Saturday, January 7, 2012

Is It More Fun In The Philippines Or In Switzerland

Official Poster for the ad campaign

"It's more fun in the Philippines" is the new slogan of the Filipino Department of Tourism and was announced last Friday (1/6/2012 - Official link).

The simple goal of the campaign (created by the worldwide ad agency BBDO) is to attract 4.2 million tourists this year and 10 million by 2016, up from only 3.7 million  who visited the island nation last year. 

But the campaign became immediately viral and computer users started having fun by chipping in, spoofing and/or bashing the new slogan. 

The meme campaign became so big in a couple of hours, that somebody already created a facebook page, where meme creators can post their own creations. The favorable and funny ones albeit in the minority, are overshadowed by artwork that shame social deficiencies, official corruption and abuse of power as well as the Philippines as a sex-tourism destination. 
But the Assistant Tourism Secretary, Benito Bengzon was pretty unruffled and was quoted in the Philippine Daily Inquirer: "This is really part of our strategy, to let it go viral. It has been trending, a very good indication of the kind of interest we are generating in social networks." 

Old ad on sale -
Well somebody found out that the slogan was actually 61 years old, and already used by Switzerland in 1951, promoting sun-tanning, skiing and relaxing. So Bengzon and his boss, DOT Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. were under fire again. The reason, a first campaign was already tossed, after one found out that Poland had used the same slogan in an earlier campaign
Jimenez rejected the new copycat allegations  and tweeted that local BBDO chairman, David Guerrero would rather "slit his throat than copy something."

And according to the Philippine Star he added: "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." 

Well me being Swiss, but too young to have experienced the fun in Switzerland in the early 50's the questions does remain: Is it more fun in Switzerland! or is it more fun in the Philippines?

Sources:, The Philippine Star, Philippine Daily Inquirer

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