is a choice to transform a traditionally noodle-based dish into a burger form. But having tried it myself with the prawn patty, it worked out surprisingly well. Of course, our focus is not only on the burger; the rollout for this National Day campaign for McDonald’s rounds out the meal with a Pulut Hitam Pie, Teh C Frappe, and a cute video to show them off.

Whether or not you like the burger and how it tastes, it can’t be denied that the engagement McDonald has achieved with a simple burger announcement was insane. The YouTube video garnered over 900k views, while the Instagram post teasing the public about the new burger’s flavour was met with plenty of comments speculating and guessing if it was going to be laksa or nasi lemak.

mcdonalds laksa burger teaser national day campaigns
Image credit: @mcdsg

Read more about the Laksa Delight Burger on Eatbook.

Google Pay – Decorate a virtual cake to get up to $57 in a cashback voucher

google lion city cake
Image credit: Google

Another MNC joining in the 9th August festivities is Google with their Google Pay app. While BB Loh and his fellow Huat Pals aren’t making an appearance this time around, Singapore’s unofficial animal mascots, the otters, are here to help you bake a “Lion City Cake.”

Google Pay users can score up to $57 in cashback by paying someone $10, paying a business via PayNow, and paying a FavePay merchant. Completing each task will complete the decor of each cake layer, as well as netting users vouchers from Singaporean brands like Flash Coffee, FairPrice, and Irvin’s.

google pay lion city cake national day campaigns
Image credit: Google

What sets this apart from other minigames is that it incorporates so many uniquely-Singaporean elements. From the otters to the in-app back-drop resembling Marina Bay Sands and even a quiz with questions about National Day, you know that the team behind this event are not messing around regarding their patriotism.

With the campaign running from 1st-14th August, it still remains to be seen if the campaign can replicate the success of Huat Pals in 2021 and 2022. A straw poll within TheSmartLocal’s offices showed that most people have heard of it but yet to start getting their cashback vouchers.

Perhaps the reason why Huat Pals fared better amongst the public was that people associate Chinese New Year with angpaos. National Day and cashback don’t have that same association, and it might take a few more years of Lion City Cake for it to really catch on. We’ll check back in during Singapore’s 100th birthday and hope that Google’s giving $100 in cashback ?.

Read more about Google Pay’s Lion City Cake game on TheSmartLocal.

GERMS – Free “We Are SG” NFTs for Singaporeans

germs we are sg nfts
Image credit: We Are SG

NFTs might not have the same buzz compared to earlier this year, but that isn’t stopping media agency GERMS from releasing 9,822 unique artworks to celebrate National Day.

The project titled “We Are SG” will see randomly-generated characters sporting features that all Singaporeans will recognise. Think the hair rolls you see on aunties at the hair salon, the Grab delivery backpack, vintage army helmets, tissue packets to “chope” seats, bubble tea, and curry puffs.

Owners of the NFTs will also get perks from Singaporean brands like Tanuki Raw, BoundByWine, Hip Xiong Photo Studio and many more.

Instead of benefiting only themselves, this campaign works in four ways:

  1. It gets people interested in NFTs & the crypto space
  2. Drives awareness of the media agency GERMS
  3. Promotes the various brands involved through partnerships
  4. Distils Singaporean culture in a quirky and modern way

P.S. While the NFTs themselves are free to mint, those interested will still have to pay a minimal gas fee in the Ethereum cryptocurrency. 

We Are SG website

Nexus – Cycle 57km across Singapore for her 57th birthday

nexus sg57km cycling national day campaigns

If you’ve already conquered the dinosaur and merlion cycling routes in Singapore, then perhaps it’s time to embark on another adventure around town. This August, Nexus has charted a 57km route around Singapore on Strava to commemorate 57 years of independence.

The route will take riders along some of the renowned neighbourhoods like Clarke Quay, Yishun, and Ang Mo Kio before finishing in Sembawang.

nexus sg57km
Image credit: We Are Total Defence

With plenty of Singaporeans picking up cycling over the last 2 years, this is a timely way to get people to keep fit while still showing their love for Singapore. Nexus is even giving out a few GrabFood vouchers to select riders who complete the challenge as an added bonus. All they have to do is share a photo of their completed route on Instagram or Facebook.

However, a cursory glance at the hashtag #SG57 shows that not many people have participated in the challenge just yet. This might be because people are too shag to upload a selfie after cycling 57km, which is a lesson to all furture marketers to reduce the amount of steps needed to participate in a campaign. Alternatively, they might not have embarked on this long cycling trip yet. It’s a lot more patriotic to ride 57km on Singapore’s 57th birthday instead of the week before.

Read more about the SG57km cycling challenge on TheSmartLocal.

Creative campaigns by brands to celebrate Singapore’s National Day

With National Day around the corner, you don’t have to ransack your store room just to find that flag you only use once a year to show your patriotism. Similarly, brands and media agencies in Singapore can get so much more creative than giving customers a 57% discount that only brings in short-term engagement.

By conceptualising unique campaigns like Google Pay’s Lion City Cake and a “free” NFT featuring iconic Singaporean motifs, longevity is created and their branding will last even after 9th August comes and goes.

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Cover image credit: We Are SG, Google


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