Archive for the 'Campaign And Advertisments' Category

Old Advertisements – The Well Known Examination Drink

You may be wondering why I didn’t post for quite sometime. It’s the examination period now (October and November) for primary or secondary school students. Though my eldest son (Sec.3) has just completed his examination last week, my daughter will have her 4 main subjects exam next week starting 2 Nov. She is in Primary 4 now, and her exam stretched over a period of 2 months. The Primary School exam now split into many parts like Oral, Listening Comprehension, Picture Discussion, Composition and Paper 2, etc. No doubt they have less to prepare for each paper, but it’s rather stressing over a long period. They don’t seem to have any pressure or stress, but now for me… I have to help them during this period by revising together with them, pressurising them and giving them more assessment books to do. Now they even avoided going to Popular Bookstore with me…

My kids are lucky that they have the well known ‘Examination Drink’ that was passed down through generations – The Brand’s Essence Of Chicken. I don’t even have a sip of it during my time and it was usually given to women who have just given birth. Now my kids just gulped it down their throat as they have the children’s version (smaller bottle).

This Brand’s Essence Of Chicken has changed over the years in terms of packaging and advertisments. I have this print ad from the Chinese Newspaper (Nayang Siang Pau) 1981, about 28 years ago;

                                                                                                                           Credit : Nayang Siang Pau, 1981

How I wish to have a set of that playing cards! See those prizes – VHS tape recorder, CRT TV, portable radio and cassettes player, they are so nostalgia. I love print ads more than any other media ads because it’s something that I can hold it physically.

Below is another Brand’s print ad between 1950s to 1969;

Credit : PICAS, National Archives of Singapore

This one is even older, between 1948 to 1968. I like this one as it said “Brand’s Essence of Chicken has been instrumental in saving many lives in Malaya”. Also look at the packaging at that time, in a can?;

Credit : Cerebos Pacific Limited Singapore

By looking at the old ad, we can see that this Brand’s Essence of Chicken has its packaging changed over the years. This is how it looks like now;

Of course the packaging has been changed to glass bottle for a long time. Do you realise that the cap also have change? Take a look at the new cap now;

See the rubber gasket inside the cap seems to have disappeared. Now take a look at the older cap (just probably one ‘generation’ before this current one);

The above cap you still can see the rubber gasket but I remembered the older type has a dark maroon color type of gasket. Moreover it’s more difficult to open a bottle of Brand’s Essence of Chicken compared to the now new twist open cap;

Credit : Cerebos Pacific Limited Singapore

See this old ad (I don’t remember seeing it frankly, just ‘Google it out’) on how difficult it was to open the cap;

I like this Brand’s Essence of Chicken ad sometime back, it’s about a guy with ‘super memory’;

and also another ad with the ‘flying dagger in the office’; this one is funny I think;

But the above ad seems to be marketing the product towards the adult and not much to the children or students. In other countries, I think I still can find the Brand’s ad targeted towards the students. Check out the below ads (probably in other countries);

This one below maybe have seen it before;

OK, so much for the ads. But I’m really surprised when I tried to find out more about this Brand’s Essence of Chicken – it really was a tonic soup even fit for a King! Here is a little facts on the tonic drink Brand’s Essence of Chicken which has about 189 years of history;

不说您不知 (Don’t say, you don’t know), the late King George IV of United Kingdom was known to be extravagant and obese. His heavy drinking and indulgent lifestyle had affected his helath by the late 1820s. Thus his royal chef Mr.H W Brand (this tonic drink was named after him) developed an essence of chicken beverage to boost His Majesty’s health.

The chef upon his retirement, made this tonic soup commercially.

Credit : Cerebos Pacific Limited Singapore

In 1920s, the Brand’s Essence of Chicken was already marketed in Asia, and Singapore was among the first country it sold to. Pretty long time ago right? Now the Brand’s Essence of Chicken comes in different flavour too like those with codyceps, etc. But I still preferred the original one!

So once the product is well established, competition came in and other type of essence also appeared in the market too. This one also appeared in the 80s ad;

Frankly I still preferred chicken essence flavour than other types.

Of course there are other direct competition too like this brand;

Do you still remember this ad;

So which do you prefer? As for me, definitely the original one and original taste…

What My Father Wrote ;


From 2 Is Enough To 3 Or More

The above was the First Day Cover issued on National Day in 1974. What’s so special about it then? It’s probably one of the most popular campaign in the 70s.

Do you still remember this popular logo of the 70s? That’s the Family Planning logo! So what’s Family Planning all about and the changes from the past till now.

All the while I thought Family Planning only started in the 70s when the Singapore population was dropping then. At that time there wasn’t such a thing as Internet for me to check it out haha. All that we saw are those Family Planning posters and TV or Radio ads.

Below are some popular posters on Family Planning;

This one with the phrase “Girl or Boy, Two is Enough” – this was the most popular phrase in the 70s.

“The Second Can Wait” – this one was for those who were married and probably telling them that the second child can wait, no need to rush for it.

This one probably was probably asking couples not to rush into marriage. Look at the age of that couple in the poster…still wait….

What a contrast compared to now! In the 70s, the government was advising the people to “Stop At 2”, that’s try not to have more than 2 children per family. Why?

In 1965, on the average 1 baby was born in Singapore every 11 minutes. Check out this link here.

So birth rate already started to fall since 1957 to 1970. I remember there was such policies as “population disincentives” for couples having 3 or more children. You may read about it here too. So all these were very contrasting to our current “Have 3 or more if you can afford it” and tax incentives for more children. Why the 180 deg. change in policy? Probably due to the very successful implementation of the first Family Planning campaign.

You may take a look at Singapore population from the past. You may note that in some years, there was negative growth too. It’s rather funny that in the 1966 to 1968, Singapore is consider over crowded with a population of almost 2 million then in an area of just over 2 hundred square miles. But now, though we have reclaimed lots of land from the sea, what population are we aiming at? 6.5 million?

Besides Singapore, Hong Kong also facing the same population boom in the 60s and 70s. Below are some interesting TV ads from Hong Kong.

In 1972;

In 1973 (very similar to our “Stop at 2”);

In 1983 ;

I like this ad best;

Interesting right? How I wish to find some of our local ads too..

In 1975 National Day, we also had the Family Planning float;

and the one in 1968;

Credit : National Archives of Singapore, PICAS

And before the Singapore Family Planning and Population Board,what do we have? You may wish to read about the Singapore Family Planning Association (FPA) from the 30s to 72.

Teach Your Parents Metric

Photo Credit : Today, Mediacorp Press, Samsung.

How will you react when you read the above advertisement? You will be pondering how thin or thick is 0.4764 inches? Your mind will try to do a mental conversion from inches to mm…BTW how apt is the title “Imagine a new measure of style” haha!

Note : The actual reading is 12.1mm instead of 0.4764inches. The picture above has been edited (Photoshop) for use.

Back in the 70s, imagine how would your parents or even grandparents react when we asked them to use metric system? Also we always relate SI units to Metric system, why? The International System of Units or the International System is called the SI, using the first two initials of its French name Système International d’Unités.
Or do you remember the below 3 Metrication stamps in 1979;

Showing Distance;

Showing Length;

Showing Weight;

The last stamp you can see the Logo of the Singapore Metrication Board. This Metrication Board was probably set up in the early 70s.

So do you think if there is a campaign “Teach Your Parents Metric” in Singapore? For a campaign country like Singapore, it may not be a surprise…yes there is!

Below shows the Singapore Metrication Board’s Logo printed on their pamphlets;

Below shows the “Teach Your Parents Metric” pamphlets;

This is a very old pamphlet that I used it as a bookmark cum ‘notepad’ for my History notes. Guess that must be either Sec.1 (1975) or 2 (1976). Take a look at the inside of this pamphlet;

Some of us may even remember that in the 70s, some of the textbooks front covers usually showed the ‘SI Edition’. Below shows my Sec.1 Science Textbook in 1975;

Some textbboks even have the Metric Conversion table in them;

3 most memorable things that were in the Imperial System then were;

1. Old car speedometer. It looked something like the one below, with speed in MPH (Miles Per Hour) and the Inner Circle showed in KPH(Km/Hr);

2. Milestone road marker. These are a series of numbered markers placed along a road at regular intervals at the side of the road. Of course then, the distance measured was in Miles. These Milestone were made of stones and they are now all replaced by the new Kilometre signs;

3. Speed limit in MPH. Those ‘senior citizens’ here definitely will remember the old speed limit road signs in MPH instead of Km/h;

Credit : LTA

But how do you tell them apart? How do you know if the sign above meant MPH or Km/h ?

4. Coin operated weighing machine. You put 10 cent into the machines, usually at the cinemas lobby, then a printed ticket will be issued showing your weight in pounds;

Photo Credit : Rho. Above photo shows a similar weighing machine.

Below shows some samples of those weighing tickets in pounds;

Credit : Ebay

Long Hair Males

Credit : SPH, The Straits Times.

Do you still remember the above posters put up in most government bodies? Of course not in the current era, it happened in the 60s/70s – in Singapore haha. Long hair males were frowned upon in the past.
You may laugh it off now, but in the past it’s no fun at all. Male artistes with long hair were not allowed to appear on TV too; male with long hair will also be stopped at Woodlands immigration checkpoint and turned away until they had their hair cut. Think that was around 1972.

Well probably our government is trying to stop the Hippies fashion and habits infiltrating into our country. Besides the long hair, there was another icon of the hippies – the peace sign! Most of those fashionable men with long hair, wore a peace sign necklace;

Here is a guide on how the hippies looked like;

Credit : Ruth Bronsteen. The Hippy¹s Handbook.

So lucky me, when I was in Singapore Poly, it’s already 1979. I still able to keep my long hair but just long enough to cover my ears and slightly below the shirt collar. Below shows the long hair me in Poly days during the late 70s and early 80s;


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April 2020