Singapore Tourism Board’s latest initiative in the Indian market is an effort to spread cheer among the kids and families and offer them ‘a gift of smiles’.
The tourism board has joined hands with Voot Kids, one of the leading OTT players in the country, to take Indian audiences on a virtual adventure in Singapore with the iconic Indian comic character, ChhotaBheem. Titled ‘ChhotaBheem – Adventures in Singapore’, the series brings the destination closer to audiences in an innovative format and engages families and children across India who are studying from home or on summer school vacation in a bid to keep safe indoors. It is an initiative to reach out to Indian families and kids and ensure that they are entertained in such times.
Not only will the kids be entertained by watching their favorite character Bheem exploring Singapore with his friends, but these kids will also be learning about the destination – its diverse attractions, offerings, culture, and more. It certainly is an enriching experience that the Singapore Tourism Board is gifting the kids in India. The ‘ChhotaBheem – Adventures in Singapore’ series was launched on the weekend of 17th July.
In an exclusive chat with MediaNews4U GB Srithar, Regional Director (India, Middle East, and South Asia), Singapore Tourism Board speaks to us on the partnership with Voot Kids, kid influencers, and much more…
The most affected during this lockdown & pandemic have been children, how were this initiative and partnership strategized?
Much of the fun and learning during childhood are done by exploring and socializing. During this pandemic, children have been affected as they are confined to their homes with little to no physical access to the outside world. However, the adoption of modern technological advancements, accelerated by the pandemic, has made it possible for us to bring the outside world to our audiences into their homes virtually.
In the past year, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has constantly been exploring creative ways to engage its audiences by leveraging technology. A key audience segment, who regularly visited Singapore, in pre-pandemic times, as families with children. We were on the lookout for a suitable project to meaningfully engage the family audiences, especially the children. We were fortunate to join hands with VOOT Kids, a platform with a slate of rich content featuring international premium animated legends and home-grown desi superheroes and Green Gold Animation, the creators of the lovable and widely popular characters, ChhotaBheem and his friends.
For us, this project is all about putting happy smiles on the faces of children and families across India, under these stressful times. The 7 episode series of ChhotaBheem and his friends’ adventures in various locations in Singapore is our “Gift of Smiles” to the Indian audiences.
Earlier, STB has tied up with GEC shows for promoting tourism, why a Kid’s show and the usage of the digital platform this time?
Simply put, this was a project to spread smiles and positive feelings. We wanted the children across India to be entertained by ChhotaBheem and his friends, giving them an opportunity to see Singapore’s attractions, food, and culture and heritage elements through their eyes. It was such a joyful, creative journey for all 3 partners involved in this project to bring the stories to life through rich, colorful, and best-in-class animation. Children play an important part in family decision-making for many things these days, including picking holiday destinations. Even as travel remains on pause mode, we could give wings to travel dreams through ChhotaBheem.
As part of a vision to engage our Indian audiences creatively in the new COVID-19 environment, the STB has been harnessing technology to reimagine its content, products, and offerings. We have explored new partnerships and social engagements with many well-known brands. Many of these collaborations involved Indian talents and influencers working with Singaporean artists, presenting their common passions to the Indian audiences virtually through engaging storytelling and showcasing of the destination. As digital penetration in India has grown significantly during the pandemic, we knew it would be the right platform to reach our audience across India through the English, Hindi, and Tamil versions of ChhotaBheem’s adventures.
Today children are the biggest influencers; some brands have also tied up with kid influencers, where do you see this trend going?
There are many popular parent-child influencers globally who have huge followings, create unique content and are regularly featured in major brand campaigns for various products.
As India’s digital penetration rises, consumers, children included, are more tech-savvy, and they are active on social media platforms. The past year saw a surge in content consumption as people search for content that they resonate with. This has provided a space for the growth of content creators relevant to younger audiences and their parents.
This industry in India is set to grow. We do observe that there are many famous mommy influencers/celebrities. We see that with the growing number of influencers and various platforms emerging to cater to diverse interests and passion points of audiences, brands looking for authentic messaging and emotive connect will increasingly seek out unique collaborations.
In this pandemic and lockdown we are seeing a surge of the digital platforms, in your opinion, how should brands engage with their audiences and what must be the turnaround time for innovations?
It is important that brands remain active, communicate with clarity and empathy, and engage their audience to build trust and loyalty in such uncertain times. Brands that can do so nimbly and creatively will be remembered even after the pandemic ends. Our marketing approach is being agile, bold, and creative in engaging consumers. What we have added in the past year is also deeper story-telling and empathetic connections with our audiences.
The STB has actively and constantly engaged consumers during the pandemic. We have increasingly used technology and virtual media to reimagine the delivery of destination Singapore content and experiences. An example is the Singapore Food Festival (SFF) 2020 – organizer Mojito Ventures partnered STB to transform SFF to a virtual festival, reaching over 500,000 viewers both in Singapore and overseas, including India. SingapoReimagine MICE Virtual Show, a two-day virtual tradeshow organized by STB earlier this year served as a platform for local and international MICE players to connect and showcase their offerings.
In India, we have delivered creative virtual partnership projects with many popular brands such as Zomato, BookMyShow, Tripoto, National Geographic India, NH7 Weekender, and St+art India Foundation.
What will be STB’s marketing initiative for this partnership?
We have adopted comprehensive, well-integrated children and family outreach program. The 7 episodes delivered in English, Hindi, and Tamil will reach a wide audience through the Voot Kids platforms. We have also jointly developed e-books, interactive games, and contests modeled on the show, which can be accessed through the Voot Kids app. The game can be played on https://sgfungames.com as well.
We are also working with renowned mommy influencers and their kids to further publicize the initiative to our target audiences.