Ad campaigns highlighting lonely elderly at CNY strike a chord with Singaporeans
Ms Carolyn Poon, 37, has missed her Chinese New Year (CNY) reunion dinner for the last three years.
That's because the stay-at-home mother has been living in Scotland with her husband and two children.
When she saw the Singtel advertisement campaign video about a widowed elderly father preparing a CNY reunion dinner alone, she remembered her parents back home.
Speaking to The New Paper, Ms Poon said: "It does remind us to spend more time with our parents. And if we return, we ought to spend time with them."
She said it was expensive to return every year.
She added: "Our parents do miss us, but we are relieved we have siblings who spend the reunion with them. I also do video chat and call to greet them during this period."
The short film, titled Mr Lim's Reunion Dinner, tells the story of a widower, played by veteran actor Lim Kay Tong, whose two children work overseas and are not returning for the reunion dinner. Released on Jan 19, it has garnered nearly five million views on Facebook.
Ms Lian Pek, Singtel's vice-president for Group Strategic Communications and Brand, told The New Paper: "It's an increasingly familiar story, what with more Singaporeans working and studying abroad, and probably not just over Chinese New Year.
"While technology has helped us stay connected with loved ones in different continents, nothing beats having family present during important holiday seasons."
Tiger Beer Singapore also released its own video as part of The Reunion Project about a father who wishes his children overseas could return for CNY.
A spokesman told TNP: "The objective of the campaign is to jolt Singaporeans into realising the value of quality time spent with their loved ones... and to inspire them to make the most of the opportunity the upcoming festive period offers."
Tour agencies told TNP more people are going overseas this year during the festive season.
Ms Justine Koh, marketing communications executive at Chan Brothers Travel, said there has been a 10 per cent increase in people travelling during this period, compared with last year. This could be because of the longer gap between the year-end holidays and CNY.
Dynasty Travel's director of public relations and communications Alicia Seah said they have seen a 15 per cent rise in sales for the long weekend with Valentine's Day preceding it.
Nursing homes still expect more visitors during the festive period for their elderly patients.
Mr Timothy Liu, chief executive officer of Dover Park Hospice, said: "G.enerally over weekends and holidays, we do see a higher influx of visitors, such as patients' families and friends."