Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has taken a swipe at Time Out’s recent survey which singled out Singapore as a “boring” country compared to others in the survey. Singapore was ranked 31 out of 32 for its “most exciting cities” survey.
In a Facebook video, STB took various statements from the findings of the survey which referred to Singapore as boring and intertwined it with clips showcasing the opposite of that statement.
These statements include “Boring”, “There is nothing exciting to do”, “Nightlife is underwhelming”, “Everything is concrete”, “There is no art and culture” and “Everything is so expensive”, ending off with a passive aggressive line, “Could we be anymore boring?”. The caption of the video even tagged Time Out London. Watch the video here:
Since its posting last night, the video has garnered over 38,000 views, 1,100 reactions and 87 comments at the time of writing, many of which lauded STB for the swipe and agreeing with the video.
The Time Out City Life Index polled 15,000 people, and saw Singapore scoring low in areas such as overcrowded, lack of kindness and politeness, living expenditure, a lack of an arts and culture scene. Live music and Singapore’s nightlife scene did not rank well either.
However, Singapore did well in terms of dining and drinking offerings, with 92% of people rating the city positively for eating. Out of those surveyed in that rating, 42% believe that the food in Singapore is “amazing”, with “unbeatable quality and choice”. The survey also added that Singapore was also regarded to be safe, with 98% of people feel safe walking around town alone at night and 49% of people find Singapore's safety the best part of living here.
Speaking to Marketing on how it executed the stunt in real time, Terrence Voon, director, digital and content at STB said that a key thrust of STB’s marketing strategy is to connect fans to Singapore through engaging storytelling.
“To do this in real-time, we have a social media command centre which helps us mine the latest trends and conversations for content ideas. Together with our agency partner TBWA, we created this light-hearted response to let the audience have a glimpse of what Singapore can offer,” Voon explained.
Being tongue-in-cheek is not a new move for STB, especially when it comes to rescuing the Singapore brand name. In April last year, the board made a stand for Singapore after the airing of a factually-inaccurate and controversial episode of CBS’ Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders made its rounds on the internet. Shooting back at show creators, STB published a series of photographs on its Facebook page which debunked most of the geographical and factual inaccuracies of Singapore portrayed in the Criminal Minds episode.
One year before, STB also took aim at another publication, Buzzfeed UK, which shamed Singapore for its much loved ice cream sandwich, often sold by carts located in central shopping district locally. In response to the article, the board posted a GIF image of different shots of the ice cream sandwich, coming in its various cup and biscuit variations. It even came with a caption saying "Hey BuzzFeed UK, what's good? #VisitSingapore".