Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Is It More Fun When You Experience The Philippines?

Wazzup Pilipinas!

A perfect place to stay in the world is in the Philippines - the Pearl of the Orient seas of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The essence of paradise is the wonders of every island - All 7,641 of them.

We all aim to share this wonderful country with the rest of the world by inviting them to come over and Experience the Philippines. 

But what's your take about the DOT's new tagline campaign "Experience the Philippines"?

Experiential, not a rip-off. The Tourism department, together with the ad agency they hired for this campaign, denies they copied a South African tourism ad after netizens pointed out the striking similarities of the two ads.

But do we really need to change our tourism slogan?

The Department of Tourism - Philippines (DOT) spent millions (Php650 million) for the #ExperienceThePhilippines campaign, which I believe is unnecessary since the #ItsMoreFunInThePhilippines still works fine...and is more engaging and meaningful for many.

The minute-long clip entitled “Sights” captured the unique experiences of a Japanese retiree named M.Uchimura enjoying island hopping in the Hundred Islands of Pangasinan, dancing with the locals in Banaue Rice Terraces in Ifugao, riding an ATV in Paoay Sand Dunes, and enjoying his snacks on the cobblestoned Calle Crisologo in Vigan.
“Here, you don’t have to see the sun to discover radiance; you don’t have to see colors to experience vibrance; you don’t have to see smiles to know you are safe; you don’t have to see to feel you are home,” says Uchimura in a voice over.
Towards the end of the ad, Uchimura, who wears a hat and sunglasses takes out his walking stick to navigate Calle Crisologo, revealing he is blind.

The concept of the "Experience the Philippines" ad entitled "Sights" featuring a blind Japanese was said to have been plagiarized from the tourism campaign ad of South Africa because of how similar the idea is. The ad of South Africa came out only a year ago.

The ad aims to capture the true essence of tourism in which we do not promote just the destination but the unique experiences that people can have. ASec Ricky Alegre defends the ad and says "It's retirees were referring to" so we could encourage those who want to retire in the Philippines.

If you will remember, the Pilipinas Kay Ganda campaign logo of Polska was also plagiarized when the same but different administration of the Department of Tourism came out with undoubtedly similar designs - from the fonts to the colors and images. USec Vicente Romano III resigned because of that controversial issue. THe It's More Fun in the Philippines campaign slogan was also said to be similar to It's More Fun in Switzerland.

But now, McCann Worldgroup Philippines, the ad agency that conceptualized the Experience the Philippines campaign, said that it's an original concept, and they are responsible for everything. According to them, extensive research was done in creating the concept. But how come they missed the South African ad?

No plagiarism happened. The DOT even stands by with McCann. It seems nobody would admit fault, except for the ad agency, and apologize regarding this latest issue.

Meantime, Sen. JV Ejercito urged the DOT to stick to the previous campaign slogan “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” amid criticisms on the “Experience the Philippines” advertisement campaign.

However, one question also was raised regarding the ad. 

"Is the country really PWD-friendly?" Can a blind man, or woman, really have fun in the Philippines? As a man without any disabilities, I find it a bit hard to go from one point to another because of the difficulty in traveling the roads and entering establishments. There are almost no more sidewalks especially on the small inner roads. Only a few have facilities appropriate for PWDs. 

But the point of the ad is probably because of how Filipinos will help out a blind man in conquering the restrictions and limitations. The normal people would be the one to act as the eye of the blind man. Yet, like I said, even the ordinary man finds it a bit depressing walking from one tourist spot to the next.

The idea was good if only it was original. I couldn't imagine why an extensive research was not able to find out about the South African ad.. but was immediately noticed by netizens. A few hours after it was launched, netizens reacted that it's a copycat to South Africa's Tourism campaign.

What has happened to McCann?
"I never worked in big ad agency so I don't know their creative process and what happened... 
My only #TAAP take here is HELP US HELP YOU Department of Tourism - Philippines and Tourism Promotions Board - formerly PCVC. 
There are many other very passionate tourism advocates who are for sure very much willing to help and assist you, tap us for your "insighting process" or maybe direct your ad agency to include us in your FGDs. Maybe being inclusive in your tourism branding process and tapping different stakeholders (including the netizens) will be beneficial for our industry. I, for one, is very much willing to share my insightful experiences and firsthand stories from foreign tourists I've assisted and friends who have visited me here the the Philippines after hearing my fun travels or being encouraged to do "voluntourism" with me. 
Again, we're here to help. Help us help you #DOTph. Di ba sabi nga eh #theBestandthebrightest?? But we can always rely on others to give us an insightful perspective based on their point of you and experiences. 
I got hooked in advocating for tourism industry because I saw how it can drive #inclusivegrowth especially in the provinces so I hope we'll also start embracing inclusive practices and governance. 
♡ WE ARE FILIPINOS regardless of our political beliefs and colors. Let's stand united for the #Philippines." - Apple Allison
"Pilipinas Kay Ganda. Experience the Philippines. Two abortions of a campaign that saw its demise even before the first drink was poured at their launch parties. One was Yellow. One was Dutertoid. Shit happens. It's not easy to create a campaign that relates and engages. 
It's #morefuninthephilippines worked because it was crowdsourced and the sincerity came through. Crowdsourcing is difficult right now because collective faith in the quality of our product has diminished. The Philippines is divided. We have a war going on. We are not fun right now and the last thing we want to wish upon any visitor is to experience it." - Carlos Celdran

It is more fun in the Philippines!Wow Philippines!
However we say it, it is the BEST.With our without a tagline, it is a GREAT place of great PEOPLE.
Ads may be imitated and a copycat but the place and its people surely are not." - Carl Balita

"“When you're with Filipinos, life is better.” - DOT

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