By Theresa Ellsworth
While there were plenty of animal videos to go around, it was local content and social issues that drove Singaporeans to hit the share button in 2018. From the class divide to ensuring financial independence, Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore looks at the top five videos that went viral this year.
1. ‘We Are Singapore’ 2018 (Charlie Lim)
Each year’s new National Day song always inspires some debate, but this year’s edition was especially spirited. The remake of the 1987 classic, We Are Singapore, sparked a discussion on whether the contemporary twist on the old favourite worked, or if local indie singer-songwriter Charlie Lim, should have left it alone. The remake included a self-penned prelude, a rap of the national pledge and a host of local stars including rapper Kevin Lester aka TheLionCityBoy. Love or hate it, it shot to the top of YouTube Singapore’s list of Top Trending YouTube Videos this year.
2. How Kids See Class Differences (CNA Insider)
A video clip on how Singapore’s class divide plays out in schools was among the most talked about clips of 2018. In the six-minute clip, students from the different educational “streams” speak candidly on how they perceive themselves, each other, and their futures. Sometimes awkward, the disarming honesty of the clip sparked off vigorous discussions on inequality, but the question of how representative the editing was sparked some controversy. The clip, which was shared over 35,000 times on Facebook, was cut from a Channel NewsAsia documentary hosted by Senior Minister of State Janil Puthucheary.
3. The Best Gift For Your Child (NTUC Income)
NTUC Income’s commercial The Best Gift For Your Child also struck a chord, addressing the touchy topic of whether parents should indulge their children or save for their own retirement. In his wedding speech, a groom calls his parents the “worst parents in the world”, describing instances in his childhood when he received less than his friends, but ends with the message that their financial independence is “best gift” of all. Even if viewer opinions were varied, the commercial still garnered more than 15 million views on Facebook since its August release.
4. Inside The Women’s Prison (CNA Insider)
CNA Insider’s eight-minute clip Inside The Women’s Prison quickly became one of YouTube’s top trending videos following its August release. The clip offers a rare glimpse of life in Institution A4, Singapore’s only women’s prison, not just for the prisoners, but also the wardens who both guard and mentor the women. The deeply human look at an until-now largely anonymous group caused netizens to question if the video was too invasive, while others appreciated the authentic portrayal of life behind bars. To date, it has garnered more than 850,000 views on YouTube alone.
5. S-Hook Ah Lian
No list of 2018’s viral videos would be complete without Lerine Yeo’s and her hilarious sales pitch for a $9 top that comes with little “holes” – the perfect place to hook various items with an S-hook, according to her. “Whatever you can think to hook, you can hook,” claims the 30-year-old, demonstrating with an umbrella and plastic bag. It even prompted Ikea Singapore to respond with an ad for S-hooks. The the English-Singlish-Hokkien clip has garnered more than 2.3 million views, and close to 35,000 shares since Facebook user Joanne Ng uploaded it in September.
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