Wednesday, November 17, 2010

From More than the Usual and Wow Philippines... Pilipinas kay ganda becomes the new tourism slogan

Dick Gordon, at one time not long ago, pointed out the problem with countries changing their tourism slogans -- it can be a bad idea.

The Philippine's tourism department just announced that from "More than the usual" and "Wow Philippines", the country was going to adopt "Pilipinas kay ganda" as the new international Philippine tourism slogan.

First off, the slogan is rendered in Filipino and I think it will be rather difficult for people who speak other languages to understand what it means.  

Second, I am sure that "Pilipinas kay ganda" can be translated into English and any other language, therefore making it understandable.  But after being translated, we have to consider if the slogan can help us claim a unique position in the mindscape of tourists.

Pilipinas kay ganda directly translates to Philippines how beautiful!

And the problem is that almost every country in the world and every tourist destination in the world will have a claim of being beautiful.

If the idea is to draw attention or claim a unique position just by using Filipino instead of the more easily, we have to look at other countries that have used their own language for an international slogan and checked if the market response had been positive.

Changing slogans, as a matter of branding, creates more problems than it solves.

One problem is that it will basically go against the success of previous branding efforts.  All the money spent over the years or decades to build and maintain a brand identity will probably have to be written off.  Not only that, if the previous branding was even moderately successful, there is a chance that the rebranding effort will meet resistance.

There is a difference between creating something that merely catches the eye just because it is new and different, and something that holds people attention for a long period of time and generates stronger sales.

Pilipinas kay ganda is novel and in the coming years, we'll see if it does anything more than being novel.

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