Singapore Tourism Board's (STB) aim to customise content for different markets proved to be an epic failure in a recent campaign designed to attract Filipino tourists to Singapore.
People took to social media to mock the badly filmed, dubbed, acted and scripted piece, which was pulled from the government agency's official YouTube channel and Facebook page because it "was not resonating well with audiences," STB's executive director for communications and industry marketing Oliver Chong said a statement to the media.
That was putting it mildly.
Featuring more cheese than a stuffed-crust pizza, the video entitled 'See where the world is heading' depicts a Filipino couple in Singapore for a romantic getaway as part of their wedding anniversary.
The overacted exclamations of surprise and delight ("oh, look, honey!") emanating from the couple as they skip through Singapore drips with over-sentimentality.
But the real sting in the tail comes from the presentation of a jewellery box from her to him over dinner.
What's in the box? It was wise he chose to hold onto the box for after dinner, because what was inside may have made him lose the contents of his stomach: a pregnancy test kit displaying a positive result.
While the rest of us were requesting a bucket, STB were quick to claim that on their Philippines Facebook site, the video had received more than 3400 'likes' in the first week, and had around 900 comments that were 'largely positive', according to insing.com.
It didn't stop them from taking the precautionary measure of removing the disrespectful video from the site earlier this week after attracting large amounts of ridicule from Singaporeans.
"Erm, was that wine she was having in the cable car? And she knew she was pregnant?" (Dave Wong)
"It's like porn without the porn" (drjcup)
"Plot twist: they are siblings" (Rudy Lukman)
"Did she..-is that a pee stick?!" (satanspetdoll)
Chong responded to the criticism by acknowledging "some aspects of it could have been done better".
Spoofs of the video have been posted on a Facebook parody site SGAG, with mock-ups of ads featuring giveaway pregnancy test kits for every visitor to Singapore.
insing.com said the tourism board have welcomed the criticism, inviting the public to contribute ideas on how to better "showcase the Singapore we love to the rest of the world".
This is the second advertisement 'scandal' in a week as Irish airline Ryanair broadcast their first television ads for the first time in almost 25 years.
The trio of 20-second clips address the relaxing of its rules on baggage, the introduction of allocated seating and the overhaul of its notoriously cumbersome website, according to The Telegraph, in an attempt to rid itself of its reputation as Europe's worst airline and cast a wider net of passengers.
However, naysayers would prefer them to put their advertising money where their mouth is and remove some of the charges that have earnt them their lousy reputation.
Some of more outrageous charges quoted by The Telegraph include the £110 fee for correcting spelling mistakes on tickets (unless spotted within 24 hours of booking); the massive fees for checking baggage (£45 for 20kg), and the continuation of the£1=€1 exchange rate when calculating its fees and charges, forcing British passengers to pay more than their European counterparts.
In the meantime, Michael O'Leary, their controversial PR spinner, is being kept under lock and key, while the wheels of Ryanair's new campaign are put into motion.
- FFX Aus