Countries faced with declining birth rates typically promote immigration or provide financial incentives.
Then there’s the Government of Singapore, which is holding a “National Night” of sex – a campaign to encourage citizens to make babies.
The Aug. 9 public holiday commemorates the country’s independence from Malaysia in the mid-sixties. But this year, the government is hoping a public plea for procreation will help spur a population spurt.
And if that’s not bizarre enough, the campaign is sponsored by the breath mint maker Mentos, which produced a three-minute, 16-second rap calling on all Singaporeans to do their “civic duty.”
“Why you eating a mint, baby?” a woman’s voice asks at the start of the video.
“So I can kiss you on the face,” a man answers.
With the gratuitous breath mint connection out of the way, the remainder of the black-and-red themed video explains why citizens need to have sex on National Night – without even once mentioning the word sex. Instead, inventive euphemisms are used (”Let’s make a lil’ human that looks like you and me, explorin’ your body like a night safari”), interspersed with terrible pickup lines (“Girl you’re so hot I wanna to turn on the A/C”).
Clearly, the rap is not discreet about what the government wants its citizens to be doing on Aug. 9. “Let’s make Singapore’s national birth rate spike,” croons the woman’s floating voice. But Mentos has added a caveat with the video, that only “financially secure adults in stable, committed long-term relationships” should attempt to express their procreating patriotism.
Singapore’s population has been declining steadily, with about 44 per cent of men and 31 per cent of women between the ages of 30 and 34 still single. The Financial Times says that Singapore’s government, which has often been criticized for being prim and stuffy, has either tacitly approved the video or hasn’t noticed it. “We didn’t need to get any [government] clearance or go through any vetting,” Adrian Chan of advertising agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty told the paper.
Do you think about the campaign and video? Will it be effective?