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Singapore rebrands for the world stage: EDB and STB create ‘one unified message’

Singapore is set to undergo its biggest brand upheaval yet as two of its largest government bodies join forces to promote the country globally under one unified message.

The Singapore Economic Development Board and the Singapore Tourism Board have unveiled their new logo and motto – ‘Passion Made Possible’ – as part of a bid to market the city state to tourists and businesses, under the same marketing umbrella. The rebrand took more than a year to finalise from concept to execution and involved the creative agencies for both bodies: The Secret Little Agency and TBWA for the EDB and STB respectively.

The STB has been through a number of marketing makeovers since what was then-known as the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board unveiled its first branding exercise ‘Surprising Singapore’ back in 1984. Some 14 years later, this slogan was replaced with ‘New Asia Singapore’. It later became ‘Uniquely Singapore’ in 2004. Since 2010, the official tagline has been ‘Your Singapore’. Meanwhile, the EDB has marketed itself under the slogan ‘Future Ready’ since 2010.

Speaking during a press briefing this week, STB’s assistant chief executive for marketing Lynette Pang said the new brand would look at Singapore from “inside out” and would mark a departure from the body’s previously “descriptive” incarnations.

She said: “The question we wanted to ask was: How can we be more? In terms of travel and business, more and more countries are branding themselves. More investment has been made in holistic, unified strong brands. If you look at the consumers and investors, they are demanding more: ‘we want more value creation, more innovation’. From the travellers’ perspective, they wanted more transformational experiences. We saw an opportunity for one unified brand across three different audiences.”

She added “Our [brand] strengths are also our weaknesses. We’re very well known for safety. But on the flip side of that, is Singapore a creative nation? Is it interesting?”

STB chief executive Lionel Yeo said: “STB is presenting a brand that can tell a fuller Singapore story beyond tourism. It will allow us to build a deeper and more personal connection between Singapore and our fans and friends, even when they are not actively thinking about travel.”

Independent agency TSLA crafted the new logo showing the letters SG encircled within a red and white dot, which is intended to serve as a ‘stamp’ on government marketing material.

Meanwhile, TBWA created the tagline ‘Passion Made Possible’, plus a new global tourism campaign, which starts with the film ‘This is where’.

Intended to portray the aspirational rather than transactional side of Singapore, the campaign centres on the idea of speaking to various ‘tribes’ of tourists. These are, foodies, collectors, explorers, action seekers, culture shapers, socialisers and progressors. In the first phase of this launch, STB will roll out long-content pieces on the Singapore food scene and its nature on Pulau Ubin for the ‘foodie’ and ‘explorer’ tribes.

Alongside the ‘Tribe’ films, STB will also roll out a ‘Brand Personality’ video series, featuring Singaporeans and residents who have”achieved their dreams, constantly striving for progress amid challenges.” In the first phase of the launch, three films featuring a ‘foodie’, ‘collector’ and ‘explorer’ will be released this year.

The campaign will be rolled out in 15 markets between August and November – including China, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. It will be supported by a number of print and digital advertising, bearing the new logo.

Meanwhile, the EDB said their marketing would focus mostly on partnerships and events. Speaking at the press launch, EDB chairman Beh Swan Gin said that the government body had tried to rebrand seven years ago, but its efforts never took off.

He said: “This time, there is a shift in that we are moving from an investment-driven approach to one focused on innovation. 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.”

Neither the STB or the EDB would disclose the cost of the reband and the campaign work, although Mumbrella Asia understands it has been jointly funded out of their own budgets. Yeo also said the STB campaign would be measured by its reach and long-term brand roll-out rather than the number of new tourists attracted to Singapore.

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