From wet markets to museums to Hari Raya bazaars, brands have chosen to engage customers and audiences online. Given the current situation, traditional businesses and brands have had to find innovative ways to continue operating. Companies and brands are finding new ways to reach out to customers and the audience at large. We take a look at the ways some brands and businesses have shifted towards online engagement.
How Brands and Businesses are Innovating Online
Brands have been offering online content to engage and entertain their audience. Examples include storytelling sessions by National Library Board, aviation-themed activities from Changi Airport and art-themed resources from National Gallery Singapore. Wild Rice has also made its show Monkey Goes West available online, complemented with a downloadable activity guide.
In order to keep the elderly, often isolated at home, entertained with familiar programmes, 3Pumpkins started Warung Cakap Apa and created radio plays, storytelling to talk shows in Mandarin, dialects and Malay. Theatre practitioners helm programmes that are broadcast five days a week at 9pm live on 3Pumpkins’ Youtube and Facebook pages. MP3 players are also given out with updated memory cards to bring back storytelling popular in the 60s and 70s such as Journey to the West in Cantonese as well as talk shows on discussing movies from 30s to 90s, and dialogues about live amidst COVID-19.
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Some additional examples from around the world have included Edinburgh Castle making content available online, the offering of free musicals streamed over YouTube, and animal cams which provide a peek into residents at zoos.
Follow along live with instructors online. Playeum has launched its live series every Friday over Instagram while SuperHero Me has arts-based sessions for children. These are opportunities to connect over a live session, albeit, sometimes on a one-way basis.
Live Online Interactions
And who says that more traditionally-minded business need to be left out. Recently, stall owners, retailers of fresh produce at Tekka Market have gone online to market their wares. The merchants selling vegetables, beef, fish, poultry via live sales over Facebook.
Businesses are also running contests which leverage online channels. For example, Perth Zoo is giving fans a chance to win an online Zoom session for a furry encounter with a Red Panda! On the Zoom call, a zookeeper will provide a guided introduction to Red Pandas. This is a contest run over the zoo’s Facebook page.
Just about everyone has access to a video camera nowadays. This opens up the doors for anyone to contribute to a larger project or effort. For example, people could tag themselves singing “Home” from home, and there was also an invitation for people at home to contribute parts to a digital storytelling of the tradition tale of the attack of the swordfish.
Digitisation of Spaces & Artefacts
National Heritage Board’s Roots.sg website is filled with resources like the Conversation Starter Kit for seniors to reminisce the old days and heritage stories for everyone to learn more about The Singapore Story.
Another innovation which has come out of the museums are its online tours. Our favourite is the virtual “Old New World” exhibition which is a high definition tour of the exhibition at National Museum Singapore. Another effort worth mentioning is the 360 VR rooms at the Singapore Philatelic Museum. On the international front, check out the work which Google Arts & Culture is doing with museums around the world such as the British Museum.
Earn a badge while staying at home. The Malay Heritage Centre has a programme where children can also be part of the “Heritage Explorers Programme”, take on the role of a curator or designer and try creating interesting captions for “artefacts” found at home or drawing their ideal exhibition. Complete the project to earn a badge.
Digitalising Business – Turning Crisis into Opportunity
Brands need to constantly innovate and by digitalising their offerings, services and modes of transaction, businesses keep moving forward. Meanwhile, audiences and consumers are aplenty at home and eager to use resources and information in various ways –buying, browsing, viewing, engaging children and elderly with, giving back. Life has transformed and we can certainly get used to the changes which will stay for a long while.