Singapore Advertisement: Kung Fu Versus Diabetes

Most people know that martial arts are good for self-defense, physical fitness, and mental fortitude, but it now seems it is good for fighting diabetes and eating less sugar as well.

At least that’s what the Government of Singapore obviously thinks, as a recent advert launched as part of their ‘Let’s Beat Diabetes’ campaign uses Kung Fu to get across the message that too much sugar in your diet is bad for you.

The advert has been titled ‘Kung-Fu Fighter, Hidden Sugar’ and was launched on Facebook as well as on TV channels across Singapore. The advert is set in a traditional Chinese restaurant in olden days and depicts family sitting down to a traditional Lunar New Year meal. The family has a bodyguard watching over them as they eat, who is referred to as the ‘Guardian of Health’.

This bodyguard quickly realises that the family is under threat, not from a rival family, but rather the ‘sugar villains’ who have snuck lots of added sugar into their meals. The bodyguard steps in to defend the family and proceeds to kick some ass in a classic retro-Kung-Fu movie style.

The majority of the advert is one long Kung Fu fighting scene with plenty of sugar-themed moves on display as well. It includes such amusingly titled ones as the ‘Sugar Defeating Darts’ the ‘Destroyer of Salt, Oil, and Sugar’, and her very own forcefield which is named ‘Sugar Wipeout Technique’.

The advert has it all from levitation to piles of defeated henchmen, and of course one or two moves that defy both gravity and physics.

Needless to say, at the end of the advert the bodyguard has defeated the villains and saved the family from the added sugar and the risk of diabetes that comes with it.

In the first two days after it was launched it received more than a million views online, thousands of shares, and several hundred comments, most of which were extremely positive.

Kung Fu fighting diabetes
Chinese or Lunar New Year food are served in a beautiful presentation

As Karen Tan, the Senior Director of the Public Communications at the Singapore Ministry of Communications and Information explained,

“We were inspired by Kungfu classics… and hope to deliver an action-comedy that will resonate with young people as well as the elderly. We are heartened that people can enjoy this short Kungfu flick while learning some useful facts about fighting diabetes.”

The advert itself was developed by Tribal Worldwide Asia, who were very proud of the result.

“We hope the classic story of good versus evil will resonate and remind people to take action to fight diabetes,” Jeff Cheong, the President of Tribal Worldwide Asia, said.

After running on TV as well, Tribal Worldwide Asia estimated that the 90-second advert had reached more than 2.2 million people, meaning that along with its online reach, it had been seen by more than half of Singapore’s population of 5.4 million. So, it’s safe to say the advert went viral in Singapore, which is great as it carries an important public health message.

In Singapore, it is estimated that there are more than 400,000 people suffering from diabetes.

Lunar New Year is a particularly troublesome period as families get together to eat huge and indulgent meals which frequently include sweetened dishes as well as desserts and soft drinks.

Singapore advertisement Kung Fu Versus Diabetes
Kung Fu used in an anti-diabetes advertisement

But as well as delivering an important public health message, it also shows both how popular Kung Fu and martial arts are as well as how much people still love a good old-fashioned Kung Fu fight.

A lot of modern martial arts seem to be trying to move away from the retro and cheesy image it had in the 1970’s and 1980’s. While that is understandable for some reasons, it is silly to burn those bridges completely as for many people it is a memory and a connection that still endures today.

Lots of people have great memories of the classic Kung Fu films of that period.

And if the success of this Kung Fu themed advert in Singapore tells us anything (apart from being careful about your sugar intake) it is that those movies still have an enduring appeal which can still be harnessed to promote martial arts today.

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