8 DAYS: The video has gone viral, and reactions have been mixed, to say the least. How are you taking it?
SORA MA: When I received the news about the first write-up, I got a shock. We were hoping to get the attention of people, but we never expected it to go viral. These days, it’s not easy to go viral. And when I read the first article about it, I was happy because I felt there were a lot of positive points. But I have a Chinese background, so I may understand the article, which was in English, differently from English-educated people. I may read it in a positive way but there may be some meaning behind it that I don’t know. So I sent it to a friend at a PR firm that has done government projects and some work for very big brands. He asked me, “Did you pay them to write the article?” And we didn’t. So I believe it’s a good thing, and I’m thrilled about it. After that when more people began to comment, some were entertained and just laughed. There were some negative comments too, and you never know if these are people that competitors engaged. So you just have to keep being positive about it.
How did you feel when you read the negative comments?
Honestly, I appreciate the time and effort they took to comment. [Negative reactions] are better than if no one was watching it, cared about it or even knew about it. I found my passion in acting when I was in Mediacorp, something I never dreamt of [in the first 20 something years of my life]. After I [set up my own production company], I decided I needed to get out of my comfort zone, and do something I love and try things I wanna try. So this year, I’ve done a lot of things that I’ve never done before. For example, I did a getai show a few weeks ago. People criticised me for doing it. Actually, after I accepted the job, I did step back as well when I got to know it was a getai show. But it was to raise funds for charity, so I was convinced to continue. So I put ‘face’ aside and did the job because it’s my duty. And once I’ve accepted a job, I must do my best. I sang a Hokkien song and ‘Wordless Ending’ (Wu Yan De Jie Ju), songs from my mother’s generation. It’s about what your target audience likes. Just like the Hydroflux video. It was supposed to reach a different audience, such as homemakers, uncles and aunties. If simple English can make them understand the message better, why not? But of course, there’s a side of me that thinks, it’s only my first attempt at a song, so why would people trash it? Every day I receive hundreds of comments and private messages, some even with vulgar words. It’s like, why would you not give a chance to a newcomer? Yes, it went viral, but it’s not like I’m scolding the government or stripping naked.
What’s your client’s take on the Netizens’ reactions?
He thanked me and he’s very happy. It doesn't matter if it received good or bad comments, it's still one of Hydroflux's most successful campaigns.