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Singtel's Chinese New Year video strikes chord with netizens

Goes viral with a record 1 million views in two days

Singapore, 22 January 2018 – Singtel’s Chinese New Year short film titled “Mr Lim’s Reunion Dinner” has gone viral, garnering 1 million views on Facebook in two days since its release on Friday, a record for the company’s branding videos. The film’s gentle reminder to Singaporeans to celebrate the festive season with their loved ones and preserve traditions in today’s fast-paced society, seems to have struck a chord with netizens who shared the video over 20,000 times.

The film revolves around a widower Mr Lim, played by veteran actor Lim Kay Tong, as he busies himself with preparations for the all-important reunion dinner held every eve of Chinese New Year, while eagerly awaiting his children’s homecoming. As the day approaches, his son and daughter who both live and work overseas, tell him separately that they will not be coming home after all. Both mistakenly assume that the other sibling will be around to celebrate the occasion with him. Despite feeling deeply disappointed, Mr Lim does not let on that he will be all alone this Chinese New Year. Nor does he let up on tradition. Instead, he faithfully continues preparing a feast of his family’s favourite dishes, stoically carrying on the tradition of reunion dinner in their absence. Fortunately, his children learn the truth and hurry home just in time to sup with their lonely father.

“We are humbled by the response to the film over the weekend. I think this is testimony to how, despite being swept up by the digital age and a faster-paced lifestyle, we all still hanker after the simple things - the warmth of traditions and slowing down to be with family,” says Ms Lian Pek, Singtel’s Vice President for Group Strategic Communications and Brand. “You could see from the comments, there was a real outpouring of feelings not just about going home for reunion dinner, but treasuring dad and mom, and just general longing for family traditions and good old times.”

While it is customary to make the journey home for a reunion at Chinese New Year, the significance of Chinese New Year has waned somewhat in recent years, especially among the younger generation, more of whom are working and studying abroad, making it an increasingly lonely time for many older people. “We are glad that netizens share our belief in keeping traditions alive and ties to home strong,” adds Ms Pek. “While we are a company dedicated to connectivity, we also believe in making endearing and meaningful connections.”

Conceptualised and written in-house, Singtel worked with Akanga Films and award-winning filmmaker K. Rajagopal to produce the festive short film which is airing on Singtel TV and various social media channels until 2 March. The film has garnered over 29,000 likes on Facebook, with netizens lauding the video for its very timely message underscored by the tagline, “Family Matters. Stay connected to home.”

“A nice video as a reminder to all of us, the joy the older generation will feel and appreciate if the children return for the reunion dinner,” a netizen says on Singtel’s Facebook page. “Money cannot buy and words also cannot describe the moment of happiness that radiates on the faces of old folks.”

“I'm definitely going home. My ticket was booked almost a year in advance. No one regardless of age should be alone during the festive season!” another netizen says.

Singtel’s last festive film, “Ah Ma’s Christmas” chalked up some 5.3 million views over three weeks in the run-up to Christmas. The story of Ah Ma being snubbed by her family in favour of the mobile phone resonated deeply with viewers who found the video’s message of reconnecting over Christmas - heartwarming and meaningful.