Monday, September 10, 2018
More people will know about Singapore through Crazy Rich Asians: STB
By Alfred Chua
30 August, 2018
SINGAPORE — The movie Crazy Rich Asians has helped to increase awareness of Singapore as a destination, although its full impact on visitor arrivals will take time to realise, said the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) on Wednesday (Aug 29).
At the launch of the second wave of its Passion Made Possible campaign, the STB would not be drawn into the controversy over Singapore-born author Kevin Kwan – whose book of the same title forms the basis of the movie – defaulting on his National Service commitments.
Speaking to TODAY at the event, STB brand director Lim Shoo Ling would only comment on how the movie, a romantic comedy that was filmed in large part here, has helped to build the country’s brand.
“I think what (the movie) is doing for us is to help people know about Singapore… and from a destination (awareness) perspective, it is very good for us,” she said.
The STB and Singapore Film Commission had supported the movie, which has been a box-office success so far. The commission provided a production assistance grant and facilitated filming at various locations here, among other things.
The STB noted that visitor arrivals from the US last year were at its highest, increasing 9 per cent from 2016. The US was Singapore’s ninth-biggest source of visitor arrivals.
As part of its promotional efforts to “celebrate… the Singapore flavour” of the movie, the board and entertainment company Warner Bros hosted the official after-party on Aug 7 in Los Angeles.
The STB rolled out the "Crazy Rich Singapore Week", a three-day pop-up event in Los Angeles, which brought together food, cocktails, art and music from Singaporean talents. The event was open to members of the public.
The STB is also co-producing a series of videos with Warner Bros, hosted by three of the film’s Singaporean cast members.
The videos will showcase actresses Fiona Xie, Janice Koh and Tan Kheng Hua sharing stories behind the locations and cultures shown in the film.
A day after the movie’s Singapore premiere last Tuesday, the Ministry of Defence responded to The Straits Times’ queries and said Mr Kwan, 44, had failed to register for NS in 1990, and also stayed overseas without a valid exit permit. Mr Kwan migrated to the United States at the age of 11.
On Tuesday, the Home Affairs Ministry said its records show Mr Kwan has not entered Singapore since 2000.
SECOND WAVE OF PASSION
Unveiling the second wave of its Passion Made Possible global brand campaign, the STB said it will feature around 80 local talents including singer-songwriter Nathan Hartono, indoor skydiver Kyra Poh and Geylang Adventures founder Cai Yinzhou.
They will be involved in range of activities, from appearances in short films to promotional events overseas, the STB said.
Three “Passion Tribes” — groups of potential visitors the STB has identified based on their lifestyle and interests — were also rolled out this year, on top of four “tribes” unveiled last year.
The second phase of the campaign will be rolled out to 16 overseas markets including Australia, the US, Russia, China and India. Activities include sing-offs in the Philippines and South Korea — with the chance to win a trip to Singapore — as well as pop-up art showcases featuring augmented reality technology that will go on display in Russia, Myanmar and India.
The Passion Made Possible campaign, a partnership between the STB and Singapore Economic Development Board, was launched in August last year. The STB said its marketing efforts have reached a global audience of over 555 million people. Campaign videos have also notched close to 300 million views, it added.
[The controversy now is how a fugitive from SG has written a novel and produced a movie that has put Singapore in favourable light, but is still not forgiven.
That said, did he write to novel to promote Singapore?
Did he make the movie to showcase the wonders of Singapore?
When he left SG in 1990 were the Marina Bay Sands and the Gardens by the Bay even conceived, let alone built?
Which is not to knock down his achievement. But it is a separate issue altogether.]