Product / ServicePLANO APP
CategoryF04. Social Behaviour & Cultural Insight
Idea Creation INITIATIVE Singapore, SINGAPORE
Media Placement INITIATIVE Singapore, SINGAPORE


Name Company Position
May Wong IPG Mediabrands Head of Magna
Naomi Michael IPG Mediabrands Head of Marketing & Communications
Matt Scotton Initiative Chief Strategy Officer
Charlie Butterfield FST Marketing Communications Pte Ltd Design Director
Benita Sohal FST Marketing Communications Pte Ltd Project Manager
Vincent Sauvan FST Marketing Communications Pte Ltd Graphic Designer
Matt Sears FST Marketing Communications Pte Ltd Senior Motion Graphics Producer
Matthew Tebbs FST Marketing Communications Pte Ltd Senior Artworker
Alex Young FST Marketing Communications Pte Ltd Motion Graphics

Why is this work relevant for PR?

The See Past The Screen campaign united a stronghold of media, technology and government in Singapore, using a creative use of cultural insight to drive awareness, conversation and guidance for parents, and provide them with the tools necessary to protect the eyesight of their kids. The message was amplified across all media platforms to deliver a tangible shift in awareness and conversation among parents in Singapore, about the associated risks of excessive device usage and the development of myopia, and to help drive downloads of an innovative app designed to help flip the problem into a solution.


For almost 2 years, plano, an innovative app, has empowered Singapore to prevent myopia by helping parents manage their children’s time spent on devices and nurture good eye care habits. Embedded with scientific functions, plano was the very first kids-safe app with real-time alerts for face-to-screen distance and posture. Although Singapore has become “the myopia capital of the world”, children just 9-12 years old continue to spend the equivalent of a working week (50hrs) looking at devices. Making matters worse, it was aging down! Children as young as 2 years old were spending an average of 2 hours on devices every day! We needed to address the myopia and smartphone epidemic by helping parents see the urgency of the problem and take preventative action by downloading the app immediately. Specifically, we sought to make 60% of parents concerned about excessive device use and generate 200,000 plano app downloads in 2019.

Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)

Our research study (conducted through Milieu) told us that myopia was a top health concern for Singaporean parents themselves but dropped to the bottom of the list for their children. Amidst the ‘kiasu’ mentality in a hypercompetitive and results-focused environment, eyesight was the least of parents’ worries. When it comes to their children’s eyesight, Singaporean parents were short-sighted. We would bring this epidemic into urgent focus, by using impactful devices to dramatize children’s unhealthy relationships with devices. Zooming right into what their children’s eyes could become, we encouraged parents to see beyond the problems right in front of them, and look further into their children’s future. We prompted Singaporean parents to “See Past The Screen”.

Describe the strategy (30% of vote)

Confronting our primary target of parents in Singapore, we used ‘Square Eyes’ as a visual device to dramatize children’s immersive addiction to screens. Striking visuals embedded the shape of phones and tablets in the eyes of kids, capturing parents’ attention at the very moment they were glued to their screens. To drive additional conversation, we turned this visual into an impactful social media call-to-action. We asked people to post selfies holding their device up as an opaque block in front of their eyes, using a hashtag #SeePastTheScreen to drive home the fact we are all at risk of being ‘blinded by our devices’. Press were primed for campaign launch and all ads/placements/articles led parents to the microsite where they learnt about prevention advice and app features to activate plano downloads. Meanwhile, we reinforced myopia prevention as a social norm by streaming all #SeePastTheScreen selfies live onto the microsite.

Describe the execution (20% of vote)

With $0 media budget, we pitched to garner pro-bono support from every major Singaporean publisher including SPH, Mediacorp, JC Decaux, Clear Channel, MooveMedia, Adello, Amobee, plus launch support from the Health Promotion Board’s National Myopia Program. Securing SGD800,000 media value, we needed to use it wisely. To shift behavior, we strategically launched right after CNY, when everyone made resolutions for the year ahead. Our striking ‘Square Eye’ visuals took over Singaporean’s morning read on Strait Times, The New Paper,, Lianha Wanbao and Shin Min Daily News. The ‘Square Eye’ TVC haunted parents across Mediacorp TV Channels (5,8, Suria, Vasantham) in the evenings disrupting their comfortable viewing times. We targeted parents when their parenting mode was on. During their commute home from work and school runs, we customized our messaging across 15 MRT stations, 450 bus shelters, and 60 OOH digital screens, while popular radio DJ’s adlibbed myopia related stats.

List the results (30% of vote) – must include at least two of the following tiers:

Uniting 14 Singapore industry, technology and government organizations, See Past the Screen sparked more than awareness and conversation – it shocked Singaporean parents into action. 92% of parents demonstrated concern about the amount of time their children spend on devices. 80% of parents have discussed the information they have seen or heard about #SeePastTheScreen. 80% of parents confirmed they have taken action after seeing the #SeePastTheScreen campaign. Their interest was reflected by double the average CTR, and a 65% contribution to website organic traffic from offline media. We have hit more than 500,000 app downloads, 150% above target. Beyond parents, we penetrated mainstream conversation; 50% increase in message recall among 16-54 year-olds We’re most happy the organic #SeePastTheScreen selfies attracted active participation of a number of Singaporean schools and engaged parents and industry professionals internationally. #SeePastTheScreen managed to bring a vital message into focus, in the myopia capital of the world.

Please tell us about the social behaviour and/or cultural insights that inspired your campaign

Alongside our behavioral shift to a digital device-led lifestyle over the last decade there has been a sharp increase in the prevalence of myopia (shortsightedness). The early development of myopia has been linked to excessive device usage; 80% of young adults across Asia now suffer the condition, and Singapore has been publically dubbed ‘the myopia capital of the world’. If current trends continue, by the year 2050 five billion people (that’s half of the world’s population) will be myopic. Alarmingly - the younger the age of onset of myopia, the high the chances (up to 5 times more likely) of developing high myopia which can lead to total blindness. We needed a confronting campaign to cut through the clutter, amplify our use of media, and teach people to See Past the Screen. This is how our campaign call-to-action was born. #SeePastTheScreen became the central focus for the creative concept.


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