A few weeks back, I read an article in The Straits Times (28 Jan 2011) with the title “Nothing sells SIA like the Girl”. It was referring to the Singapore Girl that has been the iconic brand ambassador of Singapore Airlines. The airline has decided to bring back the Singapore Girl and have her play a prominent role in its new advertising campaign. According to the article, in the last five years the Singapore Girl had taken a back seat in Singapore Airline’s campaigns. In 2007, the airline decided to change its advertising agency from Batey Ads, the one that created and promoted the Singapore Girl to be such an icon, to TWBA. With the move many were asking whether the Girl should continue to be used as their brand icon. In response, I wrote an article stating that it would be a serious mistake for the airline to drop its most recognisable brand icon.
Would you drop the iconic prancing stallion logo of Ferrari?
Would you drop the ‘tick’ logo of Nike?
Would you drop the pork floss bun from BreadTalk?
Would you drop the iconic contour bottle of Coca Cola? It did – it used the common ‘straight line’ bottles that were also being used by their competitors. But the company found out that its consumers had an overwhelming preference for the contour bottles – so it decided to bring it back.
You see, one of the most important aspects of a brand that makes it so valuable is its consistency. If you consistently link some feelings or values with your brand logo, then your brand logo will be seen to represent those feelings or values. When you take away your brand logo, then you are effectively taking away those feelings and values that have been linked to your brand. If you take away the Singapore Girl, the airline will become just another one of those (premium) airlines.