Public Service · Travel

Controversial Philippine Tourism Campaign (Yet Again)

The launch of the newest Philippines Department of Tourism initiative with the slogan “It’s More Fun In The Philippines” happened today at 10AM. Here are the initial logos and posters.

I like this logo. I think this is unique. Then again, I think yellow is so _______ (fill in the blanks).
Ah! So this is commuting in the Philippines eh?
I like!
Hmmmm I don't see the connection. I think I need someone to interpret this for me...

The campaign was met with wide open arms (read: much enthusiasm and the will to make it trend worldwide on social networking site Twitter). It was a huge success for the most part until a picture showing the “antique” 1951 tourism ad of Switzerland came out in the open. People who were not big fans of the slogan (tagline – whatever you call it) used Twitter to express disgust, disappointment, and whatever ill-feelings toward it much in the same way as people who were psyched about the initiative used the same platform to show support and pride.

Those who were so positive about the new project tagged the naysayers to be pessimists (to the more creative and more fun people they call them “Negatron”). Some go so far as branding them as destroyers of the future of the Philippines. Wow (Philippines)! Since when did voicing one’s opinion an attempt to destroy the Philippines? If you all believe that this campaign is going to be a success, why be so worried that the critics say it out loud? I guess people have to accept that not everyone will be happy about this and that this should have been expected right from the very start.

I read that the Department of Tourism conducted a survey to check the appeal of the tagline and they said they received good feedback. C’mon, not even one detractor?

Anyway, I do not intend to malign our own country much less jeopardize the future of everyone who has a stake in this campaign, including myself of course. My intention is for the government to come up with original and never before heard slogans or logos for once. There are so many adjectives in the dictionary that we can use, there are so many great minds that can coin catchy and hopefully effective slogans. The government need not even pay an advertising firm to brand the campaign. Given that this is all said and done, why don’t they just come clean and tell the people that they were inspired by the eons-old campaign of Switzerland. There is nothing wrong with copying something that has been successful in the past. If it was, I think the true test is if indeed the Philippines can outdo the original. If it was indeed a big coincidence then so be it. Why be so defensive and accuse people of dragging you down?

For the record, I do not also intend to campaign against the tourism industry of the country as a whole. I hope people don’t be judgmental about it. I am still going to travel in the country and all over the world and still come back to the Philippines because this is where my roots are. I know that I have done my own part in promoting tourism in the country in my blog and in my personal life (in fact my boyfriend is coming back in February and one day soon his family from Denmark will be travelling here as well).  If I voice out my opinion about this whole hoopla, I hope people should respect that.

I am all for promoting the Philippines as a destination of choice not just for it’s natural wonders but primarily because of it’s amazing people. I hope you allow me to say as well that my heart still belongs to the “WOW Philippines: More Than The Usual” campaign. After all, when one sees or feels or tastes or experiences something spectacular, one would for sure enunciate the word “WOW”! To each his own isn’t it? I pay my taxes so I think I can be entitled to my opinion.


5 thoughts on “Controversial Philippine Tourism Campaign (Yet Again)

  1. I agree. Wow Philippines was working so well when they changed it. Why is it that our leaders do not get the VISION? Once a leader gets replaced, everything gets replaced. We should stick to one campaign and make it work.

    1. True Gem. I guess that’s a sad reality that we just have to deal with. What’s fun for us Filipinos is not necessarily fun for their target market, foreigners (where they intend to spend bulk of the budget for). I guess what the government needs to prioritize is the betterment of our infrastructure and transportation methods and many other things actually. When that time comes, we won’t even need a slogan to lure people to visit out country.

  2. I guess what they meant by “status update. more fun in the Philippines” is that when you post “will be swimming w/ whale sharks.” or “swimming w/ whale sharks” would be “more fun” here in the philippines… my vote is still also for the “WOW Philippines” campaign..

    1. I think that poster really is vague except for the diver. If I am a foreigner and I haven’t seen a whaleshark before then I won’t be excited to come to the Philippines to experience “fun”. And here I am thinking that they are banking on the people when their posters are all sceneries and activities. Hmmmmm!

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