Singapore’s Forsman & Bodenfors and SwedCham, the Swedish Chamber of Commerce, announced the launch of their joint campaign, SESG. The ambitious project aims to help small businesses in Singapore affected by the pandemic by creating partnerships with larger multinational entities.
What kicked off as a big OOH campaign, where the small companies appear on billboards and buses across the island for the first time, is the start of a long term initiative. Now, Swedish multinational companies in Singapore are working together with the country’s small and medium-sized enterprises to exchange experiences and develop business.
The initiative has several activations. First came the launch of ‘The Advocate,’ an islandwide advertising campaign that promotes local entrepreneurs. Small businesses, ranging from chicken-rice hawkers to self-trained bakers, to family-owned jewelers and decades-old tailor shops appeared on billboards and buses.
The campaign gave unprecedented reach and exposure to these small businesses and entrepreneurs, as well as access to creative partners, professional production companies, and advertising space. It was funded by the Swedish companies in the initiative and local media partners.
“It’s not every day you get to make an unassuming chicken rice stall owner the star of a nationwide campaign that features some of the most iconic Swedish brands on the planet,” said Firrdaus Yusoff, Creative at Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore. “It’s not our glitziest campaign ever, but it’s definitely one full of heart.”
“I think this opportunity would be considered a once in a lifetime opportunity akin to winning the lottery and I’m excited for more opportunities coming out of this initiative,” said Carmal Ahmad, Owner of MAD BROS SG. “Seeing myself on billboards and buses gives it a surreal sense of feeling. One I’ve never thought I’d find myself in.”
The campaign had a teaser launch on November 12th, with the first campaign visuals rolled out across Singapore on billboards, bus stops, and buses. The official launch took place on November 18th, with PR and social media support.
“Since we opened in Singapore two years ago, we have felt we wanted to be part of its business community and contribute,” said Susanna Fagring, CEO and Co-Founder of Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore. “Seeing how the pandemic affected businesses of all sizes, we felt that we could use the power of creativity to make a positive contribution and do good. Over the years, working closely with our clients has taught us that partnership is something we all can benefit from.”
The initiative goes well beyond the initial OOH campaign. An important part is the partner meetings called Fika4Good, referencing the Swedish tradition of “fika”, in which friends and coworkers gather to have a coffee, chat, and solve problems.
Each partner duo determines what issues should be brought up and how best to solve them. This involves everything from business strategy and joint CSR projects to product development and communication tactics.
The campaign has been shared by a number of prominent figures including Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee and Minister for Trade and Industry, Chan Chun Sing,
The initiative has been made possible by contributions not only by Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore but a range of agencies: JCDecaux, Moove Media, Clear Channel, Amanacliq, Verizon Media Copenhagen, and Allison+Partners Singapore.
The Singaporean SMEs in the initiative are:
Aaria Creations – Serangoon Road, Dunlop Street Junction
Ashes Burnnit – Alexandra Village Food Centre
Coffee Break – Hong Lim Food Centre
Curious Thoughts Academy – Waterloo Centre
InHome – Ang Mo Kio Ave 6
Leong Hainanese Chicken Rice – Shunfu Road Market and Food Centre MAD BROS SG – Tanjong Pagar Plaza
Orient Jewellers Singapore – Toa Payoh Central
SLH Fresh Fruits – Clementi West Street
The Headless Baker – Ghim Moh Road Market and Food Centre
Unique Vintage Watches – Smith Street
Vega Tailoring & Dressmaking – Bukit Timah Plaza
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