Singapore celebrates National Day on 9 August every year. This year marks the 52 years of Singapore’s Independence from Malaysia, since the year 1965.


Singapore’s National Day is a public holiday. To celebrate the nation’s birthday, there will be a National Day Parade held with awesome display of military parades, rousing national songs, multicultural song-and-dance performances, and (in recent years) showcasing of new technologies in performances. The highlights to round off the Parade will be a breath-taking extravaganza fireworks display, set against a background of glittering city-lights.


For the locals who are neither participating nor watching the live-telecast of the National Day Parade, this special day will be celebrated with families and friends. The typical celebration will include feasting and drinking, where all have a jolly good time.


In the past, retailers jostled with one another to roll out National Day theme promotions. Common promotions were discounts or gift-with-purchase with theme around the nation’s age. For example, ‘35% off’ or ‘get a reward for $35 spent’, when the nation was 35 years old. Unfortunately, as the nation ages, such promotions become a challenge to upkeep. Retailers (especially grocery retailers) cannot afford to give away too high discounts – ie. how feasible is a 52% discount? It is not sustainable to run such promotions. In recent years, National Day theme promotions has dwindled off in the retail scene.


In contrast to the quiet retail industry, the Food & Beverage industry has come alive to dominate National Day promotions. Hotels and restaurants showcase their creativity through ‘National Day Menus’; Eateries launch special National Day promotions for diners; Fast-food chains launch special National Day new items; Even some bakeries are promoting ‘National Day Mix-&-Match’ for their buns – eg. any 5 for $5.20. The F&B scene is abuzz with new innovations and exciting activities.


Any festivity or celebration is a good opportunity to drive up businesses. Milk the occasion as a reason to launch a new product, run a new campaign or try out a special promotion. Maximise the sales opportunities as there are only so few public holidays in Singapore, when most people have some free time to explore and enjoy. It is a pity if not more is done to harvest the catchment to boost sales.


To step away from the traditional retail promotions, one can pick out specific relevant products that people will consume for celebrations and create a theme around it. Another way is to promote just one hero product; Sometimes less is more, especially if the right product and mechanics are selected. Or run a fun online campaign, invite consumers’ engagement through fun activities to reinforce brand awareness. Collaboration between retailers and F&B owners to cross-promote National Day can also be a mutual win-win for all parties.