Ultra Singapore, the largest electronic dance music (EDM) festival in Singapore, has announced partnerships with SingTel and DBS Bank. Although details of the deal have yet to be disclosed, it would come as no surprise how sponsorship towards a hype and cool brand such as Ultra is going to boost the image of the two staid brands. Last year alone, the Ultra brand attracted over 45,000 attendees from 67 countries. In recent years, consumers have definitely seen more of its presence in Asian countries and reigns as one of the most famous electronic music festivals in Japan.
While the motivation behind this investment may not be validated, it seems pretty clear that DBS and SingTel both need some rebranding to attract the younger generation, especially the millennials. Entertainment, especially in the music scene, is painfully expanding and since both Singtel and DBS are Temasek-linked companies (TLC), respectively owning ~51% and ~11% shareholdings, they are often perceived and associated with the ‘boring government’ profile. Thus, being associated with Ultra’s second edition in Singapore will definitely give an edge.
Earlier this year, festival-goers to Laneway Festival at Marina Bay Sands saw DBS set up on one of its most prominent spot creating buzz via its collaboration with UBER and VISA card.
We’ve yet to see if they will continue to build stronger presence in the entertainment world. It will take time before consumers perception change. Of the two, DBS is arguably appearing more strategic in music. Contrastingly, SingTel went the opposite direction when it retreated from music sponsorships in past years from the Sundown Festival (Nov 2015), ZoukOut (Dec 2014) and the Spring Wave Festival (2014).
One other brand that is gaining momentum in supporting the music scene is Budweiser. It’s regular partnership with one of China’s largest EDM festival, the STORM festival is gaining association among its consumer.
Ultra Singapore’s has released its Phase 1 line-up announcing KSHMR, Pendulum and Tchami as ‘Live Headliners’ and Dubfire, Hardwell, Nicky Romera, Steve Angello, Tiesto and many more as ‘DJ Headliners’.