The SG Heart Map was a uniquely creative project conceived as part of Singapore’s Golden Jubilee celebrations. The idea was born from a simple premise – that ‘home is where the heart is’. Moving this theme forward, the project team turned to the community to weave together their memorable past places, meaningful present places and aspirations for future places into the first-ever map of the ‘top 50’ places with special meaning for the people of Singapore. The ultimate aim of the SG Heart Map was to bring the community closer together in celebration of 50 years of Singapore.
Pico was asked to execute brand activation services for this ambitious project, including consultancy, events management, project management, operations and logistics management, marketing materials management as well as supply, production and fabrication of the numerous SG Heart Map elements; all culminating in bringing to the public engaging, meaningful and larger-than life exhibits, celebrations and interactions.
The initiative was a multi-government agency SG50 signature programme led by the Housing & Development Board. Not only was this the first-ever crowd-sourced map of the nation’s ‘heart’ and special moments, the Heart Map was also one of the first and highest-profile SG50 events for the public, not to mention one of the longest in duration – beginning in November 2014 and spanning the entirety of 2015.
Pico was an integral part of the crack team of experts who embarked on this large-scale project, providing one-stop shop project management services which harnessed the true essence of Total Brand Activation.
The team’s initial focus was to answer a wide range of fundamental and fascinating questions, such as ‘How do we make the project meaningful?’, ‘How do we achieve an emotional connection with Singaporeans?’, ‘How do we involve and reach out and engage the larger community?’, ‘How do we engage across generations – from the tech savvy young to the pioneer generation with all their memories?’ and many others.
After answering these questions, the team then had to bring these memories and feelings together. This required a great deal of hard work and detailed operations planning, as we worked to engage the public, collect their ideas and memories and then make these come alive in a myriad of different ways.
One of the most memorable of the many events was the ‘SG Heart Map Festival @ Float’ event, held on the Marina Bay Floating Platform. Pico curated, conceptualised and designed the lighting, pyrotechnics and projection mapping shows and the outdoor giant inflatable exhibits and other displays; and choreographed and managed 3,000 community members in a light wave formation.
The event kicked off with an incredible pyrotechnic and light musical show, while daily features included internal and external projections in a dome, nightly movie screenings as well as laser and light shows. And how could we forget the nightly feasts along our very own food street or the giant 6,600 sq. m. canvas map of Singapore?
Of the numerous challenges the team experienced, one of the most significant was finding ways to efficiently manage the public response and engagement while crowd-sourcing the Heart Map stories. A great deal of effort was required to obtain quality responses that were honest and true to the hearts of the local residents; for it was vitally important to encourage Singaporeans to share their heartfelt stories. The team expended a lot of time and energy training the surveyors to ensure that they interviewed people from all walks of life, in order that no memorable snippets from anyone were missed. Thanks to our superior training and management, 85,000 contributions were successfully received.
Throughout the execution of each of the community events, there were also challenges involved in the ways to craft and incorporate the concepts for each activity – like the ‘Red Dot Race’ and the ‘Festival Walk’, which were required to be ‘uniquely Singapore’ yet interesting to the public at the same time. Balancing these two elements was often challenging and required much close liaison with the Housing & Development Board and its appointed Master Concept Consultant to reach a solution.
Weather was in fact the biggest challenge we faced for the event on the Floating Platform. As November was a particularly wet month, we were constantly beset by downpours throughout the 12 days of the set-up, and windy conditions affected the installation of the giant inflatables. Again our team’s high-class management and communication skills kept the workflow going as we flexibly yet efficiently adjusted the schedule, eventually outwitting Mother Nature and delivering the set-up on time.
The SG Heart Map celebrations received tremendous response across the country and were an unqualified success in every way. The first launch event attracted over 14,000 visitors and gathered more than 6,000 contributions over three days. The team eventually roved to over 300 locations island-wide and reached out to 200,000 people within six months to crowd-source stories on endearing places.
Under the direction of HDB, the publicity and communications campaign carried out by our partner, Tate Anzur, sustained the enthusiasm throughout the year and attracted impressive media coverage, including 200 media articles with prominent front page placements, amassing a PR value close to SGD11 million over seven months. The total Facebook reach of the campaign over six months was close to 437,000, including 150 social influencers. 135,000 visitors also joined us to celebrate and create new moments on the Floating Platform, while 10,000 Singaporeans went on guided SG Heart Map tours across the island to rediscover their city.
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