Singapore Airlines

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The government of Singapore established Singapore Airlines in 1972. Searching for a way to establish the new airline's identity and become customer-oriented, SIA and its ad agency, Batey Ads, decided to highlight service, particularly that provided by the airline's flight attendants, the "Singapore Girls."

In its efforts to present itself as an international carrier, Singapore Airlines decided to pursue a single global advertising strategy through Singapore-based Batey. The link between Batey Ads and SIA dates back to the founding of the airline, when Batey and the airline formally opened for business on the same day, Oct. 1, 1972.

The first Singapore Girl ad in 1972 showed the profile of an SIA flight attendant under the slogan, "This girl's in love with you." The goal was to convey an impression of warmth and charm combined with an agreeable manner that was never too informal. Batey adopted a policy of using only SIA flight attendants as models in the ads. As a commercial symbol, the Singapore Girl proved to be a huge success, even winning a place in Madam Tussaud's waxworks gallery in London. And by 1987, SIA had become the No. 6 international airline.

Perhaps the most memorable of SIA's slogans was that introduced in the mid-1970s: "Singapore Girl, you're a great way to fly." TV spots from the late 1970s showed the Singapore Girl seamlessly moving through different cultures, across different continents, completely unfazed by people as diverse as Africans, Inuits, punks and high-society types. A series of print ads in the 1980s featured lush photographs of the Singapore Girl along with minimal copy reminding travelers that "the journey is the destination."

In the 1990s, SIA's advertising featured the airline's cuisine, its entertainment system and even the supply of toothbrushes available on flights from Singapore to Sydney. In all these ads, the Singapore Girl appeared, even if only minimally, as a symbol of Singapore Airlines. The slogan was changed to suggest that Singapore Airlines is "a great way to fly."

The SARS outbreak in spring 2003, which hit Singapore particularly hard, hurt the airline, which was forced to lay off more than 400 people and launch promotions to try to recover passengers.

In July 2004, the airline introduced its new 18-hour non-stop flights between Singapore and New York, including a campaign with Time Warner's CNN International and Time magazine called "Time to Spare," highlighting things a traveler can do in Singapore with the time saved by taking the new flight.

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