Why it is so difficult for Singapore Tourism Board to UP their game

February 2, 2018

This is their Soviet era tourism ad lah! Now compare that with this…

Suddenly. Words are no longer necessary to convey the salient. We can all use telepathy to communicate and understand the cogent.

The problem is when one highlights the shortcomings of STB…they take it personally instead of upping their game….for some strange and inexplicable reason they don’t seem to get it…it is not that Singapore is boring…it cannot possibly be boring given the diverse social cultural melting pot that is Singapore…..Rather it is the staid and old hat way in which Singapore is promoted to the world by STB that can only give the impression Singapore is boring.

Any sane and sensible government would have packed off the entire managment team of the STB to a labour camp for a long hiatus….but ONLY in Singapore these museum waxworks get to parody their critics like petulant children….no wonder they don’t improve.


‘You know I write sappy love stories. So I know a bit about the art of how to tell a good story. Take the Korean tourism ad….is it really trying to sell you Korea. Or maybe it is just trying to provide you with an opportunity to wordsmith your own exciting story….look at how it begins….the scene opens with images of a sunrise, an awakening forest and frothing seas framed against the metaphor of a new beginning..a lonely road..a birch cast against the curellain skies….in the middle of all this…is a man. His face is silhouetted. There is some mystery here. Who is he and what does he have to do with the story.

Then it slowly draws you in. But be mindful…it is not the idea of Korea that you are drawn too…it is the mystery of the story that is set in Korea. The first stanza unfurls with a girl cycling. She is expecting something. Looking forward to it even with a sense of great anticipation…and this is how the story begins…but in story telling what is important to realise is this is not his, her, their or any one’s story that you actually experiencing. Rather when a good story sucks you righ in….it is none other than YOUR story!

And essentially in very rudimentary steps what I have just described is the magic of how one goes about transmuting the mundane into something very exciting.

But enough said if that…back to the point.

If you want to get things done right the first time! Get in no nonsense professionals. Dead serious people who are genuinely serious about giving the competition a bloody nose. Want to win big from agriculture, tourism, Defence etc etc…get professionals in. Serious farmers people who compete with the world’s best…not kampung bullshitters or people who are just trying to get by, by putting in the bare minimum and trading on their imaginary greatness. Want to make Singapore a tourism success story, then work with a Korean advertising agency. Better still if they can take equity in promoting Singapore as a die die must see location….this is how people improve, not by sticking their heads in the sand and denying the world.’

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