The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

When Ego Clouds Reality …
December 17, 2009, 6:05 am
Filed under: Comment

So I’ve been back in Singapore a couple of times recently and as I was passing the Singapore Tourism Office, I saw this …


Now I love Singapore – I look back on my 4 years living there very fondly – but even I, as a big advocate of the place, thought that was quite a big ask so being an inquisitive/cynical sod, I thought I’d pop in and see what they had to back up that claim.

Sadly for Singapore Tourism, my concerns weren’t without cause …


Dear oh dear ,.. how many ‘reasons’ do you think are there?

Eighty … at a push?

It wouldn’t be so bad if it was January 2009, but it’s December – so unless something major happens, I doubt they’ll get another 1,929 reasons in the next 14 odd days.

The good news for STB [Singapore Tourism Board] is they’ve just hired my friends at BBH – including Freddie – so things are bound to take a big step for the better, however the moral of the story is …

1/ Realise people – even highly nationalistic people – don’t care as much about this stuff as the tourist board.

2/ Tourists don’t give a flying shit about this stuff compared to the tourist board.

3/ If you have unrealistic expectations – not just about the level of public involvement, but your situation – then you’re going to get burnt, especially if some pain-in-the-ass British bloke is walking by.

23 Comments so far
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It’s kind of hard though to properly assess the public involvement in those types of campaigns. The safest bet would be “they’ll care an awful lot less than you think they’ll do”, but it’s not always the case 😀

Comment by rafik

Not saying the reaction to that particular one wasn’t predictable or anything…

Comment by rafik

I think the mistake they made was not giving the public a reason to care. I’m sure if Singapore had come bottom of an international tourism evaluation the reaction would have been different but then I remember you say Singaporean’s like to complain so maybe they would only moan about it rather than act upon it.

Then there’s the issue of having that board inside the tourism office? I don’t know how big or central that is in Singapore but it doesn’t sound the sort of place anyone would pop into just on a whim, especially a local.

Comment by Bazza

Positive holiday experiences are written on postcards and sent home. Those that prompt a return the tourist office are more likely to be complaints.

Comment by Chris

Maybe they should move the board to outside the infamous Orchard Towers, better known as the 4 floors of whores.

Comment by Adrian Marks

Hello Adrian, nice to have you pop by.

Funny how the adult arcade that is ‘Four Floors’ tends to not be mentioned in any official litrature and yet a tourism report once found it to be one of Singapore’s most well known tourist ‘destinations’.

Of course this really shouldn’t be a surprise given Singapore – like many governments – has the ability to turn a blind eye when they feel it is in their longer-term interests … which in the case of Orchard Towers, was approved based on the grounds it would keep ex-pat workers “happy”.

Hmmmmn … that sounds like a massive generalisation to me, but given how some men act when they come to Asia – especially married men – maybe that’s a fair call.

And Chris … you make a fair point and I am sure your postcard reference probably includes things like email and SMS, but as an aside, does anyone know how many postcards are sent these days, in comparisson to say 15 years ago?

If you have any info I’d be interested to see it because as much as tech has made it easier to spread the news of experiences, air travel was [proportionatly speaking] more expensive back then so the number of overseas tourists were probably less and as such the postcard industry may not be as affected as I initially imagined.

This is all getting very confusing … I know what I mean even if I have not explained it at all well, terribly infact … so to cut a very long comment of bollocks short, has anyone got any postcard data?

God I can’t believe I’ve just asked that!

Comment by Rob

I’m guessing the reason there is so much red in that office is because their branding company told them they had to have it?

Comment by Bazza

Is there a lot of red? To my eyes its a bunch of shades … maybe your Mac monitors aren’t as good as you think they are. 🙂

And if it is red, the reason might be more because that’s the background of the Singaporean flag than an Interbrand reccomendation. Or maybe you’re right – I wouldn’t put it past those buggers to try and charge for something that was already there …

Comment by Rob

whilst that’s a pile of naff crap, at least it’s not by Baz Luhrmann.

Comment by lauren

Subtract the 30 added by the office workers… you have not much. Good luck to the BBH lot, there supposed to be more than enough good stuff there to work with!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I love you Lauren … and I’m not saying that because Andy is freezing his nuts off in Scotland or something, I love you because you say that kind of stuff.

And I love you too Mr M, but you’re still too polite for my liking, but I still haven’t met you so there’s still hope. 🙂

Please, please, please see my post tomorrow … you won’t believe how bad it is. [The subject matter, not the post – but that’s not great either]

Comment by Rob

I just give that impression to people who don’t produce shit! The restraining order on the team that made the Pepsi branding document is still in effect… 😉

Comment by Rob Mortimer

If the Sigapore Tourist Board gave tourist pre-paid postcards for them to send in their impressions of Singapore, I’m thinking a lot more postcards might be sent (and then read for feedback (good and bad), posted on posters on scanned into an online site etc etc).

Comment by John

what is all this wordpress advertising on the blog? i know targets must be met, but what the fuck…

ps did anyone else find the slightly drunk catherine tate freakishly sexy on buzzcocks last night??

Comment by niko

No, but I know what you mean…

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Royal Mail’s picture is of a peak in the 1950s, a pronounced dip in the early 1990s followed by recovery — +30m in the 3 years to 2008 to c. 135m per year of which around 21% are sent within the UK.

Comment by Chris

Thank you so much Chris, you are a legend – infact you got this info back to me quicker than Terri, cynic’s own highly paid ‘librarian/brain’ … though to be fair, she has only just got into work whereas you’ve had all day to get the info, ha!

And Mr Dodds … Singapore Tourism actually do a ‘postcard’ campaign where they give all residents a set to send off, free of charge, to their friends around the World inviting them to come and visit. It’s a nice little campaign that has proved to be very successful.

And by the way, it’s spelt SINGAPORE, not Sigapore … seriously, your spelling is getting worse than Marcus’ and NP’s!

Comment by Rob

It’s my typing not my spelling – and I meant that they should send their postcards to the Singapore Tourist Board in order to populate their 2000 reasons thingy.

Comment by John

Isn’t that like blaming your hand for pouring so much alcohol down your throat rather than your addictive personality?

Comment by Rob

Happy to help!

Comment by Chris

The Indian Tourism Board ran a rather clever counter campaign in Singapore after this “2009 Reasons” campaign had launched:
“You only need one reason to visit India”

Comment by fredrik sarnblad

And what was that single reason?

Comment by Rob

I can’t remember what it was exactly, but I would assume that your response: “what was/is that single reason?” is exactly what they wanted to generate in order to make people find out more about India.

Comment by fredrik sarnblad

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