The Department of Tourism launched the re-branding the tourism campaign for the Philippines last night. Basically the DOT want to depart from the “WOW Philippines” marketing plan and possibly make it to “Pilipinas Kay Ganda”. The whole marketing plan is still not final yet and still open to fine tuning. I’ve been hearing this from my social network and initially, me thinks it’s mehh. I went to the launch the other night to see it for myself.
The DOT feels that this is a radical change compared to other Asian countries who are already using ownership of English words i.e. Malaysia: Truly Asia, Incredible India, Amazing Thailand, Your Singapore, Charming Vietnam, etc… DOT Undersecretary Romano III says that “using our own native name and the local vernacular to express our national pride and tell our story in our way to make it rise above the competition”. Yes it’s true, we’re being radical here by using our own language in promoting the Philippines, no problem with that. I think that it’s actually a good idea but it seems that “Pilipinas Kay Ganda” does not give the “ummph” to the locals moreover to the international community. A lot of people actually think that it sounds like a game show, something like “Pilipinas, Game Ka Na Ba?”.
Why not just build on the WOW Philippines brand? Well, according to DOT Secretary Lim’s speech, he says that “At a time when every nation, big or small, is either creating a new brand or repacking their current ones, would you rather rehash an 8 year old brand? Besides, a new brand always generates a buzz that translate to more media mileage for the same promotional budget”. Oh come on, “WOW Philippines” was a great tagline.
After the speeches, the guests were asked to move towards the bay side to watch the video and as expected, the background music was Ryan Cayabyab’s “Kay Ganda ng Ating Musika” with altered lyrics. The verses were in English but the chorus remained in Filipino. There’s a translation of Filipino lyrics to English while the Tarsier turns every page. The video was 3d animation, we were even asked to wear our 3d glasses. No offense to my ex-boss (saw him during the event, his company was responsible for the 3d animation of that video) but it seems that the video didn’t translate “Pilipinas Kay Ganda”. Then after viewing the video, there was a short fireworks display and kaboom! The new brand was shown, hence, the photo above. The choir sang the chorus to the tune of “Kay Ganda ng ating Musika” with these lyrics “Kay ganda ng Pilipinas, kay ganda ng Pilipinas. Likas sa amin, ang handong namin.”
Vice President Jejomar Binay graced the occasion, didn’t realize that he was behind us when we were watching the choir sing. I wonder how he feels with this rebranding?
The new website to access is www.beautifulpilipinas.com, be careful not to type in beautifulFILIPINAS, it will lead you to a p*rn website. We might attract unwanted visitors to the Philippines. As of this moment, the new website is not accessible.
How about you, what do you think of “Pilipinas Kay Ganda”? What can you suggest as the tagline for Philippine Tourism?