STB and Indian comic character Chhota Bheem takes audiences on a trip around SG

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has partnered India VOD service, Voot Kids, and Green Gold Animation to take Indian audiences on a virtual adventure in Singapore with the iconic Indian comic character, Chhota Bheem. Titled "Chhota Bheem - Adventures in Singapore", the series brings the destination closer to audiences in an innovative format and engages families and children across India, who are on summer school vacation or studying from home, in a bid to keep safe indoors.

The web-series also marks the 11th anniversary of Bheem and is featured in English, Hindi and Tamil. To commemorate this occasion, Chhota Bheem and friends celebrate his birthday in Singapore and embark on fun and exciting activities. Each episode takes the viewer through different experiences in Singapore, from action and adventure to shopping and food, all from the comfort of their homes.

The seven stories feature the thrills and spills of a memorable trip, set in various locations across Singapore. Chhota Bheem and friends travel to prominent attractions such as Jewel Changi Airport and its famous HSBC Rain Vortex, Singapore Botanic Gardens, the Singapore Zoo and Night Safari, among others. The series also features the city’s skyline, framed by Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort, as well as landmarks such as Singapore Flyer and Gardens by the Bay. Bheem and friends also traverse the streets of the island city, taking in its diverse sights and sounds, as well as restaurants and cuisines. In addition to the webisodes, young fans can also peruse the e-books and interactive games featuring their adventures which can be downloaded on the Voot Kids app.

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STB's regional director, India, Middle East and South Asia, GB Srithar, said the project is all about putting happy smiles on the faces of children and families across India, under these stressful times. Chhota Bheem and friends are well-loved characters who bring much cheer, hope, and optimism to Indian audiences. "STB is pleased to present the seven episodes as our “Gift of Smiles” to the Indian audiences. We hope the episodes will entertain families and allow them to experience a slice of Singapore virtually, as they keep safe at home," he said.

As part of the vision to engage Indian audiences creatively in the new COVID-19 environment, Srithar said STB has been harnessing technology to reimagine its content, products and offerings. It has also explored new partnerships and social engagements with many well-known brands.

"Many of these collaborations involved Indian talents and influencers working with Singaporean artistes, presenting their common passions to the Indian audiences virtually through engaging storytelling and showcasing of the destination. This creative partnership with Voot Kids and Green Gold is our first animation project and we are happy to offer this to the family audiences in India," he explained.

Meawhile, Voot Kids, VP and head of content, Ashutosh Parekh, said its mainstay is to provide meaningful screen time pivoting around fun. "As market leaders we thrive on content curation and creation with the consumer at the centre of everything we do. This was the right time to bring delight our young subscribers and their families who have enjoyed our app indoors, and now will magically be transported to Singapore with never seen before stories of Bheem, without leaving the safety of their home, exclusively on Voot Kids," he added.

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Meanwhile, founder and CEO of Green Gold Animation, Rajiv Chilaka, said his biggest endeavour is to push the envelope with Chhota Bheem as an animated character that has millions of fans worldwide.

"STB allowed us to bring out our best animation capabilities and Voot Kids pushed the envelope for creative exploration and the sharp kid-centric insights for us to create stories that will make children chuckle. The best minds in the business worked on this project with a phenomenal vision in these unprecedented times and I am really excited with the final cut," he added.

In March this year, STB also entertained consumers in the US by carrying out livestream taxi tours on Twitch: Singapore by Stream. Spanning across four live streams and two hours in length, each day and night tour sought to provide an immersive experience, allowing the streamer to truly experience the landmarks and hidden gems of Singapore – all under the authentic guide of a taxi driver.

The taxi driver and host offered an insider’s guide to Singapore, sharing tips on where to find the best chicken satay and kaya toast and making stops along the way to show the best of Singapore while travel is still limited. Viewer engagement with the taxi driver was also encouraged throughout their experience, helping the driver decide what’s next on their journey of the Lion City.

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