The slogan “It’s more fun in the Philippines” stays even if there was a black and white vintage 1951 magazine ad “It’s more fun in Switzerland,” of the Swiss National Tourist Office.
Department of Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez declared it as a ‘coincidence,’ saying, “C’mon, you have to give BBDO more credit than that. The line isn’t a manufactured slogan. It is simply the truth about our country. Don’t be swayed by people who are trying to punch holes in it…
“No one can own the expression ‘it’s more fun’ but it’s very true for the Philippines so it becomes ours,” It comes from human conversation. It only has power if its true. It’s not the most original line in the world,” Jimenez said in his Twitter account.
Jimenez insisted the international marketing strategy slogan crafted by BBDO Guerrero is all about the unique, ever-smiling, happy and fun-loving Filipino people.
“If you look hard enough, you might even find an old ad that says ‘it’s more fun in Alcatraz!’” he added in his tweet, referring to the notorious former US prison.
But some critics panned BBDO, the global advertising agency that came up with what they claimed is not an original idea and asking for P5.6 million payment from the Department of Tourism (DOT).
Last Saturday’s radio DZRH interview of Cesar Chavez with Assistant Secretary and DOT spokesman Benito Bengzon said the department will continue using the slogan to attract tourist to the Philippines as a premier tourist destination.
“We would not back out because we feel that it is an effective campaign. The new tagline is precisely what we offer,” he said, adding that the Twitter trending DOT slogan was not copied from Switzerland.
Bengzon, who has worked with DOT for the past 25 years backed up Secretary Jimenez saying the slogan that has gone viral online minutes after it was announced last Friday is a very effective campaign in attracting more foreign visitors to the Philippines.
But you can’t win them all, some are appreciative of the the slogan but there are also many who suggested over the radio that if DOT will only ask for public suggestions, they would get better ideas instead of paying a copycat foreign ad some 61 years ago in one of the famous ice-capped playground countries of Europe.
Maybe we should wait until the passionate debate dies down and stay a little longer with the old but catchy “Wow, Philippines” which is shorter, but carrying strong strong impact and better recall.