As early as the morning of November 15, and hours before the launch of Philippine Department of Tourism’s (DOT) new tourism branding and tagline, ‘twittersphere‘ and other online social media platforms has been abuzz with less than pleasant reactions toward the “Pilipinas Kay Ganda” tagline,
Pilipinas Kay Ganda Unveiled
DOT unveiled the new Philippine tourism brand in a dinner launch at Oceana along San Miguel by the Bay with guests, traditional media, new media, and key players in the tourism industry. They intended for a slogan that highlights the country’s beauty and Filipino hospitality. DOT Secretary Alberto Lim mentioned that “it as reflective of the hope and optimism being represented by the new administration.”
He also clarified to the guests and media that the “emerging centerpiece of the country’s marketing campaign was still a work in progress” and open to inputs from the industry.
Here are some of the event photos during the unveiling of the “Pilipinas Kay Ganda”:
The “Pilipinas Kay Ganda” logo incorporated colorful texts, a coconut tree, a sun, and a tarsier.
Aesthetics-wise, I personally find the logo to be ordinary. Nothing grand or the likes, but it wasn’t bad either. It was ‘ok‘. I was more interested in the department’s follow-thru actions and programs on how they would actually promote the Philippines as a tourist destination from then on.
However, I believe it is this same mediocrity which others found lacking.
Some even found it to sound like a TV show being a wordplay of the noontime variety show and a morning TV show “Pilipinas Win na Win” and “Umagang Kay Ganda,” respectively. 🙂
Here is the unveiling video of the ‘Pilipinas Kay Ganda‘ tourism tagline:
Filipino vs English Tagline
The tagline also received flak for use of the local language. Critics agrued that if your target market were foreigners, the tagline should be in the internationally accepted language of English. They do have a point, although i think we can live with it in the same way we have been using “Mabuhay” without qualms ever since i can remember.
Undersecretary Vicente Romano III further elaborated that “while every country istrying to own an English word or phrase as a brand description to promote itself, we are using our own native name and the local vernacular to express our national pride and tell our story in our own way to make it rise above the competition….[and] to radically enhance the brand’s Filipino character…in the same fashion that Hawaii has succesfully popularized the expression “Aloha” on a global scale.“
“Pilipinas Kay Ganda” vs “WOW Philipines”
The previous campaign of “WOW Philipines” proved to be indeed successful and have helped the country’s tourism in the past years. For me, Regine Velasquez’s rendition of the Wow Philippines “Biyahe Tayo” video was highly effective in encouraging people to travel.
Others construed that the change may be politically prodded due to the new administration.
However, DOT emphasized that the change was brought about by the changing times, instead. Well, it may be true, it may be not (*wink).
He also referenced the case of Singapore where the country experienced a similar resistance in 2007 when it first planned to change its image from a “business hub”, to a “business and leisure” destination which eventually became successful.
In fact, Singapore changed its tagline again early this year from “Uniquely Singapore” to “YourSingapore.” I personally liked the former actually. Nonetheless, they were still successful with the campaign because of the effective and efficient programs. Singapore met their annual target numbers as early as October 2010. This is exactly my point – the effective programs and projects. But of course, it’s always better to have both a catchy tagline AND effective programs.
Former senator Dick Gordon has also expressed his thoughts on the matter. Click here.
Social media aficionados even created an “Ibalik and Wow Philippines” (return Wow Philippines) Facebook page.
I also wonder whatever happened to “Awesome Philippines.” I also found Apl.de.Ap’s style modern and catchy in promoting Philippine Tourism.
That same night, I came to know about the BeautifulPilipinas.com website which supposedly was in line with the new branding campaign.
Among all the criticisms, I was most weary with this one because the website was ‘one-letter’ away from a porn site. (uy, nagiisip) 🙂
BeautifulPilipinas.com immediately became inaccessible the next day, perhaps realizing the aforementioned observation.
Start of Demise
As the tagline got more criticisms, it only became worse as the logo was discovered to highly resemble one of it’s supposed inspirations – ‘Polska’ – Poland’s tourism logo as pointed out here. It bordered plagiarism from the colors, to the font, and to the wave component.
The advertising company Campaigns and Grey have since washed hands on its limited “advisory capacity” in working with DOT in this campaign.
Campaigns and Grey has also released an official statement with regards to the matter.
Typical to Filipinos who criticize matters with humor, a witty programmer also created a small internet application where anyone can automatically customize their own “Pilipinas Kay Ganda” logos. 🙂 Check it out here.
As much as I have tried to understand and appreciate the department’s efforts, I think this issue of plagiarism pulls the plug among them all.
DOT has reiterated that the campaign was a preview and not exactly the final version. They expressed openness to the public’s suggestions and recommendations.
They recently put up ‘Project DOT Wiki-Website‘ which is a wiki-approach to creating a tourism website.
A similar ‘DOT Do It Yourself” Facebook page also came up saying “Let’s help the Philippines’ DOT (Department of Tourism) come up with a GREAT campaign for our country.”
By the way things are going, it seems that “Pilipinas Kay Ganda” has sunk and will eventually be completely pulled-out. However, word goes around that internally, DOT plans to continue using the “Pilpinas Kay Ganda” slogan. Further insinuations suggest more politicking is involved in the mess.
It is saddening as a travel blogger to see such developments in the government’s tourism department. I hope they fix it well and fast
How about you? How do you think can we as citizens of the Philippines help our state of Philippine tourism?
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