Moo-ing in the Wrong Pasture?

May 2, 2007 Blog 15 comments

Colourful cows along River Valley Road below Fort Canning Park

Many would have noticed the return of the colourful cows in open fields in the city. Those of us in the marcoms profession may recognise these “moo-ing” mascots to belong to Moove Media, an outdoor advertising company owned by the transport behemoth ComfortDelgro group – a conglomerate which operates most of the buses and taxis in Singapore.

Apparently, these latest “herds” of cattles are part of an Adopt A Cow promotion that the company is running. You can actually bring home a cow at only S$100 each. What’s more, there are 5 of these cute cattle friends with different names to choose from.
When the Moove Media cows first made their appearance in 2005, they caused quite a huge ruckus. Everybody was talking about these mysterious cardboard bovines which sprung up almost overnight. As the story unfurled, people gradually understood that it was a branding and awareness exercise to get more people interested in outdoor advertising on taxis and buses. The second wave of this time red cows were unleashed close to National Day last year.

The brainchild of Moove Media’s CEO Jayne Kwek, the cows had won multiple advertising awards including the Singapore Advertising Hall of Fame Awards.

Initially, I was rather sceptical about this marketing “moove”. After all, these “cows” were standing serenely in green pastures rather than placed on buses and taxis – the very outdoor advertising spaces which they were supposed to promote. If anything, their success may lead to more businesses wanting to place 3D objects in open fields around the island.

Happily, I was proven wrong. If you look at the latest advertising expenditure results, you would have noticed that both taxi top and bus advertising have increased by a whopping 24.2% in 2006 compared to 2005. Obviously they must have been doing something right.

My question though is whether this latest wave of the cow campaign is too much of a good thing. I mean, Comfort-Delgro couldn’t possibly be selling cows for a living now right?

By Walter
Founder of Cooler Insights, I am a geek marketer with almost 24 years of senior management experience in marketing, public relations and strategic planning. Since becoming an entrepreneur 5 years ago, my team and I have helped 58 companies and over 2,200 trainees in digital marketing, focusing on content, social media and brand storytelling.


  1. gosh..them cows are good ads man..I rem did taking a pics of some cows last week at my area. They were placed on a hill…I was like..”What the…”

    I like your picture composition man..damn cute..esp when you select the cow with a beaded necklace..wahah!!

    These guys are good in their advertising man..they are able to use a piece of land with nothing on it to create a little bitty of a advertising avenue I agree…:) More 3D ads akan datang…

  2. OOOOO I want to adopt one!! Hehehe!!! This is something new to me. I like the advertising scheme!

    I should propose this to my boss. Haha! Something cheap yet catchy! However Singapore may be free from vandalism (or so I think it is since it’s so trict there which is good), Msia here is FILLED with vandalism activity!

    Put a cow there and 24 hors later you’ll see that the cow have a beard and waring black sunglasses or legs being torn away!

    Nice pictures! Love them!

  3. I think it’s a case of demand and supply. People have obviously expressed interest in owning these cows (or the have already attempted to steal them), so Moove might just be responding to the demand.

    They could have gotten some Corporate Social Responsibility mileage out of this though. The money could easily have gone to an animal/environmental good cause.

  4. hey jason,

    I think the cows when they first appeared was a novelty which caught everyone’s attention. The fact that they actually led to increase in advertising expenditure on both taxi and bus ads is a positive thing. As always, the challenge is to be able to keep innovating and to come up with “Purple Cows” that capture both the imagination and the wallets. That will be the acid test.

  5. natasshea,

    Thanks for the compliments. Actually we are also prone to vandalism here in Singapore although the stiff penalties probably help to curb enthusiastic cow nabbers. Sometimes though, theft may be the best form of flattery as Kenneth has alluded to in his comments.

  6. Kenneth,

    I sure hope that they are doing something worthwhile with the revenue earned from selling cows. Incidentally, any environmentalist will know that animal husbandry, especially the farming of cows, isn’t exactly a very efficient way of using natural resources.

    Other than the methane production (yep those cows do …err…. fart) which adds to global warming, the amount of energy needed to produce a pound of beef is a lot more than that needed to produce vegetable crops of equivalent caloric value.

  7. hahaha… like your remark about Comfort-Delgro selling ‘cows’ for a living. But they better not! I will raise this at the next shareholder meeting.

    I was thinking of carrying one of these cute cows home. Din know must pay wan. hahaha….

  8. eastcoastlife,

    Smart move! My dad helped me to also get a couple of both Comfort and SMRT shares last time and those were the ones that gave me the most joy….

  9. cool insider
    Oh my Gosh! I just found out from Bernard that your link in my interview was wrong. Visitors were directed to the wrong blog! Geez…

    Did you notice it? Why didn’t anyone say something. They would thought I’m such a bimbo to read the other site! I’m sorry, dude! I’ve just asked Marty to rectify the error.

  10. eastcoastlife,

    No worries at all. I am just so grateful that you remembered me. Being correctly linked is a bonus and its the thought that counts. 😉

  11. Moo.. welcome the re-apperance of ’em flirty cows!

    I m not soo concerned abt their mkting effect, simply adore their bring-a-smile-to-my-face effect =)its kinda fun to see ’em cows peeping out from the greens exp when u drove past the highway.

    however, i wonder y would one spend SGD100 to being a cardboard cow home? I mean, i dunnoe where to put ’em either(cows shud be grinding grass in the field, aint they?). I oso dun see where the money goes to? Is any donations made to any charity or environmental organisation? Not that i see any indication on their webby.

  12. Zee, exactly my thoughts! If they have been upfront with say supporting a green cause (though cupboard cows are hardly green but… never mind) then people may be more sympathetic. I like the cheering effect that these cows make on us, just like the painted postboxes. We need more of such splashes of colour in the city!

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