Uptown at Farrer condo ad draws laughs (and criticism) as it goes viral

5 min read

Condo developers are known stay on the safe side when marketing their projects, which is why it came as a surprise when developer Low Keng Huat decided to engage an external ad agency in an attempt to produce comedy gold for its Uptown at Farrer condo project. The two-and-a-half minute long ad has caused since gone rather viral (as intended!), but it has also ruffled a few feathers…

uptown at farrer condo
Artist’s impression of Uptown at Farrer. Source: Low Kheng Huat

A condo ad unlike any other

Unleashed onto the world on 17 August, the video advertisement for Uptown at Farrer was first posted on the project’s Facebook page, and has went somewhat viral in the span of 24 hours. At nearly two-and-a-half minutes long, here’s what the ad is all about:

The ad starts off with protagonist James, a Singaporean Chinese male who looks to be in his early 30s, talking to the camera with a magherita in hand. He starts off with a monologue about how “the Singapore dream” is never-ending, and how his girlfriend (who the camera slowly reveals) is waiting to hear “the three most romatic words in the Singaporean language”, never mind what Singaporean language actually means.

uptown at farrer condo ad

“BTO?” the girlfriend says, with obvious excitement.

James looks at her and replies while awkwardly reaching over to clink her glass, “For you? Even better.”

He then turns back to the screen to utter the three magic words that will eventually be heard over and over again during the commercial: Uptown at Farrer.

The ad then follows a narrative that centres around James’s experience of living at Farrer at Uptown, with the name of the condo used as punchlines to every vignette that is illustrated.

Mentions about the selling points of the condo are woven into the narrative. First, James rubs his oven mitts and proclaims “top-of-the-line kitchen experiences” as he prepares food for date night at his apartment. Alas, he chars his roast chicken and the audiences sees James rushing to the nearby City Square Mall for a store-bought version.

uptown at farrer kitchen

“Did you cook this yourself?” asked the girfriend?

James looked into the camera. “Of course,” he quipped, saying “Uptown at Farrer” without skipping a beat and with a wink. So, with one scene, the ad introduced two plus-points about the condo.

Subsequently, the ad has James stand beneath a running “atas rain shower” to illustrate premium bathroom fittings.

There are moments of irreverence that shows that the developer is willing to truly let loose and not take itself too seriously, such as when James, with float around waist, stumbles into a jacuzzi and spa paviliion that’s still under construction.

uptown at farrer ad pool

Slightly embarassed, James turns to camera says sheepishly: “Right… TOP, coming soon.” (TOP refers to Temporary Occupation Permit, which lets buyers to move into their new condo units.)

A bit of an a**hole

The ad then milks the character’s relationship with his girlfriend-turned-pregnant wife for laughs as he drops his popcorn on his sofa despite her warning.

This is also when it gets a bit cringey. James’s dishes out an excuse for not picking up his pregnant wife: “It’s only four stops.”

Probably the most outrageous moments of the ad was when James dials a private-hire car just to prove the point that Farrer Park MRT is at the condo’s doorstep. It doesn’t take much for the audience to get the idea that James is meant to come across as douchey.

uptown at farrer park mrt condo

At the time of writing, the ad has garnered more than 13,000 views and 175 views on Facebook, with suprised netizens chiming in with comments.


Many of them clearly liked the concept behind the ad:

uptown at farrer ad comments 2

“Demeaning, mysogynistic and annoying”

Perhaps the most controversial bit about the ad was when James’s heavily pregnant wife, who was not named throughout the ad, was nearing labour.

When her water broke in their living room, the wife confronted a video-game-playing James, who simply brushed her off as “being kancheong” (kancheong means “overly anxious” in Hokkien) with the excuse being that “Farrer Medical Centre is right across the street.”

uptown at farrer ad living room

The ad also perpetuated gender stereotypes towards the end, with James whispering to the audience “if you want time out from your wife and baby to watch football, you can always hide in the loft.”

uptown at farrer loft

Perhaps inevitably, the ad started to attract its fair share of criticism, with the most vocal one coming from The New Savvy CEO Anna Vanessa Haotanto on LinkedIn.

Anna, who holds a few titles, including President of the SMU Women Alumni, drafted a long post on the business social media platform with the first line being “THE WORST & MOST INFURIATING CONDO AD I WATCHED.”

uptown at farrer ad criticism

Calling it “a trainwreck” and “plain insulting”, Anna openly lambasted the ad for being demeaning, mysogynistic and annoying.

“The portrayal of the wife is so disappointing, sexist and frustrating,” she said.

Many of those who commented on Anna’s post agreed with her.

Meanwhile, there are also those that attempted to work out why the ad existed in the first place. A comment coming to the ad’s defence received the most number of likes among comments to Anna’s post:

uptown at farrer ad criticism linkedin


One thing’s for sure: We can confidently say Anna won’t be visiting the Uptown at Farrer showflat anytime soon.

You can watch the full ad here and decide for yourself:


Do you love or hate the Uptown at Farrer ad? Let us know in the comments below!


If you liked this article, 99.co recommends 5 property marketing cliches we’re seriously tired of hearing and Non-essential artist turns Punggol HDB block into massive rave party

Looking for a property? Find your dream home on Singapore’s most intelligent property portal 99.co!

Looking to sell your property?

Whether your HDB apartment is reaching the end of its Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) or your condo has crossed its Seller Stamp Duty (SSD) window, it is always good to know how much you can potentially gain if you were to list and sell your property. Not only that, you’ll also need to know whether your gains would allow you to right-size to the dream home in the neighbourhood you and your family have been eyeing.

One easy way is to send us a request for a credible and trusted property consultant to reach out to you.

Alternatively, you can jump onto 99.co’s Property Value Tool to get an estimate for free.

If you’re looking for your dream home, be it as a first-time or seasoned homebuyer or seller – say, to upgrade or right-size – you will find it on Singapore’s fastest-growing property portal 99.co.

Meanwhile, if you have an interesting property-related story to share with us, drop us a message here — and we’ll review it and get back to you.

Join our social media communities!

Main Facebook page
Facebook #All Things HDB page
Facebook #Condo-Maniacs page
Facebook #UHNWIs Luxury Homes page
Instagram Main
Instagram #HouseInsights
Instagram #HouseTips
TikTok Main
TikTok #HouseTips

Reader Interactions


    • This was a truly horrendous advertisement. There was no story and the jokes were more distasteful than funny.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the latest news in your inbox

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.