After the previous slogan “It’s more fun in the Philippines”, which gained vast media mileage all over the world, the Department of Tourism launched its newest campaign called “Experience the Philippines”.
To kickstart the campaign, DOT released a video produced by McCann Worldgroup Philippines entitled “Sights” which features a Japanese retiree named M. Uchimura enjoying the different tourist destinations in the country. The AVP comes with an unexpected twist, revealing that the character is actually blind. The video ends with a quote from Uchimura saying that “Life feels better when with Filipinos”.
Watch the video here:
When DOT launched the new logo of the campaign, some netizens embraced the change while others were skeptic about it. Some even pointed out that there’s not much to experience in the Philippines but the negative happenings around the country.
In general, the new DOT ad was received positively by the Filipinos, saying that it is heartwarming and tugs one’s heartstrings. On the other hand, some questioned whether the ad is appropriate, since it might create the impression that the Philippines is PWD-friendly.
Reddit users were quick to point out that the “Sights” ad had uncanny similarities with the 2014 promotional campaign of South Africa entitled “Rediscover South Africa”. Both ads share the same plot twist at the end. This sparked fire with the netizens blasting the Department of Tourism for “wasting taxpayer’s money” on an unoriginal ad.
The Department of Tourism was quick to defend the video saying that it was not a rip-off. Tourism Assistant Secretary Fredrick Alegre said in an interview with ANC that despite the similarities, “the biggest difference really is that is a true story. The Japanese retiree is an actual retiree residing in the Philippines”.
However, several days after, DOT released a statement stating that it is discontinuing its contract with the McCann Worldgroup Philippines and demand that the latter issue a public apology for the trouble it has caused the department. Read the official statement here.
Also read: Expectation VS Reality: Philippines
Hours after, McCann also released a statement that it has not received any formal communication from the DOT, terminating its contract. The company hopes that both parties will “discuss a sensible resolution to this matter”.
As of this time, the DOT has already deleted the video on their Facebook page.
What do you think of the new DOT campaign? Is it a hit or a miss?