The Department of Tourism’s (DOT), ‘World of Wonders Philippines’ slogan in the past earned us fame and fortune, no doubt. It was a good catchphrase for selling the country abroad. It was noncontroversial. It was our own. It was effective.
Since Richard Gordon’s time, we had had a number of personalities assuming the position of DOT head and adopting the same ‘WOW Philippines’ slogan, until Alberto Lim was appointed by President Benigno Aquino (PNoy), and decided to leave a mark/legacy of his term at DOT by changing tourism’s campaign catchword to ‘Pilipinas Kay Ganda.’
It was a monumental blunder that cost Lim his job.
It was not only an expensive experiment for a new campaign ad, but Lim’s risk-taking initiative to entice tourists to learn Filipino words backfired. The idea did not sit well with the major stakeholders.
But, what made it controversial, shameful and displeasing is the allegation that the ‘Pilipinas Kay Ganda’ promotional design was copied from the Polish tourism logo “Polska.” Though this was denied, the similarity glaringly spoke for itself.
Now comes Ramon Jimenez, the incumbent DOT secretary, trying to launch a new tourism campaign slogan, “It’s more fun in the Philippines,” which he says, with some degree of coyness, that it is still at the ‘comprehensive sketch’ stage.
This, after the slogan elicited anew debates and has become a hit in social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Again, there are claims that the new slogan is a “copycat” of a 1951 Swiss advertisement.
At least, being at the ‘comprehensive sketch’ stage means that new ideas could still be entertained before the final version comes out. Hence, government hasn’t bankrolled any amount for the campaign ad yet.
“This is an active marketing campaign, so we cannot tell how much we will spend until the end of the year (when the project has been officially released),” Jimenez said.
Well and good.
But, amidst this brewing controversy again, couldn’t we just put a little twist on an old, tested and reliable slogan, ‘WOW Philippines?’
Because Jimenez wants to capitalize on the word “fun,” how about this for a new tourism slogan: “The Philippines is fun! WOW!”
The slogan categorically describes the whole country as ‘fun.’
The expression “WOW!”, though an acronym, signifies a feeling of not ‘more fun,’ but total exhilaration of experience that make visitors stay longer and embrace our heritage.
Think about it.