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Singapore Airlines on hunt for global agencies to ‘cut through marketing landscape’

Singapore Airlines has called a global pitch for a raft of services with successful agencies expected to “cut through the changing marketing and communications landscape with impact”.

The airline is on the hunt for an agency or agencies to handle integrated strategy, brand and creative, media, content, website, app and production.

Singapore said it wants a “fresh perspective on how the Singapore Airlines brand should be modernised”.

Agencies will primarily support Singapore’s head office but must also be able to service all its local markets through a hub model.

In a brief seen by Mumbrella, the agency needs to have at least one office in its six regional hubs: South East Asia, North Asia, Southwest Pacific, Europe, West Asia and Africa and the US.

The tender exercise will be split into three phases. The first, a pre-qualification stage will “serve as an initial brief for interested agencies to better understand SIA’s agency requirements”.

It will also enable SIA to weed out what it regards as unsuitable agencies.

That will be followed by “chemistry meetings”, after which another shortlist may be drawn up.

The last phase will involve a full response to a “pitch challenge” and a commercial bid. It is expected the pitch process will be concluded in the week of January 21.

TBWA and Publicis are among Singapore’s current agency partners.

Publicis-owned Zenith won the media account from MEC in September 2015 in a three-year deal which ends next month.

The airline said in its 23-page briefing document that “as we review our business to be future fit, we are likewise doing the same to ensure we are collaborating with the right external marketing partners in the right way so that they will play a strategic role throughout our transformation”.

It wants agencies to provide an integrated solution to “help us cut through the changing marketing and communications landscape with impact, so as to elevate our iconic brand as we continue to spread our wings globally”.

The successful agency must be able to solve business, as well as communications issues, and have “data driven insights to inform strategy”.

Stressing the need for “proven expertise with global/iconic brands” Singapore Airlines is also seeking a “fresh perspective” on how its brand should be modernised.

Agencies will also need to demonstrate results, with the carrier “optimising its marketing accountability framework through KPIs, monitoring process reporting and optimising across all channels”.

“Agencies’ attitude and appetite for accountability will be judged based on track record and proposed remuneration model,” the brief said. “Key to making this model feasible would be a more streamlined and collaborative ways of working, within SIA and with its external agencies.”

The document spells out the need for “performance media expertise”, describing it as “critical”

If agencies do not have their own offices in each of the six regions, partners can be proposed which must be in place before the end of November.

Among the latest work for Singapore by TBWA, launched in March, featured scenic views of forests, cliff faces and an opera house to plug its ‘make every journey personal’ message.

The ad features the brand icon, the Singapore Girl, speaking to travellers in their own imaginative worlds, before revealing they are actually on board a flight.

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