Byravee Iyer
Aug 27, 2013

Singapore Airlines campaign moves emphasis away from 'Singapore Girl'

SINGAPORE - It’s been over 40 years since Singapore Airlines first debuted ‘The Singapore Girl’ as its brand ambassador, but in a new campaign the airline is purposely moving its marketing focus to its customer service, rather than the employees who provide it.

The company has said that it will launch a new series of ads next week focused around the experience and comfort of ‘home’. Singapore Airlines posted a five-minute video clip (above) about the making of its new campaign on its Facebook page.

The campaign has been done by TBWA and is directed by John Park.

The ‘Singapore Girl’ referred to the airlines flight attendents, who were seen as caring, warm and hospitable. The Singapore Girl will still be featured in the new campaign, but perhaps in a less prominent role. For a long time the ‘Singapore Girl’ strategy was seen as a powerful and successful idea until critics started calling it dated.

In January 2011, CNN ran a story questioning Singapore Airlines’ decision of using the ‘Singapore Girl’ as a mascot even after 40 years. Advertising executives have said that SIA has lost the human touch and some have even slammed it for being sexist and called for a brand refresh to give the airline a more modern touch.

“The campaign is very much about the spirit of Singapore Airlines and the lengths that we go to make sure that each and every customer feels at home,” said Sheldon Hee, VP of marketing communications and development.

According to Mable Lee, manager of marketing communications, the campaign will highlight the trouble the airline goes through to bring customers the best of what home is. “If you like tea from China there’s Jasmine tea aboard the flight," she said. "If you like art house films, we go all the way to Venice and bring the films back.”

Robin Nayak, head of strategy at TBWA, agreed that it was time for a change. “We created a fresher, more relevant, contemporary look for the airline,” he said.

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