Cash-giving ‘machine’ at Raffles Place turns out to be publicity stunt for Circles.Life’s new data plan

Photo supplied to Business Insider courtesy of Roland Yeo.

The truth is out – Circles.Life was the hand behind the now-viral marketing stunt that had CBD workers scrambling for free cash on Wednesday (Feb 28).

The Singapore telco, which has in the past pulled off controversial publicity stunts, had ranked high on the suspect list because its corporate colours are similar to the ones used during the gimmick.

The Raffles Place event had caused chaos in the financial district yesterday, with its cardboard “vending machine” dispensing $50 notes to people who deposited $3.

Eye-witnesses say the disorderly long queues resulted in lots of pushing and falling under the blistering sun.

And while some people managed to walk away $47 richer, most were turned away when the event was prematurely cut short after police arrived. An Instagram account set up for the event said a similar activity scheduled for Wednesday evening had to be cancelled because it had run out of $50 notes to give out.

The digital telco, confirmed it was behind the gimmick on Thursday (Mar 1), when it launched a bunch of new options and plans for users.

In 2017, Circles.Life had also carried out a highly attention-grabbing stunt by having social media personalities Youtiao666 “vandalise” what appeared to be a competitor’s advertising assets.

The victimised company, SGMobile, turned out to be a fake telco created by Circles.Life for marketing purposes.

A post shared by youtiao666 (@youtiao666) on

This time, Circles.Life is banking on its free cash stunt to promote a new Unlimited Data on Demand plan, which will give subscribers unlimited 4G+ mobile data for a daily fee of $3.

Customers will not need to subscribe to the existing 20GB for $20 data upgrade for this new plan, the contract-free telco said.

At the same time, Circles.Life is also launching a WhatsApp Passport that will give subscribers unlimited access to WhatsApp when roaming abroad.

Fees for the WhatsApp passport start from $1 per day, and include partner networks in over 18 countries including Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Australia, USA, India and the UK.

For users who require more than the 100 minutes of free talktime a month, Circles.Life is also introducing a new unlimited local outgoing call option for $16 a month.

At the moment, Circles.Life does not charge new trial subscribers for the first month of basic subscription.

And it seems Circles.Life’s strategies – contentious or not – are working.

In a statement, Circles.Life said that it is on track to meet its 3-5 per cent market share goal two years ahead of schedule.

The Singapore-based company is also planning to expand overseas, with an Indonesia launch slated for the second half of the year.