In early September, residents in Sengkang woke up to a new sight in their neighbourhood.
Light Rapid Transit (LRT) trains, which have been operating in the town since 2003, now bear sleek advertisements for a condominium project near the town centre.
These advertisements, which promote the Luxurie Condominium being built near the Compass Point shopping centre, feature prominently on both sides of train cars.
While advertisements are common on buses and MRT trains, this is the first time they have appeared on light rail networks in Singapore.
Banker Adolphus Lee, 26, said: “This is the first time I’ve seen this in my 13 years of living here.”
Mr Michael Palmer, a Member of Parliament whom oversees issues in Sengkang, is not surprised by the advertisements.
“It is quite natural for an operator to want to maximize space with an advertising revenue stream,” he said.
Residents welcomed the advertisements to the LRT trains.
“Advertisements on the LRTs are a good thing, as they may inform me of something I wouldn’t have known otherwise,” said Mr Lee.
Housewife Kok Wai Mei, 41, agreed. “It’s effective. (While) people are waiting for the train, they will notice the advertisements on it when it arrives.”
But other residents, such as Mdm Juraidah Ahmad, 49, were puzzled by the choice of the LRT as an advertising medium.
“If the condominium is being built in Sengkang, then why advertise it to those who already live here?” said the homemaker.
Student Denise Lim, 13, said: “I see the advertisements every day, but I never paid attention to them. I just want to get to school.”
While Luxurie Condominium developer Keppel Land declined comment on their choice of medium for their advertisements, another resident, Mr Sher Zaman bin Gulam Sarwar, felt that it was a good call on the company’s part.
“The people in Sengkang already like it here, and are used to the sheer amount of amenities available,” said the 51-year-old security officer. “As such, it was definitely a good idea to advertise to the residents. They may just want to upgrade to better living conditions without having to move out of Sengkang.”
Ms Sally Ang, a coffeeshop supervisor at Rivervale Mall, felt that it was a cheery change to the uniformity of the LRTs.
“Advertisements on the train are pleasing to the eye, as they will make them more colourful,” the 56-year-old said.
This edited article was written as an assignment for the Basic Media Writing course at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, which involved reporting a new observation at the students’ neighbourhoods.