Singapore Tourism ad: Advert that failed and went viral

Sometimes, there are advertisements that you watch, then look at the sky and take a long, deep breath followed by a disappointed sigh. And when you get onto the internet, you realize that you’re not the only one surprised by the chronic lack of imagination in it.

Singapore Tourism Board realized their mistake the hard way, when their desire to target people around the world resulted in a hilariously cheesy campaign that not only failed – it went viral.

The Board just wanted to customize their content to suit different markets. The campaign in question was an advertisement that was designed to attract tourists from the Philippines, to Singapore.

The ad-video was titled ‘See where the world is heading’ and focused on a Filipino couple as they took a holiday in Singapore to celebrate their wedding anniversary. The locations are poorly shot, and the actors honestly do a terrible job. The scripting of the dialogues was poor, with the usual overused expression like “Honey, look!” The actors are uncomfortable to watch, with their over-the-top corny acting and behavior. Besides randomly pointing at things and going everywhere in Singapore, the most painfully funny part of the video would be in the end.

Here the man presents the woman with a jewellery box, but she does too. She opens his gift and it’s a necklace. Well okay, that’s nice, and very much expected given their overtly romantic holiday. But he opened her gift and saw a pregnancy test, which was positive.

What? Yes, she gifted him her pregnancy test in a jewellery box.

Initially, the STB defended the video, saying that it had received thousands of ‘likes’ on Facebook, and the comments were apparently ‘largely positive’. Even as thousands of reviews and comments on social media were directed towards the badly created and dubbed ad, the makers and the company behind it brought it down promptly.

Apparently, the reason for this precautionary measure, as stated by STB was that the ad was “not resonating well with audiences”. To be honest, that was the best way the situation could have been put into words as, since reality was much worse. As if the heavy criticism from outraged Singaporeans was not enough, the video was viewed by people across the world too.

One of the comments even pointed out: “Was that wine she was having in the cable car? And she knew she was pregnant?”

The people at the Singapore Tourism Board have acknowledged that the video could have been better in some aspects, and we couldn’t agree more. Though it would only be fair to say that the Board has been successful in their earlier campaigns, including the ‘Get Lost’ campaign that targeted Australians, this ad was nowhere in that league.

The ad has inspired the making of hilarious parody videos, where some ads even offer free pregnancy test kits to all those visiting Singapore!

The board members, welcoming the criticism at the moment, said that they would appreciate any ideas from the public on how to make the Filipino campaign better. If the ad is anything to go by, the board needs the ideas more than anything right now.