SINGAPORE: Circles.Life may believe that times are different now, but many in Singapore were still shocked by a suggestive ad it released earlier this week.

The Singaporean digital telecommunications company put out the ad on YouTube on Monday (June 3) titled “Don’t Be Embarrassed. Do Your Own Thing.”

In it, a middle-aged mum asleep in a top-story bedroom is suddenly awakened at 10:00 pm by noises she hears downstairs, where her son, who is maybe in his late teens or early twenties, is watching an intimate scene between a man and a woman on his mobile phone.

The son can be seen in fear as his mum goes down the stairs to check on the matter. He then inadvertently presses the screen mirroring button on his phone, meaning his mum can now even see what he’s been watching.

However, instead of getting upset, the mum smiles and hands him a pair of headphones, admonishing him not to stay up too late before heading back up the stairs.

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The voiceover then says, “Don’t be embarrassed; do your own thing,” as the young man keeps watching.

The ad is for Singapore’s “most unrestricted 5G plan,” and the caption reads:

“We break conventions, soar freely and empower endlessly. Age and stereotypes don’t define us. We are Doers, Dreamers, Daring Disruptors. The Digital Pioneers. In a world where everyone does the same thing, do your own thing.”

Commenters on YouTube, however, were less than pleased about the ad and asked who had approved it. Another asked, “What kind of ad is this?” and added that the company can do better.

Circles.Life playfully answered commenters along the lines of “do your own thing,” but when one YouTube user wrote that their kids were watching when the ad popped up, the company did not respond.

When one asked how the ad got through the authorities, the company answered, “We’re just not your average telco! We believe in fighting against stigma and encourage you to #DoYourOwnThing!”

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Over on Reddit when the ad was shared, Circles.Life’s messaging may not have gotten through clearly, with one commenter on the platform asking, “And what does this have to do with what is promoting?”

Another wondered, however, why the mum in the video seemed to have a Thai accent. Others anticipate that the company’s marketing department will soon get reprimanded or the ad will be taken down. /TISG

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