Not a centavo spent so far on slogan - DOT

By Mayen Jaymalin, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jan 09 2012 07:19 AM | Updated as of Jan 09 2012 07:25 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The government has not yet released a budget to roll out the new country brand “It’s more fun in the Philippines” because it is not yet the final version of the campaign, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said.

“In advertising, we call this ‘comprehensive sketch,’ which means it’s not yet the final work and version,” Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez said over the weekend.

He said that when the final campaign is ready, the department would use traditional forms of advertisement for its launch, such as the placement of billboards in parking spaces overseas.

Jimenez declined to discuss the budget for the campaign, saying they have not yet determined the total amount needed to release the new country brand.

“This is an active marketing campaign, so we cannot tell how much we will spend until the end of the year (when the project has been officially released),” Jimenez said.

During the press preview of the new tourism slogan last week, Jimenez said the DOT is intentionally limiting the release of information about the campaign to elicit more excitement.

The slogan has sparked debates and has become a hit in social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

There were even comments that the new slogan is a “copycat” of a 1951 Swiss advertisement and that it is a standard advertisement.

Tourism Assistant Secretary and spokesman Benito Bengzon said, however, they are happy with the feedback on the campaign. He also assured the public that the campaign was not copied from Switzerland.

“So far the feedback has been very positive and DOT is quite happy about it. On the different social networking sites, many have expressed their support for the campaign,” he said.

Jimenez said the “fun campaign” is not a standard advertisement because it was designed to be flexible and youthful. The campaign focuses on the Filipino people who, he said, make travel to the Philippines more unforgettable. He said that before the preview of the new slogan, other government agencies like the Department of Trade and Industry had given support to the new slogan.

Jimenez said the DOT will not formally release the new country brand on a grand scale to save on resources.

“Things like this don’t need to be rolled out in (a) grand fashion. It is now already rolling in the web and riding the wave of social network and this allows us to conserve resources and use for foreign market and identify key markets,” he said.

Malacañang is confident that the campaign will succeed in increasing the number of foreign arrivals in the country. Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the debates on the new slogan “attest that it is more fun in the Philippines.”

“If you check the reactions online, everybody is getting on board, everyone is having fun with the slogan… It is being accepted by our people.”

Jimenez said growth in the tourism industry will create more jobs, thus diminishing the propensity to sex tourism which is caused by poverty. “Trabaho lang ang katapat ng kahirapan (Work is the only cure for poverty),” he said. – with Delon Porcalla