CategoryF02. Low Budget Campaign


Name Company Position
Perry Essig TBWA Singapore Creative Director
Douglas Goh TBWA Singapore Creative Group Head
Colin Koh TBWA Singapore Creative Group Head
Peter Etheridge TBWA Singapore Account Director
Tammy Cheok TBWA Singapore Account Manager
Rohan Lorenz TBWA Singapore Motion Graphic Designer
Teo Yi-Zhen TBWA Singapore Motion Graphic Designer
Roland Baldovino Digital Arts Network\Singapore Tech Manager
Zac Pow Digital Arts Network\Singapore Tech Lead
Rosslyn Chay Digital Arts Network\Singapore UX Director
Antonia Baldovino Digital Arts Network\Singapore Project Manager

The Campaign

Since Singaporeans are reluctant to talk about suicide, we created a conversation starter: a little black plaster. Worn on the inner wrist, it simply asks, “How are you?” We distributed 50,000 plasters to everyone on World Suicide Prevention Day, and encouraged them to post a photo using #howru. We expected everyone to interact with the plaster, or at least wear it to show their support (and in doing so, start a conversation with their friends and family members).

The Brief

We only had an overall budget of just S$10,000, and zero media budget.

Creative Execution

Just as you’d ask someone wearing a plaster if he or she was all right, preventing suicide starts by asking, “How are you?” The plaster was the perfect solution to help open conversations among Singaporeans, and get them to talk about a subject that’s normally taboo. With that in mind, we distributed 50,000 plasters on World Suicide Prevention Day at popular locations such as shopping malls, subway stations, etc. The plaster (through #howru) also helped spread the message further, and got more people talking about suicide on social media – thus amplifying our message and reach. We also created a digital plaster that people can add to their social media profiles, and put together a YouTube video for people to share online.


The campaign culminated on 10 September, when we distributed the plasters. And in just 48 hours: • #howru became Singapore’s top trending topic on Twitter • Celebrities and influencers got involved for free, including the former President of Singapore • Generated some 4.5 million impressions • Tens of thousands of photos and posts shared • Nearly 3,000% increase in visits to SOS site • Nationwide news coverage with no media spend. And most importantly, we helped open countless conversations.

At the heart of our campaign is a little black plaster. It served as a simple communication piece that rallied everyone around our message, and got them talking about suicide prevention. And since suicide is everyone's problem, we gave a plaster to everyone and encouraged them to help amplify the message to their family and friends. And we only had a minuscule budget of S$10,000.

Most suicide prevention campaigns rely on “shock and awe” or guilt-trip tactics to drive people to action. However, people tend to become de-sensitised after a while. On the other hand, our campaign strove to actively solve the problem by helping people talk about suicide – all without any shocking or graphic imagery. Furthermore, it relied on a natural human behaviour to post and share pictures on social media, to help spread awareness. As such, we made the effort to reach out to every Singaporean on the street. Naturally, we also got in touch with local influencers, celebrities, athletes and political leaders to leverage on their social clout to help spread the message.