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Over the weekend, I noticed that Singapore Airlines had published a teaser on its Instagram account suggesting that something was going to be announced today, 25 October. Would it be a sale? Would we see a KrisFlyer promotion? Would another important VTL be opening up? Whatever was coming, I was excited to find out what it would be. Sadly, I should have kept my expectations lower than I did because what was announced really didn’t deserve a teaser.
We’ve seen the concept of a social media teaser being used more and more by airlines and hotel programs in recent years and just recently United Airlines did a pretty good job of getting people excited about a series of new transatlantic routes that it announced.
It was a pretty safe bet that Singapore Airlines wouldn’t be announcing any new routes as it’s still operating considerably fewer flights than it did pre-pandemic, but I thought that we may finally get more news about a new VTL to somewhere important or, more likely, that we would get a new sale for travel starting early next year or a KrisFlyer promotion offering bonus miles/status credits or a discount on award bookings. Essentially, I expected the airline to announce some kind of measure to get people excited about flying again.
Well, 25 October is here and Singapore Airlines has made its big reveal.
We’re not getting a new VTL. We’re not getting a sale. And we’re not even getting a KrisFlyer promotion. Instead, Singapore Airlines wants everyone to know that it’s looking forward to seeing us all again.
Yes, that video is just about it.
On the page that the big reveal leads to, there’s a bit of wording that says pretty much what every other airline has been saying for months as they’ve attempted to get us all back on board…
“We have been preparing for your return to travel. From meaningful digital innovations to integration of robust health and safety measures at all touch-points, feel the weight of travel complications lift off your shoulders with these thoughtfully designed enhancements. Travel with confidence and a peace of mind, together with us. We look forward to welcoming you back on board.”
…and there are links to various COVID-19 information resources, but did this really warrant a teaser?
Teasers seem to be a good way for brands to capture the imagination of their target audience, to get that audience talking about them (online and in real life), and to engage with their customers. But teasers only really work if the big reveal gives the audience something new, something exciting and, preferably, news that they haven’t seen before.
A brand that runs teasers that don’t really lead to anything, is going to quickly lessen the effectiveness of the teaser. Anyone who went to an online forum on Sunday to tell everyone that Singapore Airlines had a big reveal on the way will probably take a look at what that big reveal turned out to be and think twice before doing the same thing the next time a “coming soon” headline is published.
That’s not good news for the airline’s PR team but just like the boy who cried wolf, the PR people will only have themselves to blame.
Yesterday, the Singapore Airlines Instagram account told us to expect an announcement today, and to give the airline a little credit, it did actually make an announcement. Unfortunately, that announcement didn’t amount to much more than “hey everybody, we’re still here!” and that was more than a little disappointing.