Those brightly-coloured drones that hovered past you a few weeks ago did not signal a city under siege. It was Coca Cola’s latest campaign, in which the company used custom-made drones to drop off care packages to more than 2,500 migrant workers at high-rise construction sites in the city.
The campaign entitled ‘Happiness from the skies’ and developed by Ogilvy and Mather Singapore and non-profit organisation the Singapore Kindness Movement, aims to build bridges between Singaporeans and its 1.3 million-strong migrant labour population.
The campaign is a part of the beverage company’s ongoing initiative to create little moments of happiness. “Drones are often deemed in negative light, so we wanted to flip it around to draw a parallel to happiness,” Leonardo O’Grady, ASEAN director integrated marketing communications, Coca Cola told Campaign Asia-Pacific. “For this particular initiative, we also needed something to help us break the invisible barrier.”
Coca-Cola has created similar campaigns for migrant workers in other places. Most recently, McCann Shanghai produced a 4-minute documentary for Coke that draws attention to Chinese children whose parents seek jobs in cities and factory towns. “These are unintended coincidences as it’s less about the specific group of people and more about focusing on culturally relevant topics of the time,” O’Grady pointed out “So what Coca-Cola does is try to build bridges between communities that don’t often interact with the ultimate goal of delivering happiness and connection where it is needed.”
The campaign included on-street activations over three days in late March where SKM volunteers urged Singaporeans to write personalised messages of support and thanks. 2,734 handwritten notes were then collected and attached to cans of Coke, before being loaded into custom-designed, remote-controlled drones. The drones were developed with the help of a local company called K.Kopter.
O’Grady said the campaign could possibly be extended to other geographies. “If there are opportunities in other markets, of course. The way we see it is we created the experience for a few in the hope that it will inspire many through views of the project video.”
Eugene Cheong, chief creative officer of Ogilvy & Mather Asia-Pacific, said the project touched on a universal social tension in modern society—the disconnect between guest workers and local residents. “Construction workers, in particular, tend to be ‘invisible’ as they are working in areas that are not accessible to the average person. So in order to appreciate them, we first need to see them. This is what this video allows us to do.”
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