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Jan 18, 2012

Social media success for Philippines’ new tourism campaign

MANILA – The Department of Tourism's ‘It’s more fun in the Philippines’ campaign has exceeded expectations, less than two weeks since launch.

One of the ads that prompted numerous memes
One of the ads that prompted numerous memes

Local press report that #ItsMoreFunInThePhilippines was the top-trending topic globally within an hour of the tagline’s launch on 6 January 2012.

It has also spawned 50 fansites and at least 4 meme generators, with people creating their own versions of the ‘It’s more fun…’ prints ads unveiled by Department of Tourism Secretary Ramon ‘Mon’ Jimenez.

Industry watchers say the DoT has learnt much from its debacles of 2011, and ironically – or  deliberately – the new campaign taps into the very same social media phenomenon that precipitated its predecessor’s demise.

The short-lived ‘Pilipinas kay Ganda’ campaign was hastily withdrawn following widespread criticism of its poor quality, its URL’s similarity to a porn site and allegations of plagiarism. Tourism executives subsequently resigned and were replaced by ad industry veteran Jimenez.

He is seen as having played an instrumental role in making a success of the new campaign, having opted for a relatively low-key but sincere launch – as well as appealing to the strong sense of national pride, both domestically and internationally.

The agency behind the new tagline is BBDO Guerrero Proximity which actually won the account twice last year.

That agency’s CEO Tony Harris told Campaign that the plan was always to take it social, “But we are obviously delighted with the speed at which this happened and the momentum its has already achieved.” He attributes the campaign’s success to the veracity of the statement. “At the heart of this, is the fact that it’s true – it is more fun here. It’s working on social media because people have been given something interesting to discuss and share.”

The need for social media also stems from budgetary constraints, at a reported US$147,000, this is considerably less than many of the Philippines’ Southeast Asia neighbours. The campaign’s competitive claim ‘It’s more fun…’ is also seen to be establishing the Philippines as a challenger brand in the sub-region.

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