Standing in solidarity with the "circuit breaker" and employees having to work from home is Singapore's iconic figure, The Merlion. Since the Singapore government requested for all employers to adopt a work-from-home approach, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) decided to remove the beloved Merlion figure from a picture of the skyline and replace it with a cheeky note that says, "BRB, I'm working from home". Marketing has reached out to STB for comment on the move.
The post put up yesterday said, "Frontliners in essential services are working hard to support us during this time, so let’s do our part by staying home and practising safe distancing!"
In a statement to Marketing, Choo Huei Miin, director, digital and content at STB said the social post is part of the organisation’s storytelling efforts to connect and engage with fans and friends of Singapore on social media channels. STB worked with its agency partner TBWA\ to put the message across using creativity, humour and tourism icon, the Merlion.
“During this time, the most important thing is to stay home and stay safe. We also want to remind visitors that Singapore will be here for them when the time is right for travel again. We’re glad to have brought a little more laughter and positivity during this period. P/S: To clarify, yes the Merlion is still at its original location!” Choo added.
The Merlion is a mythical creature with a lion's head and the body of a fish that has been widely used as a mascot and national personification of Singapore. Located near One Fullerton, the Merlion is one of Singapore's major tourist attraction. In 2018, STB had also unveiled 'Merli' as the new avatar for the Merlion. Created as a heart-warming and whimsical illustration of the Republic’s mythical national icon, Merli, short for Merlion, was a character that STB hoped would appeal to families with young children, one of STB’s key target consumer segments.
The iconic Merlion is one that is globally recognised and even made a cameo in a Netflix show. In a Netflix show called Carmen Sandiego, Singapore’s iconic Merlion made a feature as one of the backdrops in a scene. The show is based on the 90s game show, “Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?”, and revolves around Sandiego’s globe-trotting expedition around the world to defeat thieves.
Meanwhile, STB has been working with the Singapore government to lay out the plans for recovery and future growth, amidst the expected hit on tourism arrivals and receipts due to the coronavirus situation. According to a media statement, task force jointly formed by both parties, will map out recovery strategies and plans for tourism in Singapore. This comes following STB revealing that it expects visitor arrivals this year to fall by about 25 to 30%.