Shine for Singapore did not copy Japan Children's Foundation advertisement

The blogosphere is full of news about the NDP theme song MTV copying a Japanese advertisement for The Children’s Foundation. But I don’t think that the NDP theme song copied the Japanese advertisement. In fact, I think they are very original.
Here is the MTV for the NDP theme song, Shine for Singapore.

Here is the Japanese advertisement for The Children’s Foundation.

They may look almost the same. But they are not. I’m going to proof to everyone that our NDP theme song MTV did not copy the Japanese advertisement.
Check out the screenshots below.
The photo on the left is from the MTV for “Shine for Singapore”.
The photo on the right is from the Japanese advertisement for The Children’s Foundation.
Screenshot 1

Both screenshot taken at the 9 second mark. On first look, they may look similar. But I tell you, they are not similar at all.
For a start, the windows are different. Look at the different windows design. And the teacher are dressed differently. The students also dressed differently.
And the biggest difference is the gender of the main character.
For the NDP theme song MTV, the main character is a girl.
For the Japanese advertisement, the main character is a boy.
Not the same at all. Let’s move on to the next screenshot.
Screenshot 2

Screenshot 2 shows the picture that the kids are painting. One look and you can see clearly that they are completely different. The girl is using red colour crayon while the boy is using black colour crayon.
One is red, one is black. Not the same.
Another difference is that the girl’s colouring is very messy. The boy’s colouring, on the other hand, is very neat and filled up the entire paper.
And if you observe carefully, the girl didn’t hold on to the paper while the boy is holding on to the paper. Not the same.
Let’s move on to the next screenshot.
Screenshot 3

Screenshot 3 shows the teacher talking to the parents about the drawing.
For the NDP theme song MTV, teacher is seated on the right side of the screen, next to the parents.
For the Japanese advertisement, the teacher is seated on the left side of the screen, directly opposite the parents.
Not the same at all. And look at the deco of their living room. This clearly shows that the NDP theme song MTV didn’t copy the Japanese Advertisement.
Screenshot 4

Screenshot 4 show us that both kids likes to draw in their room. Other than that, the 2 kids has no other similarity at all.
The girl is now wearing home clothes while the boy is still in school uniform.
The boy’s room has more furniture and books compared to the gal.
See the differences? Let’s move on.
Screenshot 5

Screenshot 5 shows the teacher and parents standing at the 2nd level of the multipurpose hall, looking down at the completed drawing.
For a start, the camera angle is different.
The Japanese advertisement also have doctor and nurses at level 2. But the NDP theme song NDP doesn’t. Very big difference here.
Let’s look at the last screenshot.
Screenshot 6

I don’t really need to say much about this. This is so obvious.
One look and you can see that the NDP theme song MTV is a red star while the Japanese advertisement is a black whale.
Red star, black whale. Not the same thing at all. Need I say more?
And the floor is also different. The floor on the left is black while the floor on the right is brown.
So there you have it. The 6 screenshot has already proven that the NDP theme song MTV did not copy the Japanese advertisement. I hope this will put the matter to rest.
PS: This entry is inspired by NYT’s David Pogue on Windows Vista


  1. Well, a general rule of thumb if I want to copy something – Never copy 100% but to modify parts of it.
    For me, all the 6 screen shots are showing similarities though (and of course) not 100% identical.

  2. First Screenshot:
    The whole idea is not about the window design and the teacher’s attire. The idea is: the teachers gave the assignment to the students and walked across to observe what they are drawing. And similarly, both teachers looked worried as they saw the girl and the boy scribbling on the drawing paper with one colour.
    Second screenshot:
    The whole idea is not about whether the boy or the girl is colouring neatly or tidily. The idea is that they are JUST colouring, and covering the whole paper too.
    Third screenshot:
    Does the position whereby the teachers sat matters? The whole idea is that the teachers actually informed the parents about what they had observed (about the children).
    Fourth screenshot:
    What’s the problem with many furnitures and few furnitures? Is that part of the video trying to tell us that the girl has very few furniture, while the boy has a lot? OBVIOUSLY,NO! The whole idea is NOT about the background, but the children colouring the papers in their room.
    Fifth screenshot:
    What about the red star and the black whale and the floors?
    If they copy everything, they are violating the copyright.
    The whole idea is the child had completed something, be it a star or a whale.
    It’s not the pictures that matter. They are trying to say that both children are not suffering from any emotional problems. The children are just trying to complete their goals. And they reached it.
    I’m not trying to condemn you or what. But the way you are defending Singapore is not convincing enough. Yes, your love-for-Singapore spirit is commendable.
    Maybe you should defend Singapore in a more convincing way.

  3. anonymous: Huh? Who said I was defending them? Can’t you see I’m trying to be sarcastic?
    OK, apparently no. I think I’ll need to work more on this.

  4. Oh…so you are trying to be sarcastic…
    I thought you’re really defending Singapore…
    Hahas…true enough, I need you think to improve your skills of sarcasm.
    But anyway, my apology for not understanding your sarcasm.

  5. seriously this analysis is far too shallow. simply bcos it’s plagiarism (that is, the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own original work the fact tt you actually chose 2 screenshots for each of the six given ‘evidence’ suggests that u think that they are similar.. and why? bcos the key idea is the same. of course. i want to defend singapore. but we should defend in the right way. we wouldnt want others to think of singapore as nothing but a ‘copycat’ who only tries to justify herself based on minute insignificant things. i think the most impt thing here is tt we have to admit and correct this mistake and not try to defend ourselves unreasonably.

  6. This is not the first time that we’re copying overseas ads for our yearly national day song campaign.
    Check out the 2004 version titled “Home” with a choir of little kids in white and black.
    this is also “Inspired” by the series of Qantas :I Still Call Australia Home Ads

    and this one was done in 1998……

  7. I immediately recognised the copycat scenes of the girl drawing the red star and that of the Japanese boy drawing the black whale. Am sickened by all these unoriginal producers we have. Don’t forget we now have our ‘own’ CSI and Nip/Tuck series.
    Now I am totally floored by the 2004 “Home” video, and I think I’d better not mention that I am from Singapore anymore…. so pai say!

  8. It was not the camera shots or placement of where the characters were standing in that frame that makes the difference.
    It was the idea that was copied!
    Cheepo singapore.

  9. u moron, they will not copy the exact same thing…that would be too obvious.
    the fact that there are so many similarities proves that whoever made the ndp clip is a lazy ass

  10. I’m surprised that there are actually people who don’t get it. Don’t worry it’s them who needs to work on it. Anyway, use caps lock is an excellent way to improve. for example, the pictures are totally NOT the same.

  11. Jacke: Can also blame it on my poor command of the language. Haha. Doesn’t really matter. Those who know that it is sarcasm will get the joke. 🙂

  12. dk – you’re hilarious!
    And I can’t believe that some people actually thought you were serious. Don’t worry, your sarcasm was very obvious but the fact that some people don’t understand sarcasm worries me.
    “Anonymous” – you’re a dumbass and dk doesn’t need to make the sarcasm more obvious. If it were any more obvious, it would be like a giant “L” written on his forehead, like it is on yours.

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