Life So Mundane in Batangas
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02 May 2012

Yes! We’re Advertising on CNN!

It must cost a pretty sum; but whatever it is, it can be recouped from increased tourist arrivals and can be seen as a good investment. More than the investment angle, I am actually looking more at the prestige factor. Finally, we don’t look kahabag-habag anymore.

I am talking about the ‘More Fun in the Philippines’ international campaign which I suppose was only launched this week. I hadn’t seen it on CNN before this week. It’s running every now and again. On an hourly basis, I think; but I cannot be sure.

The video is no more than a 35-second clip; but it’s brilliant! It’s ostensibly a collection of ‘More Fun in the Philippines’ memes which people themselves have created.

In between the memes are short videos that portray the colour and diversity of these islands of ours: people coming together in what looks like a beach party; twinkling colourful lights of parols; and a Philippine tarsier doing what it does best – look cuddly as it stares at you with its large soulful eyes.

Personally, I think the clincher is the video of a school of fish twirling underwater with the label ‘Twister.’ How awesome is that!

The ad entices the international audience by ending with a question, “What will you come up with?” Again, brilliant!

Soft-sell at its best! No disrespect to Malaysia and Thailand, but in comparison, the ‘Malaysia Truly Asia’ and ‘Amazing Thailand’ campaigns tread on hard-sell.

Whenever I see these two countries’ videos, I have to admit that I am indeed amazed – by the packaging. However, I also never fail to think that there is nothing in the two countries that we do not have here as well.

In contrast, our own video does not explicitly entice the viewer with packaged sceneries but instead offers testimonies ostensibly created by the people themselves. The soft-sell is in the stimulation of curiosity, saying without really saying “Why don’t you go see?”

With a contemporary beat in the background at that, not some namby-pamby amateur jingle. But I’m being mean…

We were told that Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. was a pro. It’s not as though we need more convincing, but the ‘More Fun in the Philippines’ campaign is just plain genius.

There is nothing profound about it at all. But its simplicity is not only catchy; it is also participatory. In other words, the campaign asks the Filipino people to own it and to sell their country to the world.

To be fair, ‘Wow Philippines’ also made it to CNN. But the spots were few and far between and soon disappeared. Talagang kaawâ-awâ.

I used to go green with envy everytime the ads of our Asian neighbours were broadcast not only on CNN but the BBC as well. Not to mention feel sorry for myself because my country could not afford to pay for spots in the two international channels.

Not anymore! I hope the campaign is sustained. God only knows how successful Amazing Thailand has been. I had the pleasure of visiting that country last decade and what I could not get over was not the country because there was nothing there that I found extraordinary.

Instead, what I found truly amazing was a busload of European tourists fascinated by a backyard bukayô factory. Por Dios! If they can sell bukayô then they can sell anything!

Like I said, it’s all in the packaging! What will those silly Europeans think when they get to see a panucha factory here in Batangas?

Like the campaign goes, it’s really More Fun in the Philippines!

More Fun in the Philippines




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