Video campaign to thank foreign workers goes viral

A drone delivering cans of Coca-Cola to construction workers at a high-rise work site. The cans carried handwritten notes from Singaporeans thanking the foreign workers for their labour.
A drone delivering cans of Coca-Cola to construction workers at a high-rise work site. The cans carried handwritten notes from Singaporeans thanking the foreign workers for their labour.PHOTO: SINGAPORE KINDNESS MOVEMENT AND COCA-COLA SINGAPORE

A video campaign by an international soft drink giant and a local social civic group to thank foreign workers in Singapore has gone viral online.

Last week, the Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM) and Coca-Cola Singapore posted a YouTube video of flying drones delivering cans of Coca-Cola to construction workers at a high-rise worksite.

The soft drink cans also carried handwritten notes from Singaporeans thanking the construction workers for their labour.

In about a week, the video has captured more than 258,000 views, with about 2,600 YouTube viewers "liking" it.

"Absolutely brilliant," wrote Singapore-based photographer Kenji Kwok on the video's remarks wall.

The response does not surprise SKM general secretary William Wan.

"I have always believed that Singaporeans are kind deep down, and what the video did was to trigger it," he said.

The campaign came about six months after the Little India riot in December which put foreign workers under the spotlight.

There are about 320,000 foreign workers working in construction in Singapore.

Dr Wan said that the idea of using drones to deliver drinks came from the soft drinks giant.

"We mobilised our volunteers to write the messages and pack the Coca-Cola cans."

He said the campaign did not cost the kindness advocacy group any money, adding that Coca-Cola Singapore footed the entire bill.

Mr Leonardo O'Grady, who runs Coca-Cola's Asean marketing communications office, told The Straits Times that the project "connects" Singaporeans to construction workers who toil away in places "not easily accessible to the average Singaporeans".

"The idea is to inspire others to do something now and create a ripple effect," he added.

Dr Wan agrees. "We did not start off wanting to run a one-off publicity campaign. What we hope to do is to encourage Singaporeans to make showing appreciation to foreign workers part of our daily lives," he said.

Mr Yeo Guat Kwang, chairman of foreign worker advocacy group Migrant Workers Centre, backed the campaign.

"These are unsung heroes and every gesture of appreciation to them counts," he said, adding: "And that it took place around the Labour Day celebrations in May made it even more special."

tohyc@sph.com.sg