Finally, there are answers.
A vague, attention-grabbing giant billboard at Raffles Place generated some buzz among the lunch crowd in Singapore’s CBD on Thursday (Nov 15), as it appeared to have been put up by a woman asking Crazy Rich Asians actor Henry Golding out on a date.
In bold yellow and white letters, the message on the billboard read: “@henrygolding, please watch The Weeknd with me on the 5th of December!”
It was signed off with the Instagram handle @c_ndis and the word “koopakakee”.
Those who were desperate for answers went online, investigating the identity of the woman who owned the handle, and what she was trying to achieve with a public invitation of that size.
A search online revealed a password-locked website but nothing much else.
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On Friday (Nov 16), digital telco Circles.Life confirmed what many suspected – the billboard was purely a marketing stunt and they were once again the culprits.
The local telco has been known for pulling off viral stunts in the past – including vandalised advertising assets and a free cash spewing “machine” in the CBD.
This time, the marketing tactic was for a new digital lifestyle product called Discover, which uses artificial intelligence to recommend events for Circles.Life app users based on their interests.
In a statement, the telco said that the Discover function is available to the public, including those who are not Circles.Life customers. Users of the app can create customised invites to anyone with an Instagram handle – even celebrities like Henry Golding.
Although Discover now focuses on event listings and invites, more features will be introduced in the coming months, including an option to purchase tickets directly on the app.
Megan Yulga, senior marketing manager for Circles.life, told Business Insider that the billboard put up at Raffles Place was meant to draw attention to a website set up for Discover.
The word “koopakakee” has absolutely no meaning and a search for it on Google would lead one to the Discover website.
The Instagram account cited in the billboard also belongs to “an actual person”, Yulga said, adding that she happened to be a friend of someone on the company’s marketing team and was roped in to help with the campaign.
Hard-nosed investigators who trawled the Instagram account would have found the password to the koopakakee website, and discovered what the campaign was actually about.
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Asked why Circles.Life chose to garner attention in this manner, Yulga said she wanted to get people to say: “Who is this person?”, and also for them to ask: “What is this word?”
As a launch promotion for Discover, Circles.Life said it will be featuring the most unique invites created on Discover on its advertising assets – including that very same billboard.
Yulga estimates that around 20 invites will make it to the first selection.
So yes, you can go ahead and ask Nathan Hartono out. There is a chance he might actually see it, and perhaps even say yes?