The Straits Times invites young voters to Ask The Next President Anything

By Jonathan Roberts

SPH Media / The Straits Times



Singapore’s 2023 presidential election was a key event on the national calendar, but was that the case for news-fatigued first-time voters?

To engage with younger audiences, The Straits Times designed an AMA (Ask Me Anything) show for TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube. Questions were submitted publicly via selfie videos on TikTok and Instagram.

Instead of a stuffy formal debate format, Ask The Next President Anything was a light-hearted “live” show that revealed a personal side of the candidates who responded to questions like how they would handle corruption and experiences in their youth unrehearsed and unscripted.

Our objectives were simple:

  • Present the candidates in an informal setting where it is clear that they have no prior knowledge of the questions and have not had rehearsal time.
  • Engage younger Singaporeans on the social platforms they engage with most.
  • Feature six questions from young Singaporeans on a broad range of topics including approaches to mental health and tackling corruption.
  • Create a format that can work as one full, vibrant show with the dynamism younger audiences expect and can be split into digestible vertical formats for social media.

Finding an audience

The full show  premiered on YouTube on August 27, 2023, garnering 335,700 views, 38,500 hours of watchtime and 996 subscribers. Watch retention was a robust 40%.

While the full show was 20 minutes long, divided into six parts, and included a strict 90-second timer for each candidate, engagement stayed high. Its retention rate was close to 30% higher than usual at the end of its runtime.

On Instagram, the six questions were posted as individual reels. The combined views of all six totalled over 1.09 million. On TikTok, the six questions had over 163,600 combined views.

A behind-the-scenes video of previously unseen candid moments from the recording was released after the election. It saw over 22,000 views on YouTube and over 404,000 views on Instagram.

About Jonathan Roberts

By continuing to browse or by clicking “ACCEPT,” you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance your site experience. To learn more about how we use cookies, please see our privacy policy.