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Much ado about a #SG50 fishcake

Another week, another SG50 campaign or product launch. As Singapore’s 50th birthday inches closer, more and more brands are looking to cash in on the year long hype. But when does “too much” become “too much”?

Social media votes “No” on #SG50 fishcakes

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On 27th July, a fishcake carved with the number “50” (to represent Singapore’s 50 years of independence) went viral, and was met with ridicule on social media. Online sentiment was overwhelmingly negative, with 92% against it.

Conversations centred around the product being “ridiculous”, “stupid”, and a “rip-off”. With Digimind Social, we put our listening ears on to investigate the what, why, and who of it:

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Airplanes, Rolls Royces…why not fishcakes?

But wait, we hear you cry. It’s not as if other brands haven’t done it before. From airplanes and cars, to sushi and cakes, almost anything and everything has been branded with the ubiquitous SG50 flavour. So why not fishcakes?

It’s saturated.

It’s a week to National Day. Singaporeans have seen hundreds of products, promotions and advertisements get the SG50 treatment.

By now, the volume of conversations already happening around it is creating clutter more than it is stirring unique conversations about brands. Consumers, and even reviewers, are skeptical.

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It’s gimmicky.

According to Don Anderson, managing director of We Are Social, consumers can tell if a brand is truly trying to create something special or just riding on a significant event. Instead of being seen as innovative, many thought of the fishcake as an attempt to up-sell something ordinary as a premium.

It’s a rip-off.

Negativity also centred around having to pay less for more, as local news site Mothership.sg put it:

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An influencer comes to the rescue

Not one to keep silent on the subject, local blogger and lifestyle influencer Xiaxue blogged in defense of the fishcake.

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Xiaxue’s commentary initiated further conversation about the product. According to Digimind Social’s sentiment aggregator, it helped mitigate the negativity, shifting online perception of it to somewhat neutral, with negative sentiments dropping by almost half.

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Evidently, influencers can sway public opinion about your brand, and consumers are more likely to spread negative perceptions of your product, campaign or service voluntarily than favourable ones (unless initiated by someone else).

But is it the only one?

Not at all! Check out these quirky SG50 inspired creations that turned up on Digimind’s social monitoring tool:

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Melissa Chue

Melissa Chue is a marketing executive at Digimind. Digimind is the global social media monitoring and competitive intelligence company that provides businesses with unrivaled insights into their true standing in the market. Digimind's proven intelligence technology has provided Fortune 500 brands around the world with critical information for their business for more than 15 years. With a customer retention rate of 92% Digimind has more than 100 employees across offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa.