Destination branding: Painting Singapore in new colours

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is looking to blur the line between business and pleasure travel, as it brings the global rebranding campaign to India.

The (STB) and the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) have come together to market Singapore internationally with the slogan ‘Passion Made Possible’. Lynette Pang, assistant chief executive (Marketing), Singapore Tourism Board said, “The objectives between trade and tourism might differ on the surface but when you look one layer below, it’s the same country. It has got to be the same story, history and culture. It doesn’t make sense to go with tangentially different stories.”

Both boards tried to find commonalities to be able to tell a singular story that would be more powerful. The campaign, in  a significant shift away from the past, talks about passion and fun instead of promoting iconic places of interest. Passion is translated to hard work and dedication on the trade front and used to encourage varied interests and hobbies on the tourism side.

The new campaign focuses on building a human narrative for the country. Pang said that travellers are evolving and demand more from the destination they are visiting. With brands going global and travel becoming ubiquitous, consumers now seek authenticity and want to live like a local.

STB is no longer selling tourist attractions but an integrated experience. It has embraced demographic based advertising, by curating content especially to appeal to people with certain interests, like food enthusiasts, explorers among others.

Pang believes that every brand is like a human being and requires regular checkups. Hence the change was necessary. “Your Singapore (the previous campaign) was born at the cusp of technological revolution. It was path breaking at the time of Facebook and Tripadvisor. But we realised that it was time to tell a different story.”

‘Passion made possible’ differs from the previous campaigns that have focused on the country’s infrastructure and accessibility, promoting it as a commercial hub.  Pang said that the previous campaigns have built enough awareness about the attractions in Singapore and the new campaign aims at adding a new layer to global understanding about the country. The board has undertaken various promotional activities. It is hosting Singapore 

Weekender in Mumbai in association with St+art foundation. Pang calls this passive marketing, which instead of call-to-action that active marketing undertakes, inspires a positive view of the country in people’s minds that might lean them towards Singapore when they are planning a vacation.

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