From Campaign Symbols To Campaign Containers

Two of Singapore’s oldest existing national campaigns icons are no longer just carriers of messages but have now become canvases for engaging the public in the latest incarnations of these public education drives. For almost three decades, Singa, the Courtesy Lion has been championing courtesy wearing just a t-shirt, and more recently, a pair of shorts. However, the Singapore Kindness Movement latest Project Singa has transformed the mascot to become a superhero, a student, a cyborg, an employee, or an award statue. Like the designer toy Qee, how this national icon looks is now entirely up to your design.

For a start, an initial collection of 34 Singa figurines have been designed to reflect the campaign’s partners and core messages. A Design-A-Singa competition has also been launched and 13 local artists were invited to customise their own Singas that will be showcased from 12-15 November as part of World Kindness Day.

The other icon that is now open to public “doodling” is the litter bin as part of the Clean and Green Singapore 2011 Carnival, which originated from a campaign to keep Singapore clean since 1968. The public can now enter the virtual world of Litter Munchers to design their own litter bin and see what others have done in the gallery too.

Personally, I think the designs of the litter bins aren’t as lovable as or distinctive as the Singa figurines, and it’s probably because Singa itself is a well-designed icon. In contrast, the litter bin is rather generic-looking. Aesthetics-aside, both initiatives do give the public a sense of ownership over the campaign icons, and that’s a great way to better engage them. It’ll be interesting to see how the icons evolve as more people design their own Singas and litter bins. Will these campaign icons one day lose their original meaning and become just empty containers?


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