TL;DR – Looks more like a video for NDR than for STB.
STB and EDB came together to create a new marketing video. It is meant to attract investors and tourists to Singapore with a new unified brand logo and tagline to market Singapore internationally for both tourism and business purposes.
It has the tagline “Passion Made Possible”.
In case you haven’t seen it, here’s the video:
The video has drawn mixed responses. It seems that those who are in the marketing and media industries think it’s terrible. On the other hand, people who aren’t in those industries think the video is quite good.
I think that the video is both terrible, and brilliant. Here’s why.
Why it’s terrible
The video is terrible if it’s meant to attract tourists.
In that context, the tagline – “Passion Made Possible” doesn’t quite make sense, no? What sort of passions are we talking about? How and why would tourists come here to Singapore to make their passions possible? We can’t tell from the video.
And how does featuring local personalities like Fandi Ahmad, Stephanie Sun, and Nathan Hartono help to attract tourists? Since when did those people turn into tourist attractions? In fact, it’s likelier that tourists won’t recognise them.
And a lot of the lines in the video also don’t make sense if it’s supposed to attract tourists. Like this line:
“This is where 1-2-1-2, and 1-1-2 are not just dancing steps”
What’s that even supposed to mean? And then there’s this:
“this is where rhymes, chimes and the daily grime meet”
Also quite nonsensical. Worse, why would tourists care about the things that meet the “daily grime”? I don’t think many tourists, if any, travel to see how things in the country meet the “daily grime”.
And finally, there’s this line:
“This is where you were, will not be who you will become”
Yes, we’ve heard that travelling can sometimes be life-changing experiences. But surely STB isn’t serious about encouraging tourists to come to Singapore to have a profound life-transforming experience, right?
So what’s good about the video?
But that line…
That one line is brilliant if the video is aimed at attracting investors and businesses. It suggests that you whatever your background, you are master of your destiny, and success is possible. In fact, that line alone, makes the video more suitable as a promotional video for PM Lee’s National Day Rally speech.
Because that was PM Lee’s key message at the end of his speech – whatever your background, our system gives you a decent chance to succeed and do better than the generation before you.
Seen in the context of attracting investors and to “ra-ra” Singaporeans, this line:
“Where impossibilities lead us to endless possibilities”
Singapore is an impossible nation. Given the hostile environment we are in, the lack of strategic depth, natural hinterland, and vital resources, an independent and sovereign Singapore shouldn’t exist.
But we do.
And we have done well, making many seemingly impossible things possible.
Like how we solved our water supply problem. We took an existential challenge, solved it, and sold our solutions to the rest of the world.
And that’s something that we would want to let the world know. Singapore is a place where enterprising people can turn dreams into reality, make the impossible possible, and use their passion to change the world for the better. And that message is better directed at businesses, investors, and Singaporeans.
Good or Bad, depends on how it’s used
But at the end of the day, whether the video is good or bad depends on whether it achieves its desired outcome, not whether it’s cool or whether it makes “artistic sense”.
So, will this video help to attract tourists to Singapore? Will it help to entice investors and businesses to Singapore? It depends on how it gets used as part of broader marketing campaigns.
But it would probably work very well for national day. Alas, for that purpose, it’s a few weeks late. Maybe next year?