Shhh! Secret Life of a Princess

Random, provoking thoughts from a self-confessed princess :: with focus on motivational learnings from the media. I hope to inspire everyone to be the best they can be

Friday, July 04, 2008

What Sells in Singapore

What else but sex?!! From racy photographs of skimpily clad females donning the covers of magazines from Maxim to FHM to PCZone (yes, even technology and sports magazine now with one magazine last month featuring a naked model holding only a soccer ball to cover her breasts) to females wearing the shortest of shorts or skirts parading around the latest hip and happening shopping malls around Singapore. Yours truly became a victim and bought the shortest denim skirt I have ever bought in my entire life just to not feel too out of place when I wear my casual attire when going out. Sex is truly the one weapon everyone uses to get around from getting what they want to making sure they look like they belong. Models of Maxim in Singapore are photographed in the skimpiest of bikinis while in Malaysia, they are dressed from top to toe and when a bit more of the cleavage is shown, some texts will be superimposed on them. Sex also became a parade in kids outlets like Ben's & Jerry's where all their waitresses are dressed in short shorts completed with a very nice blue colored t-shirt. Seeing the svelthe body and long legs of the waitresses, one would be tricked to believe that by eating those calories-laden ice-cream, one would not grow fat as proven by those slim waitresses who can be the shop's role models. Another apparel shops called New Urban Male uses sexy looking, muscular and built men dressed in sleeves singlet and colorful fancy bernuda pants to promote their goods, making their customers think that by buying goods from that shop, one would be as built and good-looking as those promoters too. This shop has attracted a lot of metrosexuals, a growing niche in Singapore, spending exorbitat amounts of money just for slippers, bermudas and singlets. Even one of the most popular game show in Singapore is based on selling sex, or at least selling the gorgeous bodies of girls who looked like they just walked out of a female magazine covers. See how one blogger from STOMP posted about how females are now selling their bodies in return for fast cash through the Internet.

Second is health. Food with an element of health benefits attracts a lot of Singaporeans who are adopting the healthy eating habits and lifestyle attitude by buying only items with ingredients good for their health. I am guilty of choosing soya milk with added ingredients like oatmeal (for addtional fibre), almond (for vitamin E), black sesame (good for the heart), green tea (for detoxification - not very nice by the way) and promegranate (for additional nutrition). There are so many more and if you come to the shelves of supermarkets of Singapore, you will be bombarded with a smorgasboard of food products with additional ingredients. People just don't go for plain bread anymore but if you have a choice of having banana walnut, wholegrains, raisin and berry, pandan and corn bread, which would you choose? Recently, there is a launch of a new product called 'SoyJoy' that combines the goodness of soy milk and the nutrition of berry. The advertisement of the product reflects the romance and intimacy between a soy-head male character and a hawthorn berry-head female character. This combines the first and 2nd item in my blog today. Even sex is used to sell products with health benefits now but these kind of advertising elicits curiosity which will increase eyeballs to their ad campaign and hopefully additional traffic.

Third is creativity. Selling item is no more just selling items. Every outlet needs to be creative and think of new ways to entice their customers to come back. Just like people gets bored of drinking soy milk alone, manufacturers have added chocolate, papaya, watermelon, almond, promegranate, gree tea, oatmeal and even black sesame into soy milk. All shops needs to be constantly upgraded to entice returning customers who are never satisfied and craves for a change. Well, you can't blame them. They come from a small country in which they cant just drive up to Genting or Cameron Highlands without their passports thus what is already available on their limited land has to continuously undergo changes to keep up with the growing taste of the society. Even a simple ice kacang has been made into a variety of flavours from chocolate to red bean to green bean, etc with some of the best ice kacang I have tasted in Singapore and not in Malaysia, suprise, suprise. And prata comes with chocolate, milk and a variety of ingredients too with the stall elling the most variety of prata usually frequented by people compared to those simple ones. One new food item I have heard which is a first in Singapore is called 'fortune muffin' in a shop called Bliss Haven Muffins where a piece of paper with your fortune is slit underneath the paper containing the muffin. This is the first time I have heard of something like that and I feel this owner deserves a mention for his creativity to be different from any other muffin sellers. His muffin would also appeal to those who wants to buy 4-D numbers as some of the papers has digits and not fortunes. You can see that by putting a little creativity into a business, the saleability grows higher and people line up just to buy some good luck.

Another creative creation to come out of Singapore is Milo Dinosaur which evolved to Horlicks Dinosaur and the likes. When I first stepped into this country, I was asking what old age century drink is that and why hasn’t it penetrated Malaysia given the more mamak going lifestyle of Malaysians? When I saw the mountains of milo powder bobbling on top of a very thick milo ais, I was captured. My all-time favorite drink has never been the same especially when Singaporeans got more creative and invented Milo Godzilla, a milo ais with ice-cream and milo powder on top. One of the outlet that carries these drinks and more and turned a simple milo ais and teh tarik into abranded franchise is Mr The Tarik with its long covered transparent cups ala Starbucks and a nice stamp of their name on eery cup. One winning formula for this brand, great packaging and no scrimping on quality as well as quantity. Seeing the tall glass of every cup and the colorful variety of drinks that fills the cup to the brims, it is no wonder the branded mamak is packed with crowds all hours of the day. Imagine how a little creativity and spending on quality contributed to much higher sales and gave them a competitive edge over the rest of the mama and papa mamaks.

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