What a dramatic change this Covid19 has brought to our lives, whether it is the business or for us human beings. The world also saw a tectonic shift in the way we communicated. Everything is now virtual, from meetings to experiences. Virtual experiences are the go-to options for brands who want to connect with consumers across millions of miles away. Travel has taken a major hit during the pandemic but that did not stop Singapore Tourism Board (STB) from innovating and keeping in touch with the Indian consumers. Over the last few months, STB has been doing some interesting consumer initiatives globally as well as in the Indian market with brands like Zomato, Airbnb, Tripoto, etc.
STB has curated a unique consumer engagement experience for the Indian market by bringing together notable names from both countries, in collaboration with BookMyShow. Titled MySingaporeConnect, this is a series of videos that celebrate creativity across various forms of art, including food, music, films, and stand-up comedy, across both countries.
In an exclusive chat with MediaNews4u GB Srithar, Regional Director (India, Middle East, and South Asia) – STB on the initiative, and many such virtual events in this time of the pandemic…
What made STB think of innovation like this? What was the strategy behind a Tourism Board tying up with an events platform like BookMyShow?
Travel has taken a major hit during the pandemic and it may take a while for recovery. However, it is important for the Singapore Tourism Board to continue engaging the Indian consumers and keep Singapore close to their hearts and minds. As travel re-starts eventually, with the relevant safety measures in place, we hope Singapore will be one of the destinations of choice for Indian travelers.
As an NTO, we are always on the lookout for innovative and relevant brand partnerships. In the past as well, we have done some very interesting work with renowned brands like Viacom18 for a music video; St+art India Foundation for art and cultural event, with Zomato for an experiential event, called Zomaland and later for Zomaland@home; etc.
Continuing the stride of innovative and interesting partnerships, we have now collaborated with India’s leading entertainment destination ‘BookMyShow’ to give users a glimpse of the iconic culture and beauty of Singapore. As part of STB’s latest consumer engagement experience ‘My Singapore Connect – Where passions meet’, the initiative brings together acclaimed talents from India and Singapore, through a four-part web series which will be released exclusively on the streaming platform BookMyShow Online, on November 28th & 29th and December 5th & 6th.
A true reflection of the initiative’s tagline ‘Where Passions Meet’, the web series celebrates creativity across various art forms, including filmmaking, music, food, and comedy through interesting, candid conversations between renowned artists from both India and Singapore. Each episode will be headlined by an Indian artiste in an engaging interaction and conversation with their Singaporean counterpart, giving consumers a rare opportunity to catch them as they share stories of their passion for their respective crafts.
This first-of-its-kind partnership between STB and BookMyShow will leverage the ever-growing and evolving virtual medium, keeping audiences engaged and entertained in these extraordinary times. While entertaining audiences with lesser-known facts about the artists from both countries, the videos will also showcase the different familiar and well-loved sights and sites in Singapore.
What have been the other initiatives by STB during this lockdown?
Over the last few months, we have leveraged the technology space and have come up with several interesting initiatives to ensure that Singapore is at top of mind for our consumers. Earlier, we had associated with Zomato for a digital initiative ‘Zomaland@home’ which featured renowned artists from both India and Singapore showcasing their talents and passions across food, music, stand–up comedy, and more.
We had also partnered with Tripoto for a microsite which serves as a one-stop guide for Indian travelers with content that encourages them to “Rediscover Now, Travel Later” to Singapore and launched an online edutainment series “Try this at home, Tips from Singapore” with Singaporean personalities completing various tasks assigned to them in a fun and insightful way. Through these videos, we hoped to inspire viewers to explore and develop their passions.
Zouk Phuturescapes was another initiative that was a series of virtual parties for audiences across many countries including India. We took virtual parties to the next level by reinventing the existing entertainment and nightlife concept, engaging audiences at home through a curated line-up of local and international DJs and musicians, as well as innovative technology elements such as augmented reality filters and 3D virtual backgrounds.
For the first time in its history, the Singapore Food Festival (SFF), Singapore’s only event dedicated to local cuisine and local F&B talent, took a virtual format this year. Themed “Rediscover the Foodie in You”, SFF 2020 witnessed more than 25 F&B partners coming on board to serve up gastronomic experiences for festival-goers to enjoy at home. We also recently participated in the Windmill Festival 2020, a virtual event targeted at the family segment, wherein we created a Singapore Experience Zone allowing children and parents alike to enjoy curated Singapore-themed experiences from the comfort of their homes.
All such initiatives have been undertaken to ensure Singapore remains top-of-mind and one of the preferred destinations among our future visitors, when the time is right for them to visit.
Going forward what will be the other initiatives to promote the cultural heritage of Singapore?
Singapore’s cultural’s heritage is very diverse and has brought about an extremely interesting mix of experiences, cuisine, and stories, etc. We are constantly reinventing ourselves and looking at profiling our local artists and highlighting the various initiatives undertaken by our key tourism precincts like Little India, Chinatown, KampongGelam, etc. We are working on an exciting line-up of cultural events for 2020-2021 like the Singapore Art Week from 22-30 January 2021 which will be a hybrid event, exhibitions at key attractions, etc.
Most of our culture-centric tours are being offered virtually, allowing audiences to enjoy the experiences from the comfort of their home. We will continue to explore such interesting and innovative partnerships to showcase Singapore’s diverse offerings and our brand identity to our audience.
How is this whole initiative being marketed in both countries?
The ‘My Singapore Connect – Where passions meet’ web series, a collaboration between STB and BookMyShow is largely targeted at the Indian audiences, giving viewers a glimpse of the iconic culture and beauty of Singapore while current travel restrictions are in place. We will be promoting the web series through STB & BMS’s owned channels extensively as well as through effective digital & PR amplification.