For some time now, Singapore’s fertility rate has been in the red thanks to factors including delayed marriage and childbirth, as well as a growing number of lifelong singletons across the nation. According to the government’s Population in Brief 2011, Singapore’s resident total fertility rate reached a low of 1.15 in 2010 after being in decline and remaining below the replacement level of 2.1 for more than three decades. The government has been combating this issue with efforts such as a national matchmakting agency (now 30 years old) and a “baby bonus” to parents of $8,000 for the first and second child and around $14,500 for the fifth.
Earlier this month, mint brand Mentos stepped in to help address Singapore’s population anxiety with a campaign guaranteed to fuel conversation around a topic that many shy away from discussing publicly. A tongue-in-cheek animated R&B video urged Singaporeans to do their civic duty on National Day, the nation’s birthday (Aug. 9), by making babies. “This National Night give birth to a nation” was the tagline. To “make Singapore’s birth-rate spike,” viewers are told to “make some fireworks ignite” with a “late-night dooty call” (a footnote on ad copy specifies that this applies only to “financially secure adults in stable, committed long-term relationships”). Mentos encouraged local bands to get into the fray with cover versions.
By being blunt about the issue of baby-making but keeping the tone light and the tune catchy, Mentos succeeded in putting this tricky topic in the spotlight and getting people talking about a very private concern.