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Reuters/Edgar Su
Whatever works.

Singapore’s government hired Instagram influencers to promote its budget

Hanna Kozlowska
By Hanna Kozlowska

Investigative reporter

Some governments may be alarmed about the political influence of social media, but Singapore is embracing it to reach its younger constituents.

According to Singapore’s Straits Times, the country’s ministry of finance paid more than 50 social media influencers to promote an initiative that educates citizens about the country’s 2018 budget and asks them for feedback.

The result? Brightly lit photos of young, beautiful people with captions about “inflationary pressure.”

Some photos were taken at special booths, but most are typical Instagram fare: washed out colors, pensive subjects. One post starts with a couple signing their marriage certificate and a caption about their spending regimen, while the following images include “fun facts” about the country’s budget. The posts are flagged as #sponsored.

“This is an effective way to engage with youth participants,” a ministry spokesperson told The Straits Times. The ministry sponsored a similar campaign in 2017 and expanded the effort this year.

Here are more examples:

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