Friday, January 06, 2012

#ItsMoreFunInThePhilippines? Consider the timing. #Sendong #CompostelaLandslide #RamGenSexVideo

Nevermind that the slogan is a copy of "Its more fun in Switzerland".
Let's ask, "Is it really more fun in the Philippines"
Any slogan will do as long as the product lives up to it.
As the usual suspects in the Philippine Twittersphere stoked excitement over the Philippine Department of Tourism's new slogan, I was apologizing to one of my closest friends for having made an inappropriate joke at an inappropriate time in the company of people we hardly know.

If it weren't for his forgiving nature and patience, I guess I would have landed in the ICU several times by now  because:

1) This is not the first time I made that mistake with him. 
2) He knows Kung-Fu and I am a pretty big, slow moving punching target.

One point he did make that crystallizes what I want to say about the Department of Tourism's slogan "It's More Fun in the Philippines" is appropriateness.

We all know that Tropical Storm Sendong struck Cagayan De Oro, Iligan City, and other areas in Mindanao the week before Christmas.  About 1,500 people were killed by flash floods and until today, there are probably hundreds of families who are still looking for missing loved ones.  At least twenty thousand people are still suffering in evacuation centers, with a leptos pirosis outbreak killing a number of them.

Then, just yesterday, a landslide in a mining town in Compostela Valley killed 25 people and left about a hundred people missing.

Oh and before it escapes out attention because we are having "Fun in the Philippines":
A former Australian soldier kidnapped last month in Mindanao is seen pleading for his life in a video sent to his family and urging the Philippines and Australia to raise a $2-million ransom being demanded by his captors. 
The video of 53-year-old Warren Richard Rodwell, along with four photographs showing him in handcuffs and apparently wounded in the right hand, were mailed to his Filipino wife before Christmas, police officials said.

Before this guy was kidnapped, we also had other foreigners kidnapped in the Philippines -- including 3 workers of the International Red Cross.

Anyway, I raised the issue of appropriateness of #ItsMoreFunInThePhilippines on twitter and I was told that the launch had already been moved back because of Sendong.
BBDO Guerrero has won the contract for the Philippines' tourism branding campaign, besting 7 other marketing and advertising companies, but the company and the government will delay the launch as the country deals with the effects of Tropical Storm Sendong. 
"Theme reveal will have to wait for a more opportune time in early January,'' Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez said in a mobile phone text message, citing the deaths and devastation wrought by Sendong in Northern Mindanao and parts of the Visayas. 
The contract covers all media at home and abroad, including social media.
But then again, when would be the APPROPRIATE TIME? Really.

I think, the appropriate time for coming up with a slogan is WHEN the product can meet the expectations built up for it and NOT BEFORE.

This engrossment over slogans masks the sheer lack of actual preparation in terms of actual tourism infrastructure that will, indeed, make it MORE FUN IN THE PHILIPPINES.



angela santiago said...

yes yes yes clean toilets for starters!

Roselavitoria said...

yes u are right! all this devastation, political unrest,kidnapping etc. etc, the department of tourism is still hoping and doing there best to  promote our tourism industry despite of this human and natural disasters, much more better if we suggest the right word for the slogan, the right term to be used,always remember if we do our share there is always a good outcome, critizism is good but we must know your responsibility. If there is a bad part of the philippines, there is also a good part of it!!! happy 3 kings...

Sustainability Guru said...

Here we go again. The Philippines and Filipinos alike must re-focus our tourism and travel mindset to SUSTAINABLE TOURISM: satisfying current tourist and host community needs, while protecting and improving future opportunities. It is managing our rich natural resources, in such a way that economic, social, and aesthetic needs will be met, while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity, and eco systems of our beach destinations, natural and cultural heritage. GLOBAL WARMING & CLIMATE CHANGE effects are NOT fun. And so are deteriorating infrastructures (worse, lack of) and devastated beaches! The message is RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL: let us RESTORE, CONSERVE, and PROTECT our islands. Say NO to massive tourism and destruction, where careless and negligent travelers leave their trash, plastics and heavy impact to the fragile eco systems and deteriorating beaches. Where development is unplanned and unsustainable, to the detriment of our cultural, natural and heritage sites. Sustainable Tourism, Hospitality, Events (MICE) & MarketingTHEN it will be definitely MORE FUN in the PHILIPPINES, barring storms and landslides!

bryan kenneth said...

there are bad news everyday. using this logic, we should never launch a tourism campaign... ever.

Paul Farol said...

Dont get me wrong guys, i support the vision stated here in 'it's more fun in the philippines". Actually, any positive statement you can make about the philippines would make a good slogan.

But the thing is, tourism is more than images and slogans.

Tourism is making sure you have flights going to your destinations, making sure you have enough good accomodations, making sure people are secure while they are here, making sure people can travel around with ease, ete

Those are just the basics.

Do we have that? How much of that do we have?

Thing is, we Filipinos OURSELVES have a difficult time travelling around our country. What more for foreigners?

When we do travel, do we take care of the places we visit? Yes? No?

ka rene said...

the disasters and calamities are natural to the philippines. let us just help prevent these massive deaths from happening by enforcing environmental laws. in short tourism isnt just the work of DOT. it needs cooperation from the denr, the law enforcers, and from us citizens.

i just a few observations which will greatly improve our image as a fun destination:
1. improve our bus terminals. there shd be cleaner toilets, digital screenboards to announce bus numbers, destinations, time, etc. there shd be more comfortable waiting areas, bigger, spacious, and better ventilated.
2. the shipping vessels must eliminate the old, bulok, and mabaho ships. they are disgusting. if one rides in a bulok na barko, we cannot expect the passengers to protect or love it. we can encourage more of our local tourists to take the ship, and even foreign tourists will love it if it's new, mabango, and safe.
3. get rid of the bulok na passenger vans and taxis. so disgusting. we pay the same rate as with the newer and safer vans/taxis.
4. tourists guides must be in uniform. they shd be trained, with contact number, with pleasing character. di bale nang third look like me. basta't we are sure that our visitors are safe and at home with them. they shld have bisness cards with numbers to be traced and to express our thanks.
5. impose standards on the boats. kala-kalawang at matitigas and upuan. lalo na the boats plying boracay. 
hope DOT listens.

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