By Azer N. Parrocha
MANILA, Oct. 20 (PNA) — There’s no denying that the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” has been the most successful one among all the slogans released by the department to date.
Perhaps only second to the feat reached by “It’s More Fun” was the “Wow, Philippines” slogan used by former Tourism Secretary Richard Gordon from 2001 until 2004.
Launched in January 2012, the present slogan has come as far as being dubbed as the third smartest marketing campaign in the world by global annual ranker of marketing campaigns Warc 100 this year, but the early beginnings of the slogan were not smooth-sailing.
Immediately after its launch, the slogan was criticized for being copied from a vintage 1951 ad for Switzerland. However, these claims were later discovered to be a mere coincidence.
Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. was quick to defend the slogan, denying that it was copied. He took to social media his reaction a day after he announced the release of the new slogan.
“No one can own the expression ‘it’s more fun’ but it’s very true for the Philippines so it becomes ours,” Jimenez had said on his official Twitter account.
“The line isn’t a manufactured slogan. It’s simply the truth about our country. Don’t be swayed by people who are trying to punch holes in it,” he also said.
This was not the first time a slogan was criticized for being copied. In 2010, the slogan “Pilipinas Kay Ganda” was bashed for being plagiarized from a tourism campaign in Poland. The slogan was eventually scrapped.
“It’s More Fun,” however, in the words of Warc 100 Digital Product Manager Joseph Clift, unlike past slogans, eventually turned out to be a “social media phenomenon.”
On the same day it was launched, the hashtag #ItsMoreFunInThePhilippines became the top trending topic worldwide on Twitter.
President Benigno S. Aquino III himself has mentioned the slogan in many of his speeches, including the annual State of the Nation Address (SONA).
The slogan, a brainchild of local advertising firm BBDO Guerrero, has two phases. The first is focused on defining the identity of the Philippines and its people, while the second launched last May, promoted the country’s tourist destinations.
Jimenez said that what made the new tourism slogan a hit was that it was more than just an adjective to describe the country. He said that the slogan was more of “an expression, drawn from natural conversation.”
“The new tourism line answers the basic question, ‘Why go to the Philippines?'” the Tourism chief said.
Many reasons for visiting the Philippines are inscribed on the department’s unique posters with over 70,000 of them seen in various places locally and internationally.
“The Philippines is not just one country, it is a whole gamut of destinations, attractions, services, (and the like),” Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) Domingo Enerio III said.
Enerio, like Jimenez, said that aside from the popular slogan, what really propelled the campaign to become a trend was the fact that Filipinos supported it wholeheartedly.
“Tourism is a feel good industry. Everybody is so supportive. We have so much support not just from our legislators, public officials, leaders but also the common people,” Enerio said.
“Filipinos have put their weight behind tourism and are now part of this campaign,” he added.
In fact, it has been the only slogan which has been interactive in such a way that Filipinos are creating their own versions of the It’s More Fun posters themselves and sharing them on social media.
This is why it was a smart move for the department to maximize digital technology use by aggressive global online sharing.
“We love sharing the good things about the country,” Enerio said.
Although there is no saying how long the popularity of the It’s More Fun slogan will last, the DOT said that the department will continue to think of ways to make the campaign strategic even beyond the end of the Aquino administration. (PNA)