SINGAPORE - Singapore is boring – and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) released a video on Thursday (Feb 1) to apparently agree with this verdict, in a light-hearted response to a recent Time Out survey.
The survey, which came out on Tuesday, got the reactions of 15,000 people in 32 cities and ranked Singapore 31 out of 32 in the list of “most exciting cities”.
Singapore scored a high rating for safety and public transport and its "much buzzier restaurant scene" compared with other cities towards the bottom of the ranking.
In response, STB posted a 55-second video featuring some of Singapore’s best sights and activities to show how it clearly is the opposite of boring.
The video, posted on the official VisitSingapore Facebook page, begins with a view of the Marina Bay skyline and the caption: "Yeah, Singapore is boring."
Photos of Universal Studios Singapore and the Formula One Marina Bay street circuit stand in contrast with a line that says "there is nothing exciting to do".
Local attractions such as Clarke Quay, Pulau Ubin and Gardens by the Bay show how "underwhelming" Singapore's nightlife can be, and how "everything is concrete", while scenes of Chinatown supposedly depict a lack of art and culture.
Subtitles call out the survey result: Singapore is expensive? Look at our hawker centre food. Nightlife is underwhelming? Tell that to ZoukOut. No culture? Yes, that perfectly describes the ArtScience Museum.
STB also hit back with shots of Hawker Chan's soy sauce chicken rice, which is among the cheapest Michelin-starred meals around at just $2 a plate.
The video ends with the question: "Can we be any more boring?"
STB’s digital and content director Terrence Voon said the video was created with its agency partner TBWA.
“A key thrust of STB’s marketing strategy is to connect fans to Singapore through engaging storytelling," he said. "We created this light-hearted response to Time Out to let the audience have a glimpse of what Singapore can offer.”
Time Out London was even tagged in the Facebook post, which has since received more than 47,000 views, 1,300 likes and about 700 shares.
And Time Out's response?
"The word 'boring' might have been thrown around but we beg to differ," it said on Time Out Singapore.
"We're only 2 days into February and we can already point out seven times Singapore proved it was exciting in 2018. We don't know about you, but memories of large-scale light projections at the Light to Night Festival and dancing all night to cool acts like Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals at Laneway Festival are still pretty fresh in our mind."
Many netizens were quick to come to Singapore's defence, including Facebook user Martin Pearce from Britain, who said he was in Singapore last October for 10 days.
"We couldn't fit in everything we wanted to do," he said. "It's an amazing city."
Others, such as user Majorie Wheatley, urged visitors to "get off the tourist trail" by eating and drinking at local joints.