Singapore Airlines narrows down global agency partner choices from 5 to 3

Marketing understands that Singapore Airlines' next round of shortlist is out, and the teams in running are DDB and Omnicom Media Group; TBWA and PHD and Dentsu Aegis Network. Marketing has reached out to  SIA and R3.

The initial shortlist, only two weeks ago, saw agencies entering consortium style and also included Team WPP (consisting of JWT, VML, Superunion and Mindshare) and the Publicis Groupe.

According to the tender documents, the agency appointed will be required to have capabilities to “service all of the local markets through a hub model”. This means the agency needs to have at least one office in each of SIA’s regional hubs including Southeast Asia, North Asia, Southwest Pacific, Europe, West Asia and Africa, and the USA. The office also needs to have both creative and media capabilities.

Several agency players Marketing spoke to under anonymity commented that the pitch process had been well handled thus far and called it "swift" and "focused". They added that there has been much “rigour” from the way it has been set up where milestones and deliverables of the pitch along with the actual process were well articulated from the start.

“In most cases, there isn’t enough emphasis placed on the thinking behind it, rather than it being a ‘creative shoot out’ which tends to happen in such cases. Due diligence was done on the thought processes and teaming as opposed to an approach which only focuses on what the creative work looks like,” one agency source explained. When asked about how pitch processes should look like in the future, he added that what SIA has done was a “good indicator of what the process should be”. This includes having a very level playing field which takes on a strategic challenge, followed by testing both the thinking and teamwork which unfolds during the selection process.

“Both SIA and R3 have provided clear parameters in the pitch and it has been well managed in every manner,” the person added.