Scoot’s online marketing stunt pulls no punches on social studies textbook controversy – and it’s not alone

Scoot wasted no time in leveraging on the recent social studies textbook controversy to create witty marketing material.
Facebook/ FlyScoot

Just when the brouhaha about the controversial social studies textbook which distastefully stratifies Singaporeans has seemed to die down, some companies are giving it new life by playing it to their advantage.

The textbook gained online notoriety for its stereotypical classification of Singaporeans into different socio-economic statuses (SES) according to their behaviour and lifestyle.

Singapore low-cost airline Scoot seized the opportunity to formulate its own “Complete Guide to Scoot Social Studies” as part of its latest marketing campaign.

On Wednesday (Mar 14), Scoot posted its guide on Facebook which includes a table with categories for higher SES and lower SES travellers, in similar fashion to the textbook.

Higher SES travellers are characterised as those who fly Scoot for great value, love to escape the ordinary and always planning the next holiday.

Defining traits of lower SES travellers are, well, exactly the same.

“At Scoot, we don’t care about your SES,” the post reads.

The post has been well received, garnering over 2,400 reactions and 1,370 shares at time of writing.

Social media users praised Scoot’s marketing team for its sass and engaging publicity based on current affairs. Some even offered their own input on the guide, only for Scoot to reply them with hilarious comments and GIFs.

According to Marketing Interactive, Scoot is no stranger to using tongue-in-cheek humour in its marketing.

The brand had previously poked fun at Malaysian competitor AirAsia X after a Kuala Lumpur-bound AirAsia plane found itself in Melbourne.

It also incited a furore online after its allegedly flippant response to a customer who was not satisfied with her in-flight food.

Apparently, Scoot isn’t the only one having a field day creating amusing publicity.

Holiday Inn Express Singapore Katong jumped on the bandwagon too with a similar guide – dubbed the “Complete Guide to HIEX Social Studies” – posted on its Facebook page on Thursday (Mar 15).

Like Scoot’s guide, Holiday Inn’s higher SES and lower SES customers share identical features such as enjoying Free Express Start breakfast and booking smart deals.

The company also took the chance to publicise its #StaySmart campaign while giving credit to Scoot.

“Likewise with FlyScoot, we don’t care about your SES. We only care about what matters to you,” says the post.