Singapore Girl is Bringing Back the Romance


It’s strange but one of my earliest posts back in 2007 started to pick up visitors in the last month and has had so many hits that it has emerged from the obscurity of old posts and into my list of top ten of my blog’s most visited posts (It is currently in the eight position).  The post was on the Singapore Girl which was made the iconic symbol for Singapore Airlines by one of the most successful advertising campaigns ever.  For 25 years, Batey Ads ran and strategised the campaign that made Singapore Girl the personification of hospitality and sold the idea of the “romance” of air  travel.  I loved it.  For many years, I collected the beautifully shot photographs, adverts and calenders that featured the Singapore Girl.

However, in 2007, Singapore Airlines, changed over to another ad agency, TBWA.  Twenty-five years is a longtime to run with one advertising concept and despite Singapore Girl’s success, there was concern that Singapore Airlines should keep up with the times and try a new approach before Singapore Girl got stale.  Sure enough, for the last few years, Singapore Airlines did not feature the Singapore Girl prominently in their advertisements.  Sure, she might be present in the background but the focus was more on their new fleet of planes and the industry-leading facilities and services.

I was wondering why there was this sudden surge of interest in my old Singapore Girl post and when I investigated, I found that TBWA has done a turn around and has created a new television advertisement which returns to the Singapore Girl and once again sells the “romance of travel”.  The funny thing was when I watched the ad, I felt that I had lost that sense of romance.  In recent years, because of my work, I have done a fair bit of traveling around different parts of the world.  Partly because these trips were work related and maybe partly due to the stress of airport security measures these days, I think I have lost that sense of romance in air travel and replaced it with a sense of hum-dum jaded tiredness.  Maybe, with the return of Singapore Girl, I should refresh my mind and remember the thrill of flying and the romance of traveling that I had when I was younger.  At the same time, remember and be thankful again that I have had the privilege of air travel when many in the world have not had the opportunity.

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17 thoughts on “Singapore Girl is Bringing Back the Romance”

  1. Well, at least you got a legitimate reason as to why you’re getting hits on a four year old post. The only reason why I get an incredible amount of hits on a two year old post is due to spammers jacking up my page view count.

  2. Lovely young girl but still not enough to induce me back to air travel and that pain in the ester that comes with it. I will stick with my cemetery life

  3. I still get a large number of hits and comments on a spoof post I did years ago I called “Proof of Vampires.” I even redid the thing a few months back, re-posted and made it even more of a cliche and still the hits keep coming, most of them taking me to task that the photos posted weren’t vampires at all… duh! There is no accounting for the outright dumbass wackos out there.

  4. I had almost 50 years between my first and second flights. What a change!! No propellers was the first thing I noticed. The speed with which you go from place to place is something. Six hours compared to over twenty four on train.

  5. G,
    Well, I guess like winning a Nobel Prize, you have to guess what people are going to be interested in and come searching for in the future. For me, this has been a pleasant surprise but I guess there has always been an avid fan club out there for the artwork of the Singapore Girl campaign.

    Mark,
    It’s not just about the girl. Singapore Airlines has a high level of service which really you have to try for yourself. You won’t find anything similar in any North American airlines, I think. I think you would enjoy it if you try. Still, they can’t help with the @*%# airport security procedures.

  6. Mr. Charleston,
    Well, certainly vampires are “in” again due to the awful Twilight series. But you got me interested too and will drop in on your vampire post soon.

    Joyce,
    Wow. That’s a long time. I remember that you flew earlier this year right? Where were you traveling from and to 50 years earlier?

  7. I flew to Panama in 1951. Had to stay back in customs until I received another smallpox vaccination. Asked in Chicago and Miami if everything was okay and Panama would not let me in. I have flown a few times in the last five years, TSA is a slight pain and that pat down isn’t the worse. Getting from one plane to the next in some of these airports is the worse.

  8. She may be looking so fine, and the airline may be one of the safest and all – but no. Never ever again. Train, ship, camel – I do not care, but no airoplane.

  9. Joyce,
    That first trip to Panama must have been very exciting and may I say that from what I know of air travel in the 1950’s,……….very brave!

    Riot Kitty,
    Perhaps a lot of people today take air travel for granted but even one or two generations ago, it was extremely rare.

  10. Yeah, the airport stuff can be trying, for sure, but I still get excited about going places. We’re going to New Orleans in January and I can’t wait! Also it is a very very short flight, which makes it even better.

  11. LGS,
    ~I’d have a tough time counting how many times, but I can tell you that I’ve been there with 6 different people over almost 20 years. I think this will be the third time with My Sweetie. Heck, Loretta and I are going back for Halloween and that may be our fourth time.. Yes, I LOVE New Orleans.

  12. “ToraToraTora … Messershmidt at 9:00 …. git yah … blamblamblam … ” you get the idea … family flight to a mediterranean island, fellow passenger using the vomit bag, air holes [yeah, Martinis are good for hair growth], the bloody Red Baron at the helm, landing on a kind of makeshift runway – brakes are for the weak … no LGS, not me, never again.

  13. I was just wondering if you still had that collection of photographs, adverts and calendars of the Singapore girls. I’m currently doing a project on SIA and I was hoping that you might still have them (:

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