Short List
Product / ServiceSINGAPORE
CategoryA02. Applied Innovation
Production 2 AIRBAG Melbourne, AUSTRALIA


Name Company Position
Hagan de Villiers TBWA\Singapore Executive Creative Director
Gary Steele TBWA\Singapore Executive Creative Director
Anam AS TBWA\Singapore Creative Director
Marvin Liang TBWA\Singapore Senior Art Director
Lena Paik TBWA\Singapore Copywriter
Toby Thurston TBWA\Singapore Head of Techonolgoy
Mandy Wong TBWA\Singapore Managing Partner
Ellen Tan TBWA\Singapore Brand Director
Jerine Lee TBWA\Singapore Brand Manager
Sariyanti Sannie Sixtoes Agency Producer
Nash Tan TBWA\Singapore Project Manager
Adrian Bosich Airbag Managing Partner
Steven Nicholson AIRBAG Productions Technology Director
Aaron Wilson AIRBAG Productions Director
David Curry AIRBAG Productions Producer
Nick Venn AIRBAG Productions Producer
Aaron Wilson Airbag Ofline
Janice Tay SixToes.TV Offline
Amos Tan SixToes.TV Offline
Edel Rafferty Airbag Colour Grading
Ryan Brett Airbag Online
Daniel MacNish Airbag Tech Assistant
Nick Pledge Airbag Model Maker

Why is this work relevant for Innovation?

How do you ship a country overseas? You can't. You have to reimagine the map. And that's what Singapore did when we showcased ourself at the world's largest tourism trade show in Berlin. As a city that's always redefining what's possible, we challenged ourselves to reinvent even the way we invited travellers to experience Singapore. By first building a whimsical, tactile representation of the city to draw people in. We then bridged the gap by using various technologies and digital touch points to bring to life the entire country within an arm's reach.


Every year, Singapore Tourism Board (STB) does a trade show tour around the world to raise its profile as a leisure and business destination in the tourism industry. These massive trade shows, involving up to 10,000 exhibitors of airlines, hotels, travel agents, online travel platforms and other national tourism organisations, are mind-numbing rows of exhibit panels built to (unintentionally) bore industry folks. Against this context, we were challenged to find a way to get attention in this hyper-distracting context of trade shows and attract people to actively engage with us, without resorting to the tried and tested formula of blockbuster visual displays. Limited 3m by 3m booth space, previous attempts leveraged technology in an enriching but isolated way (VR headsets), so the brief this year was to use technology to create a more shared experience.

Describe the idea

Singapore is innovative, modern, progressive, artistic. So when it came to showcasing it to the world, it had to be well, innovative, modern, progressive, artistic. So we created the City Of Possibilities (CoP)—an entire country packed into a suitcase, and shipped around the world. How? By harnessing the world of tactile and technology. We built an interactive, sculptural installation based on a creative geographical interpretation of Singapore. With a physical avatar, you could navigate and explore around the city through immersive 360 location spheres. Hop around, hang out with locals, catch a concert, chill on the beach, marvel at the Supertrees or wander through an aquarium—over 40 mixed-media content showcased the sights, sounds and stories of Singapore. We reimagined the Singapore map. Distorting its scale to pack the entire city into a 1.8m by 1m table, and reinterpreting its landscape to create a whimsical representation of the city.

What were the key dates in the development process?

The project ties together a variety of skills, elements and touchpoints; technology, tactile design and digital content, and all three components had to be seamlessly weaved in order to progress. So the development process challenged us to build the various moving parts in parallel with technology prototyping. In late October 2018, we created our first working RFID based proof of concept. Using it to explore the ramifications to UX and the design of the physical set piece. Extra time was taken to examine completely different strategies as well. After four months of production and post production, we officially shipped CoP on the February 2018. And launched it at ITB Berlin on 6 March 2018. It then went on to other major cities, namely Frankfurt, London, Las Vegas, Barcelona and more.

Describe the innovation/technology

The RFID “Avatar” is the principal point of interaction for our users. It’s a tangible object for the user to touch, manipulate and navigate their way around the beautiful stylised version of Singapore. The piece can be moved along the playboard (map), causing the installation's screen to serve up a 360 visual feast of the corresponding landmark. It can be used to trigger ‘hot spots’ and play more media within the 360 location sphere, but also control the screen in more nuanced ways. Within each landmark lies a custom build circuit board where RFID and magnet rotary position sensors were used, allowing the RFID and magnet equipped Avatars to detect contact and rotational movement.  As the user interacted with the physical and seemingly disconnected map, their movement was projected on the large monitor in front of them. To ensure the activation was efficient and sustainable, everything was built internally, and made to be independent to any external network.

Describe the expectations/outcome

Across 4 trade shows, we achieved an average of 1min 41s per player session. 95% agreed or strongly agreed that CoP provided greater appreciation of our brand purpose and how it can be relevant to travellers with different interests. Qualitative data obtained from the various shows indicated that Partners and clients were particularly impressed with COP saying it helped to position Singapore as a “cutting edge” and “innovative” destination.” The deliberate combination of technologies, visual audio content and the mash up with the physical act of exploration to simulate a first person’s experience, enabled event attendees’ miles away from Singapore to feel the richness of travelling and experiencing Singapore. This helped Singapore stand out from a sea of beautiful, albeit wallpaper, floor-to-ceiling visual displays. By “teleporting” attendees with an innovative combination of analog and tech, and creating “a visual effect of actually being there”2, the CoP achieved deep engagement.