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Singapore Dances On YouTube--And The World Watches In Awe.

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on November 28, 2007

Sometimes you don’t know what to make of something—is it brave, horrendous, funny, weird, sad, inappropriate. You can’t stop watching it but you can’t believe they actually produced it. You wonder if it works in the local context and culture—and feel that it doesn’t in yours.
Well…The Singapore Media Development Authority has produced this video, seen by some 80,000 folks, and it made me think of a wonderful book by Harvard professor Rosabeth Moss Canter called something like Teaching Elephants How To Dance, an interesting analysis of how to teach senior corporate managers to be


If I had to judge by the reaction of about a dozen people I've shown the video to in the past hour--and my own reaction--the MDA of Singapore gets an A+ for bravery but a solid C for succeeding in communicating that they are one hip group of media cats. At least in the US cultural context, the video is like a train wreck that you can't stop watching. But it just may work inside the Singaporean context. Or even Asian context, I don't know. I do remember being pressured to get up and sing publicly in the Philippines when I was in the Peace Corps. It was so bad, it was good. And the Filipino teachers loved the effort, if not the voice. Can the video be an example of that?

Reader Comments


November 28, 2007 6:58 PM

They don't take themselves nearly as seriously as some of your viewers do. God love 'em for their sense of humor and humility.

More like watching an Andy Samberg video on SNL than another droning corporate pitch.

Yes, yes, y'all!


November 28, 2007 9:46 PM

I loved it too!
I don't see what all the fuss is about, especially some of the comments on that youtube video. I thought it was pretty creative, energetic, and especially funny. It's nice to see business people take things lightly, and not being uptight about it.


November 29, 2007 8:34 AM

window dressing with rap music...
MDA's job - amongst others - is censorship in singapore... - in the song they call it: "we structure content so that you have more choice..."

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