I never thought I would be writing and putting my two cents in again on the latest Department of Tourism (DOT) slogan brouhaha.
The last time I did this was on Jan. 9, 2012 which you can read at this link: https://quierosaber.wordpress.com/tag/polish-tourism-logo/
This time around, five years after, we still haven’t learned our lesson and it is still the same banana, that of plagiarizing other county’s tourism ads and claiming it our own idea.
I am talking of course about supposedly the country’s new tourism campaign video, “Sights”, which used the tagline “Experience the Philippines”.
It featured the true life story of a blind Japanese retiree, M. Uchimura, enjoying the “sights’ and sounds of what is best in the country.
Truly an amazing, if not a brilliant idea, as a tourism come-on, for someone to experience the warmth and hospitable nature of Filipinos, even towards people with disability.
Unfortunately, as soon as DOT’s new tourism video was launched, netizens immediately noticed the similarity between this and last year’s Meet South Africa campaign commercial.
In the Meet South Africa tourism campaign video it also featured a blind British traveller named James O’Driscoll who was experiencing the “sights” and sounds in South Africa.
While the people from the advertising firm McCann Worldgroup admitted about the similarity with the ads of South Africa, they claim, however, that the biggest difference lies in the fact that what they conceptualized for the country is a true story in that the Japanese retiree is an actual retiree residing in the Philippines. What makes it even worse is that they just speculated that perhaps the British blind was simply a tourist.
But I don’t think that is the main thrust of the campaign ads – the ultimate residential preferences of the subjects.
There is no doubt in everybody’s mind that both ads are promoting their respective country’s tourist attractions and publicizing the amiability and warmth of its people and what better way to show it than make tourists, in any manner, shape and form, feel deeply and genuinely special and much welcomed in the country.
The good thing is that South Africa developed first the idea of a blind tourist with a walking stick being treated like a normal person and enjoying it tremendously.
The bad thing is that despite DOT’s P650-million budget for its ad campaign this year, it still had to put up with the McCann advertising people’s idea of the blind man ad knowing full well that it is a copycat.