Government Agencies Are Creating Ads That S’poreans Actually Watch On YouTube

Government ads are taking over the local YouTube Ads Leaderboard in 2019, judging by the results of the first half of the year. The trend is a continuation of last year.

According to a Mumbrella report, 7 government-sponsored ads are on YouTube’s Top 10 Ad list — a signal that Singaporeans are watching.

Here are the ads that made it to the top 10 for the first half of 2019:

1. Apple – Chinese New Year

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A heartwarming tale between a mother and her son, set in China and shot on the iPhone XS.

2. GovSingapore – Merdeka Sayang 

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A throwback and celebration of the Merdeka Generation with personalities like Dick Lee and Rahimah Rahim.

Government Agency: Ministry of Communications and Information

3. CPF Board – What happens to my CPF savings when I turn 55?

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The burning question of what happens to one’s CPF savings is answered in this informative video.

Government Agency: CPF Board

4. SgPUB – Kinship

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An emotional story about two brothers based on a Malay proverb, “Water doesn’t break apart when you chop it” – comparing the bond between siblings to water.

Government Agency: Public Utilities Board (PUB)

5. Republic of Singapore Navy – Rise With the Tide

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A showcase of naval divers, featuring Second Warrant Rice Lim, and the hellish training they undergo to protect the nation.

Government Agency: Ministry of Defence Singapore

6. Singtel – GOMO Travel SIM

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Presenting Singtel’s new travel SIM card — and an adorable explainer video via animation for you to learn how it works.

7. The Learning Lab – Tests

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A story close to every Singaporean kid’s heart, with the message that there are other tests in life besides test papers and exams.

8. Ministry of Education – Explaining Full Subject-Based Banding

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A new policy that will replace streaming in secondary schools by 2024.

Government Agency: Ministry of Education

9. Public Hygiene Council – How to Return your Tray

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Mary Chongo- err, we mean Michelle Chong, channels her inner Marie Kondo to teach people the art of cleaning up after eating and uncluttering hawker centres.

Government Agency: National Environment Agency

10. GovSingapore – Hari Raya with #HafandHaf

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Singles, nosy relatives, financial planning, saving money to buy a HDB – this ad has it all. Yet the style is engaging and the message is not as preachy as you’d expect.

Government Agency: Ministry of Communications and Information

No bias towards government ads, it seems

There does not seem to be a particular bias against government ads, as the list shows, but audiences are watching for longer than ever.

The surprising statistic was determined by “an algorithm” that includes these factors:

  • Organic views
  • Paid views
  • Watch time
  • Audience retention

Over 85% of Singaporeans visit YouTube monthly, and video ads have become a priority for brands as a result. Even discounting the ad-blockers, mobile users are less likely to disable ads.

Capturing viewer attention can be a tricky process, but emotional content seems to do well, and length does not matter as much as it used to. The top ad by Apple is a whopping 6 minutes long!

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Another trend is that festive-themed content does well. Festive moods also tap into willingness to watch content crafted around occasions like Chinese New Year and Hari Raya.

Government ad strategy working

The best-performing statutory board was the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) – under the name of Gov.SG or GovSingapore – with 2 videos on the list.

Soffy Hariyanti, who is the MCI’s director of campaigns and production, appears happy that two very different videos made it to the most-watched ads,

We are heartened that both videos, with their different styles and treatments, have been well-received by Singaporeans.

That government-led ads are reaching Singaporeans is a good sign that their content strategies are working.

What was your favourite government-sponsored ad? Let us know on Facebook or in the comments!

Featured image from YouTube.