Monday, January 9, 2012

New DOT slogan triggers debates

THE new Department of Tourism (DOT) slogan: “It’s more fun in the Philippines,” triggered another barrage of negative comments and debates on online social sites like Facebook.

The new slogan was released at 10 am Friday and threads about it are starting to spread. A similar reaction was received after the launching of “Pilipinas kay ganda” in 2010 under then Tourism Sec. Albert Lim with the controversial logo similar to Poland’s.

The campaign’s new website,, also contains the new logo. The logo is an abstract design and some suggested it has no Philippine trademark and looks more like the “tetris” brick game. Maraya Brien commented it looks like a “banig” or floor mat.

Stephanie MeiGaw also mentioned Taiwan used a similar phrase. Fun Taiwan Challenge is a reality TV show where contestants go around Taiwan to compete for NT$1 million grand prize.

In a thread in Yahoo Answers, which started after the blunder of the Pilipinas kay ganda slogan, many suggested to retain “Wow Philippines” as the country’s tourism catch phrase. It was launched by Dick Gordon and was considered by many to be the best promotion slogan yet.

In Chris Linag’s thread about the new slogan, Bob Guerrero said he was told, “Wow Philippines did not translate very well in some countries, like Germany. They literally did not understand it.”

In response, Raul Echivarre reasoned, “If you do an 80-20 study on tourism dollars going to our country, I highly doubt that the countries who do not understand ‘Wow’ represent the majority. Besides, if you build on the brand long term, the minority who don’t get it eventually will.”

Another comment in a different thread said “Wow” is a universal language, which everyone understands.

Veteran tour guide Carlos Celdran expressed his dislike for the old slogan and encouraged the promotion of the new one. On the same thread, one criticized “Wow Philippines” as pretentious.

Debates are still ongoing but the bottom line to a certain blogger is to surpass the “Wow Philippines” campaign under Gordon, which was able to keep the country’s tourism industry afloat. One of the greatest achievements was when "More Than The Usual, WOW Philippines" advertisement campaign won the Best International Video Advertising award at the Internationale Tourismus Borse (ITB) in Berlin.

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