Singtel takes on self-centred, phone-obsessed youth in new Christmas film

Family ties are front and centre in Singtel’s Christmas special film ‘The Gift’. The film tracks a phone obsessed, self-centred young girl who is made aware of the importance of connecting with her family on Christmas Eve.

The campaign was inspired in part by statistics from a global study by used phone price comparison service Bankmycell which revealed that smartphone users on average spend two hours fifty one minutes on their smartphones and less than 45 minutes with their families. 

A study commissioned by Singtel on theAsianparent forum found that 51% of parents were willing to give their child a phone with a mobile data connection.

Explaining the rationale behind the ad Singtel’s vice president for group strategic communications and brand Lian Pek said: “In our hi-tech world of shiny gadgets and devices, parents often feel compelled to indulge their children, even if their demands are excessive. 

“We thought Christmas was the perfect time to reframe the spirit of giving in our increasingly digital society – that we really ought to be prioritising family time and connections in the deeper sense of the word.”  

Addressing the apparent contradiction in a telecom firm creating messaging that encourages the audience to be less phone obsessed Pek said: “Our films are not solicitations to transact with us, but rather, to appreciate our values which would hopefully spark some desire to interact with our brand for the long haul. 

“Today’s customers don’t just want to transact or buy from companies that meet their requirements profitably. They want to support and engage with companies that have heart.”

As has been the case with many of Singtel’s recent special occasion films, ‘The Gift’ was conceptualised and produced in collaboration with Akanga Film Asia. It will air on Singtel TV and various social media channels from November 29 to December 31, and in cinemas between December 12 and December 25.

‘The Gift’ continues Singtel’s tradition of creating films themed around special occasions and big holidays. Some of its previous films include a specially commissioned song for National Day, a film on ‘Chinese New Year absconders’ realising the importance of family and last year’s Christmas film.

A note on the campaign from Singtel said: “The story-telling approach allows Singtel to articulate its brand values of family, community, diversity and inclusivity through a series of festive films. 

“Singtel’s films have been well-received and anticipated. Last year, ‘Grace’s White Christmas’ chalked up more than 11 million views on Facebook and YouTube. 

“During this year’s Chinese New Year, “From Ma, With Love” garnered more than 19 million views.”

Singtel’s previous Christmas films can be seen below.


Introducing Singtel’s 2018 festive short film! The story revolves around Grace and a struggling busker who dresses as Santa. Grace wants a puppy and a white Christmas this year but can “Santa” make her wishes come true?

Posted by Singtel on Sunday, 18 November 2018


Ah Ma’s Christmas

It’s Christmas time. What does Ah Ma want for Christmas and will her dreams come true?

Posted by Singtel on Thursday, 7 December 2017


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella Asia newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing