On September 15, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) will launch Singapore’s newest and joint slogan at the SM Megamall Fashion Hall, marking it with a “showcase” of what to expect as it reinvigorates its efforts of attracting more Filipinos to the city-state. The said event will reveal Filipino personalities and an exhibit, all of which to tell us more about all the new and good stuff Singapore has in store for the remaining of 2017 and beyond.
I—on behalf of ABS-CBN Lifestyle—already got some info on the rebrand when STB invited us to Singapore last month for the first reveal. What I learned only rendered myself shookt—sputtering out of my and the other invited Filipino journalists’ mouth, “May budget!” “Nakakainggit!” And this is only past ourselves absorbing the fact that their incoming launch here in the Philippines is just one of the many in their global and overwhelming marketing scheme.
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Remember “Surprising Singapore” in the 70s, “Uniquely Singapore” in 2004, and “Your Singapore” in 2010? The alliterations, rich. The presence, lasting. The country’s newest tourism slogan “SG: Passion Made Possible” came about from a well-planned research involving 400 respondents. It deliberately took out its own name out of it, and left the official acronym in its simple sans serif glory. The separation is symbolic of how the focus has shifted—enough about the city per se, more about the personality. Singapore, a former British colony that in its only 50+ years of existence has prospered into a successful city state, has already found its footing in business and similar industries. The time has finally come to focus on what's exciting, and “Passion Made Possible” directly reflects Singapore’s mood to spice things up.
While over time SG has grown from being a port to a manufacturing and financial center and then to a district of education, research, and design, Dr. Beh Swan Gin, Chairman of EDB, admits how the new tourism slogan tries to get past the city-state’s rep as an “investment-driven” economy to one led by “innovation.” He stresses how the new slogan breaks that stiffness by putting the spotlight on its prized, talented people, “It is timely to send a strong and clear signal that companies can do this successfully from Singapore and turn possibilities into reality. Singapore and Singaporeans are where we are today because we pushed the limits of what’s possible, and did not allow constraints to hold us back.”
For the execution, “Passion Made Possible” fronts around 100 Singaporeans including residents and personalities who have all contributed to SG’s diverse DNA. These guys and girls were filmed for these awesomely produced online videos, showcasing their gifts and passions for the rest of the world to see. Sam Chua, a taxi driver turned English tutor; Maurice Simon, lawyer by day and DJ by night; Subaraj Rajathurai, nature guide and wildlife consultant; Mark Ong, sneaker customizer who’s worked with NBA giants; Kyra Poh, the worlds’ youngest indoor skydiver—name it, they’ve got it. The main story: Their fervor is what brought themselves and their country to the top.
The slogan funnels different passions into relatable tribes: Foodies, Explorers, Collectors, Progressors, and Culture Shapers. These tribes, come to think of it, are of evolved, social media-savvy markets of tourists, who all seek thrill over tepidity. All of the brand personalities are strategically fit into tribes, too.
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Obviously, “Passion Made Possible” aims at an international audience. Enough of SG being reduced to “just listicles,” STB and EDB say. Singapore is really more than a clean, green, and safe place, it’s also a paradise for those seeking entertainment and leisure beyond the Merlion site, Gardens by the Bay, and Zouk. The slogan has already launched abroad, via consumer launches, trade events, industry partnerships, and global marketing campaigns in Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, and other SEA countries. Come October and November, it will roll out the same in the UK, the US, Australia, and more Asian countries.
Singapore has raked around S$ 24.6 billion from the travel and tourism industry in 2016, and that’s just 9.9% of its 2016 GDP. Yet, for a country that was once bereft of water and land and comparably poorer in terms of the Philippines' landcape and natural riches, it’s amazing how the Lion City puts that level of importance to its tourism. Some real inspo, yes, DOT? Here's lookin' at you!
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