“The new tourism line will be more competitive than just an adjective. It is going to be an expression, drawn from natural conversation. The new tourism line is not a manufactured line; it’s drawn from the way Filipinos have touched the lives of tourists.”
—-Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr., Department of Tourism.
Honestly, can you say that it’s more fun in the Philippines?
It’s not that I’m very skeptical. Honestly, I have to attest to all foreigners that it is indeed, “more fun in the Philippines”. The beaches, the sunset, the food and the hospitality of the Filipinos are certainly unmatched in the world. Albeit the fact that this country is a developing country with truckloads of problems, nothing can match with human warmth and the beauty of nature that could be found here. But if there is something wrong with the “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” campaign of the Department of Tourism, it’s pretty much a mouthful but it isn’t saying much about visiting the Philippines.
I do not blame the Department of Tourism. “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” is definitely an improvement from that lame “Pilipinas Kay Ganda” (“Philippines, so Beautiful”) whose logo and depiction is an obvious and embarrassing imitation from Poland’s tourism logo. Never mind that there had already been a “It’s More Fun in Switzerland” slogan back in the 1950’s. The words chosen for the logos are too plain that it isn’t impossible that someone else could think of it. I believe in coincidences but the mere fact that someone had thought of our logo decades before Department of Tourism had thought about it means something is wrong.
A lot of countries didn’t make it right on their first tries. Everyone is probably familiar with the successful tourism logo of Malaysia which is, “Malaysia, Truly Asia”. But before that they ventured to a short logo, “Fascinating Malaysia”, which didn’t really work to something longer, “To Know Malaysia is to Love Malaysia” which also didn’t sound right that it captured the essence of visiting Malaysia. Japan’s current tourism slogan is, “Japan. Endless Discovery.” is a massive improvement from their previous tasteless logo, “Cool Japan”.
Nonetheless, I believe that we could do better. If we examine that long slogan, we shall discover that the only useful word besides the Philippines in the slogan is FUN. But what is fun? Fun, according to Dictionary.com, means something which provides mirth of amusement; enjoyment of playfulness; and lastly, it also means to kid or joke. I believe that we need more gravity on the choice of words that we place in our logo. Fun is not just too simple but something that lacks punch because it cannot be taken too seriously. It lacks the sizzle, the thrill and the enthusiasm of one to visit the country.
Take note that the brevity of tourism logos seems to be popular nowadays. It seems like wordy slogan like Australia’s defunct slogan, “Where the Bloody Hell are You?” had caused decline rather than increase in their tourism. However, if one should stick with the one adjective slogan, one has to encapsulate the very essence of why one should be thrilled to explore your country. That one adjective must be powerful enough to describe the expectation on why one should visit yet it must be cordial enough for one to easily remember it. I think “Incredible India” best illustrate it. The richness and vividness of India’s long history, diversity of people and spirituality can be summed up with the potent word, incredible. Our Asian neighbors seem to follow suit, namely, “Amazing Thailand”, “Your Singapore”, “Mystic Myanmar”, “Destination Pakistan” and “China Forever”.
Therefore, I wonder. What the hell is wrong with WOW PHILIPPINES?
Shortly after Department of Tourism’s big reveal that we’re going to use “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” slogan, netizens expressed their want to retain the Wow Philippines slogan that we had for years. Wow is a simple word, but you cannot call it plain. Wow is something that excites and amazes. It makes one builds up a person’s interest over something. Wow connotes surprises and everybody loves surprises! I love how that three-letter word could say so much for the Philippines and the possible experience one may encounter if he visits this country. That is exactly what the Philippines needs to tattoo on a potential tourist’s mind.
So why fix something that is not broken?
Let me go back with Malaysia Truly Asia slogan. Ever since they launched this slogan, they had overtaken Thailand as the top tourist destination in Asia. It also garnered awards such as Best Long Term Marketing and Branding Campaign Gold Awards at Asian Marketing Effectiveness Awards 2008. How cool is that? The moral of Malaysia’s successful tourism campaign is that we must also be inspired to create something that would essentially sell the Philippines as one of the top tourism destination in the world. Tourism generates income which would help alleviate the pitiful 7% unemployment rate in our country. Actually, a lot of unemployed people that I know are graduates of Hotel and Restaurant Management and Tourism graduates. They do not need to go abroad. We need them here to successfully launch our tourism campaign. That’s why I believe that we need to think more to entice foreigners to visit the country. Our current campaign logo will simply not do.
Bear in mind that more than good marketing is the quality of the product to be sold. Perhaps, I cannot call it fun if shortly after landing in Ninoy Aquino International Airport, I see outdated facilities, rude airport staffs and confusing routes. The flush of the toilet sometimes do not even work! No wonder NAIA is branded as one of the worst airports in the world. Also, I cannot call it fun if traffic is bad all day long and there are no strong attempts from the government to regulate it. It’s also not fun knowing that this country still have a long way to go in resolving the peace problems and politics are never stable. It’s also never fun seeing how dirty our environment is, especially here in the mega congested Metro Manila. We have a lot to do in order for us to be a real tourism destination.
Still, I want to give “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” a try. It is after all a good logo. But I don’t want just a good slogan. I want the best slogan that we could possibly have for our country. But who knows, it might be a good start for our campaign to be known as a tourist destination here.
I’ll gladly eat my words if that happen.
xxx xxx xxxx
I did some research for this entry but I think nothing beats SLOVENIA.