Being French and living in Singapore, I’ve always been fascinated by how government campaigns conducted in the two countries reflect their societies. A prime example of this is their approach to promoting the coronavirus vaccination programme.

While the French government targets youngsters hesitant about getting vaccinated, Singapore aims to persuade the older generation to have the jab. Therefore, the differences between the concept, message, and design of the two campaigns are considerable. (Note: The French slogan can be translated by “Yes, the vaccine may have desirable effects”)

Concept: The French campaign plays on the word Desirable (“wished for as being attractive, useful, or necessary” also “[of a person] arousing sexual desire”) to make the link between the vaccination, a couple kissing, and the colour red (yes, the colour of the pullover is no accident). A theme that is more appealing to the younger generation.

While in Singapore, the campaign uses Gurmit Singh to resonate with seniors. This “popular” actor (“Ah Beng”) was famous for his role in the sitcom Phua Chu Kang Pte. Ltd. (1997–2007) in which his character spoke Singlish (the local slang). When the government pressured the show to use proper English, Singh’s ratings rocketed with the locals, who were themselves being forced by the state to use “proper” English and deny their multicultural roots.

Phua Chu Kang Pte. Ltd.

In terms of design, we are looking at a sophisticated composition (elegant font and photo) from France, while SG is opting for a simpler almost entirely informative approach. There has always been a gap between the two countries in this field, but with this campaign, it is even more obvious. While “rebellious” French youth may not appreciate the more didactic approach (do you think we’re dumb?), the older SG generation will get it much faster than if they had to decipher an over complex flyer.

The framing of the message is what I find most fascinating here. While the French advocate personal freedom and individualism as a benefit of vaccination (get vaccinated and you can date, go to concerts, and see your relatives again), the Singaporeans champion collectivism (get vaccinated for your family, your students, and your grandchildren). The differing messages speak volumes about the values of both societies and, more generally, the differences between East and West.

If you need help conceptualising and/or designing your next marketing campaign, contact me for an honest consultation!


Founder & Creative Director at Pixel Tie. Rémy has a particular enthusiasm for all things digital and interactive. He is also a Serial Bread & Cheese Eater, Mountain Biker & Proud Philatelist.

Write A Comment