Filial Piety in Singapore

“Filial Piety”, a television commercial commissioned by Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) and National Family Council, was recognised as the most popular local TV ad in Mediacorp’s Viewers Choice survey in Singapore. The ad follows the journey of a young boy, as he sees first hand the importance of respecting, honouring, and loving his parents, through the best and the worst of times. “How one generation loves, the next generation learns.” The commercial is part of a campaign online at Facebook.

Filial Piety

Click on the image below to play the Filial Piety video.

Filial Piety

The concept of filial piety (Chinese: 孝; pinyin: xiào) is one of the virtues honoured in Confucian writing to be held above all else: a respect for the parents and ancestors. The campaign was developed in response to obvservations that more and more Singaporeans had been starting to interact less with their parents. The number of elderly being sent to old folks homes was on the rise.

Leo Burnett creative director Chris Chiu talks about the thinking behind the commercial. “We played with a couple of insights. Firstly, every parent loves their child unconditionally; whether or not the child is an angel or a brat. Just the way it is. But how do you make the younger generation reciprocate the love? Especially so when the parent isn’t the nicest of people? Primarily, filial piety is the interaction between 2 generations, so I thought it would be interesting to tell this story from a 3rd generation looking in (i.e. the grandson)”.

Filial Piety was shot straight after filming ‘Funeral‘ with Yasmin Ahmad in April 2009. Director David Tsui filmed over four days using multiple locations including the old Tan Tock Seng Hospital, using actors recruited off the street. “The father is actually a cab driver (the scene in which he drops his recently-widowed mum off is actually his cab) and the grandson is a student from SOTA (Singapore School of the Arts). The flashback mother and son are a real mother and son.”

Filial Piety Credits

Filial Piety was developed at Leo Burnett Singapore by creative director/art director/copywriter Chris Chiu, planner Saurabh Varma, account management team Kurt Viertel, Claire Chan, Lee Min Qi, Tay Yi Ling, Stella Pok, Brenda Koh, agency producer Anthony Lee

Filming was shot by director David Tsui via Moviola, Singapore. Post production was done at Touches, Hong Kong, and VHQ, Singapore. Sound was produced by Ricky Ho at Yellow Box, Singapore.