Campaign: ‘Grateful’ Surprise

Co-founder of Hornbills Concepts and Communications, Luenne, recently completed a project with two other ladies (Khalijah and Eleanor), that involved surprising the former President of Singapore, Mr S.R. Nathan.  The project had two parts: a book and a video. The book was made up of a collection of anecdotes about him as a boss, as a friend and as someone who never forgot the kindness shown to him. The video was to capture the surprise on his face when he was presented the book.

A campaign can be planned and executed in lighting speed and on a tight budget. The idea was mooted in December 2015. It took two months to source funders and convince them that this was a project worthy enough (and crazy enough) to fund. After which, the team only had about two months to write the book and complete the filming and hunt down the talents to interview. The team met with a lot of suspicion: connectors and friends of Mr Nathan wondered about their “agenda” for doing this book. More importantly, who was behind this project? Was there a political motive for doing this?  They cannot believe that the members of the team were just a bunch of curious individuals—welcome to the hipster generation. People do things just because!

But in many ways, this project was also about capturing an “alternative” SG50 story. It was not about  Mr Nathan as a president, but as Mr Nathan person.

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 9.15.57 PM
Mr Nathan’s colleagues in MFA

Luenne worked with a few of his protégées before and realized that they also inherited his “no-nonsense” trait. They were from a generation who were willing and ready to do the “heavy lifting”, as one of them described it.

Indeed, this trait is somewhat lost to a many these days as we grow up with an army of domestic helpers at our beck and call.

Will, trust and passion, are important ingredients needed to complete a project as crazy as this. There were hairy and tense moments especially when the deadline loomed and when  ‘moving parts’ of the project have not been pinned down. But in the end, when the whole thing was over, there was this huge sense of accomplishment and relief!

I made new friends and learnt a lot about old ones in the process!

Below is the video. Enjoy!