Why Sentosa waved goodbye to 'State of Fun' with its latest rebrand

Why Sentosa waved goodbye to 'State of Fun' with its latest rebrand

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Earlier last month, Sentosa announced that it would officially be moving away from the “State of Fun” - a branding it has had since 2014  - to a new tagline, “Where discovery never ends”.

In addition to the tagline, Sentosa’s logo was redesigned to bring out the promise of creating fulfilling moments on the island. According to a statement sent to the press, Sentosa, along with its creative agencies said that logo’s tranquil sunrise reflects the array of emotions from the experiences on the island from sunup to sundown.

In a conversation with MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, Mira Bharin, Sentosa’s divisional director, marketing and guest experience shared that the rebranding came about due to the disruptions by the pandemic

Don't miss: Sentosa drops 'State of fun' branding, unveils new logo and look for new year

“It gave us time to step back and recalibrate to better understand the needs of our guests through research,” Bharin said.

“We then discovered that while fun experiences were still important, our guests are becoming more discerning with the type of leisure experiences that they are looking for. They wanted offerings which are authentic and experiences which allows for a sense of introspection,” she explained.

With this in mind, a rebranding process was undertaken with four new brand values. These were the island soul - a celebration of the natural, physical attributes of the island, Island connection which enables the creation of experiences for guests, island discovery that ignites curiosity to explore Sentosa and island future which is a commitment to sustainability and social responsibility on the island.

Overall the entire exercise took the team over a year from conceptualisation, consumer testing as well as engagement with stakeholders.

Quoting the 2022 ‘Understanding the New Traveller’ study by consumer trend forecasting company WGSN for the SingapoReimagine Global Conversations, Bharin emphasised that the survey found that travellers are looking for renewed purpose through new experiences and opportunities for self-discovery. Beyond travellers, research also unveiled that Singaporeans have seen a drastic shift in their attitudes towards work-life and leisure time.

As such, the refresh enabled Sentosa to better communicate its range of experiences and discoveries the island had to offer.

Furthermore, Sentosa was aware that it needed to prepare itself for an anticipated increase in tourists. Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has anticipated international visitor arrivals to Singapore to hit 12 million to 14 million in 2023, with full tourism recovery expected by 2024. STB has also been gearing up to welcome tourists back particularly as China, Singapore’s top source market prior to COVID-19, reopens its borders.

How does Sentosa plan to stand out?

Today, consumers are spoilt for choice. And every brand is having to make their dollar stretch further. Bharin however, is confident that Sentosa’s brand refresh will be able to stand out particularly as the brand prioritises leisure as well as physical, mental and social wellbeing. She highlighted that with the brand refresh, Sentosa will be launching a colourful pipeline of events

“We are also constantly innovating and finding new ways to connect with the younger generation by creating new and immersive experiences which has created immense opportunities,” Bharin shared.

Meanwhile, as part of Sentosa’s Golden Jubilee celebrations, the brand brought together 15 Singapore-based artists to launch the Sentosa Discovery Neverending NFT collection, a series of unique artwork reflecting each artist’s unique interpretation of their Sentosa experience.

Sentosa has also now made its first foray into the metaverse, via a virtual space known as SentosaLand. Guests can explore and discover a fantastical reimagination of Sentosa island, accessible from any corner of the world. Bharin added that at this stage, Sentosa is also entertaining the possibility of incorporating group activities in the metaverse to further encourage bonding and empower guests to make new friends within the community.

“SentosaLand, which is also one of the few metaverses with real-world rewards for in-game experiences, presents many exciting opportunities for us to collaborate with businesses on the island and look at win-win ways to engage our guests,” she said.

Under the new brand refresh, Sentosa Development Corporation also launched a new campaign in collaboration with agencies GOVT, Universal McCann, Zeno Group, Section Digital and Oliver Marketing.

Creatively led by GOVT, the new campaign refreshes the beloved island’s brand image with a new logo, a 70-second commercial spot, key visuals, along with a vibrant motif designed in partnership with homegrown Singaporean illustrator Tiffany Lovage. Each element in the motif represents the key themes of discovery the island offers; from the celebration of the botany that Sentosa boasts, the celebration of people and the bonds created, to Sentosa’s commitment to a sustainable future.

All of which aims to heighten the emotional connection between the island, Singaporeans, and foreign guests as they enjoy the rejuvenating offerings of the island.

The campaign roll-out is spearheaded by a 70-second commercial titled “A Deep Dive into Discovery”. Featuring the many lesser-known gems of Sentosa, the brand film takes viewers on a journey of surprising discoveries at every turn. A series of Easter eggs drawn from the island’s experiences and offerings are hidden in the film too. Viewers will be invited to spot them over the course of the campaign for added fun and engagement.

The campaign, which will run across television, digital, social and out of home, is a long-term strategic move, riding on the momentum of Sentosa’s Golden Jubilee last year and global travel trends over the past few years.

Related articles:
Village Hotel Sentosa creates miniature worlds using everyday items
Sentosa jumps in on NFT hype with Golden Jubilee celebrations
Sentosa Development Corporation unveils magical Golden Jubilee animation film

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