In this day the most popular advertising campaign in Singapore is the "Anything or Whatever" one. The idea of the product - a carbonated beverage - is most unique because it gives consumers the lotto feeling - not knowing what they will get. Out of the Box Pte Ltd - a very apt name for the company launching this product - used to focus on golf related projects before making the switch to being a beverage company.
They are also very socially responsible and concerned about the environment. You can see some cans pasted to the Clear Channel bus stop advert in the picture above. When I took this picture on the 23rd of May, these cans were in the process of being removed because people vandalised these empty cans by crushing them or taking off the flaps, which caused much concern by some members of the public who felt that the opened cans posed possible dengue hazards, collecting rain water.
But what interests me most about Anything or Whatever is the campaign itself - lodging permanently into consumers' heads and creating awareness about the new product. Early May all the Clear Channel bus stop adverts were carrying messages like "Ask for Anything on May 18!", "Grab Whatever you see on May 18!" etc. Yes, I am one of those who saw the website address on the advertisement and went to their website where I got to see a semi-erotic video that was very suggestive and then I got to wish for "Anything". Being a "yippie" or hippie as you may better understand, I obviously wished for "peace". Then they brought me to this screen with a huge tree with a bunch of leaves that show a message when you hovered the mouse over it. My leaf marked "peace" was also there, among others.
I just wonder if it is possible to sue a media giant that promises you "Anything" and gives you a huge tree instead. They could argue that there is a deeper meaning because "Anything" is the name of the product, which is a carbonated beverage. But this is so misleading! Singapore law entitles me to the truth!
I went to the Shell Select shop behind PGP after the product was launched on May 18, and I saw the can marked "Whatever" so I had to try it, and it turned out to be white grape tea. I found out that when you buy Whatever, you could get any of the following:
Ice Lemon Tea
Jasmine Green Tea [eugghh!]
White Grape Tea
If you buy Anything, you can get any of these:
Cola with Lemon
Root Beer [yuck!]
So for me, the main problem is that if I ever think of buying Anything or Whatever, there is a 1/6 probability that my money will go to waste and I will have to throw the drink away. Root beer tastes like toothpaste and I can't go beyond taking more than two sips of Jasmine green tea.
All in all, I think it is a very unique product, which has been launched successfully and effectively. The TV adverts are incredibly funny and what can I say, I am just a great fan of the entire marketing campaign for Anything and Whatever. Considering what most of the Singapore population's taste-buds are like, I think Anything and Whatever will sell loads. My question is, what happens once the excitement of getting "Anything" or "Whatever" is over, or when people stop seeing the humour in it? And what if they want "something" rather than "Anything"? I guess it could not be a more perfect launch if the company is planning to launch each of these twelve drinks individually in the future. As a product, I think sales will soar in the short run, but in the longer run they will tend to drop, and that can't be good.
Anything advert [30 secs]:
Whatever advert [30 secs]:
Making of the adverts and an interview with the director [9 mins, 57 secs]:
Click for the teaser website [the one with the tree]