The Asia Media Journal
April 17, 2014
TRENDS

 


Singapore's Health Board Launches A Video Site

Singapore’s health ministry has launched its own online video site, looking to deepen relationships with media owners and advertisers to help source and fund relevant content as the lines between media and communications continue to blur.

The new site, HealthyMeTV (HMTV), will air over 1,500 TV programs and videos in its first year, mainly in English but with some content in Mandarin, Malay and Tamil.

“We will license and relevant content from MediaCorp, SingTel, StarHub or other partners for upload on HMTV,” says Vernon Vasu, director of the Singapore Health Promotions Board (HPB) corporate marketing and communications division.

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“We will also produce our own long-form and short-form content specifically for release on HMTV,”  he adds

Funding for these productions from Singapore’s Media Development Authority will be explored on a case by case basis.

Content and collaboration
The move builds on an existing HPB strategy of working with media owners and advertisers on programs and events to boost the impact and effectiveness of its marketing.

Last year for example, the ministry collaborated with local supermarket NTUC FairPrice on a reality show called Family Cook Off, incorporating nutrition advice, about salt and fiber for example, into the show.

Family Cook Off was broadcast on MediaCorp for its first season and on Asian Food Channel and StarHub’s E City for season two.

Meanwhile, characters from Viacom’s kids channel Nickelodeon, such as SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick Star, took part in this year’s HPB HealthZone Carnival in May.

“We’re trying to change consumer mindsets and behavior that have been hardcoded into their systems,” Vasu explained.

“To add to the challenge, our consumer profile is very diverse - from newborns to seniors. It is essential that our marketing strategies are driven by critical insights of our target public needs.”

Video persuasion
The HBP has run a number of online initiatives already, but video is especially effective in conveying concepts in both a creative and informative way, Vasu says.

Online video viewing is also increasingly becoming common among all age groups in Singapore.

Social drivers will also be blended into HMTV, as another key influencer of behavior. Site visitors will have to register, enabling HPB to build up a detailed picture of content consumption over time.

“Our aim is to have sustained engagement versus a 30 second TV ad,” Vasu says. “This is a deeper discipline than advertising, as we are sucking people into an ecosystem.”

HMTV will be jointly marketed by HPB and production partner Brand New Media, which worked on Family Cook Off, via TVCs, online and outdoor advertising.

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