MUMBAI: The Singapore Tourism Board (STB), in partnership with MX Studios, the content arm of MX Player, will launch this interactive film on Indian OTT platforms. Titled Lost and Found in Singapore, this innovative film introduces a method of choosing one’s own path, inviting viewers to actively shape the unfolding narrative against the backdrop of Singapore.
The film, NTO’s first initiative of its kind in India, captures and blends elements that define Singapore’s identity to create an immersive exploration. Interactive components seamlessly integrate engagement triggers for engaging experiences. The collaboration caters to changing preferences, especially among younger Indian travelers. Lost and Found Singapore provides fresh, first-hand inspiration as viewers seek innovative ways to engage with travel content.
STB has also previously cooperated with Singapore Airlines, Mandai Wildlife Sanctuary and others. Even during the Covid-19 pandemic, it is the only smile gift that brings Chhota Bheem from the Singaporean cartoon series to kids who are stuck at home due to the pandemic.
Indiantelevision.com caught up with GB Srithar, Regional Director for India, Middle East, South Asia and Africa, Singapore Tourism Board, during the teaser launch to further discuss their collaboration, products and more.
The cooperation between STB and MX Player and the thinking behind it
First of all, we have been very focused and constantly looking for very bold, creative projects. In fact, it’s not the first, we’ve done a lot of different projects over the past few years. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have held some virtual events. But after COVID-19, we did some things. We produced an English-language web series earlier this year focusing on young female travelers. We also collaborated with the Indian Street Art Foundation to present a very different Singapore to Indian audiences. So there have always been very agile, bold, creative and effective content marketing partnerships as well as technology partnerships. We have been looking for such cooperation.
MX Player came up with this idea and we are looking at how to reach a young Indian audience. I mean, India’s population is very young, 67% of them are under the age of 35. It was very important to us to showcase Singapore as a cool destination for lifestyle events to Indian audiences. And then we said, okay, let’s try something new, we don’t want to do a typical average series. So it’s an interactive OTT idea where you make choices as the story progresses. So you come to a point where you pick your own ending plot, and we love the idea of that. We then worked with MX Player and we’re delighted that it turned out really well. So, this Lost and Found Singapore project is our way of saying it, let yourself get lost in the vibrant and exciting things to do in Singapore, find yourself and fulfill your passions in Singapore. So I think the concept works, the idea and the storyline is very interesting for us. We’ve always engaged consumers in different ways, and this is one of the moves we’ve taken along the way.
About the ROI that STB is focusing on during these partnerships, syndications, web series, etc.
Our situation is very unique. Singapore is both familiar and not so familiar to Indian audiences. What do I mean by that? So we’ve been here for more than two and a half years, and the socio-political, economical, environmental and news of Singapore are well portrayed in the film. So Singapore is a destination that Indians know, either by themselves or through friends, or through movies.
We are now facing a confluence of interesting things. One in the India departure reserved area. Indian travelers are getting pickier. He wants to experience, he wants to immerse himself, he wants to understand the local culture, he wants to go for a walk in the neighborhood. We’ve been doing that for the past few years, and now we’re able to offer even more. So this partnership helps us bring Singapore closer to the hearts and minds of Indian audiences because it’s like you can have a destination that you go to, revisit, revisit. So for us, this collaboration is about reaching a different type of audience. It is no longer a push message. So this particular MX Player joint venture/partnership will allow us to talk to the audience of that platform, the community that consumes this kind of content, and let them know, in a really good storytelling way, hey when you enjoy this As the story goes, these two characters walk around and see themselves and discover themselves, and you see Singapore too. So what we do with these kinds of projects is to make Singapore an integral part of the plot and the story. We said yes, let’s do it, so that we reach out to the community that consumes this content and let them know that Singapore has so much else to offer.
In Singapore, the most visited city in India
So we have direct flights from 17 cities in India today. Singapore is probably one of the most accessible destinations for Indian audiences. The four metropolises of Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore provide us with the most number of tourists and travellers. There are also cities like Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Trichy and Hyderabad, all of which are also giving us good numbers. Then there are other cities like Bhubaneswar, Amritsar, Vizag and Madurai, which have recently launched direct flights with Singapore.
On STB packages for travelers coming to Singapore today, they will see something that is not advertised or mentioned
STB’s role in the content partnership was to emphasize upper-funnel marketing – showcasing Singapore broadly and showcasing the variety of activities available, effectively attracting attention. In addition, we work with key stakeholders such as Sentosa, Singapore Zoo, Gardens by the Bay, hotels and more. They are actively promoting their products in India through roadshows held in major cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Chennai. Recently, we organized a successful roadshow for stakeholders in Singapore in Jaipur, Pune and Coimbatore, promoting engagement with the Indian tourism industry. In addition to these efforts, we have worked closely with Indian travel agencies to highlight the wide range of experiences that can be gained during a six- to seven-day stay in Singapore. Our partnerships with the travel industry greatly expand the reach of these unique offerings.
About STB’s plans for the next two years
Before COVID-19, India was our third largest source market after China and Indonesia, receiving 1.41 million tourists. Today, as we speak, mid-August, we’re about two-thirds of 1.41. Therefore, we want to be able to capture pre-COVID-19 data. We hope more travelers fly from India to Singapore. Second, I think our target audience is diverse. Families are still very important and they should come to Singapore for all the family-friendly attractions and experiences. It is important for young Indians to come to Singapore to experience the lifestyle, activities, entertainment and products. Cruises, Indian cruise passengers are very important passengers for us as a cruise hub. Meetings and memberships are another important part, and finally the wedding. We are now positioning Singapore as a wedding destination. Well, another area that we are looking at is 50 to 250 intimate Indian weddings in Singapore. So I hope, in the next few years, you will see India looking at Singapore as a destination that you will visit many times for many reasons in your life.