In the past few months, news of the Department of Tourism's (DOT) new slogan for attracting tourists into the country quickly spread. Apparently, the DOT's replacement for “WOW Philippines” is “Pilipinas, Kay Ganda”. The tourism department received a lot of criticisms about the change. Critics questioned the rationale behind the change and whether using the local language will attract tourists. WOW Philippines has been used in the past years and was an effective promotional phrase because it is short, easy to remember and can easily be understood by everyone especially the foreigners. Conceptualized by then tourism chief and now Senator Richard Gordon, the word "WOW" means "Wealth of Wonders" among others.
There are some in favor of this new slogan “Pilipinas, Kay Ganda” because they wanted to be used our own language in our country itself. But some are disagree and they still want the previous slogan WOW Philippines because they think that the government are maybe rushed in coming out with a new brand. But what we need is something that can be understood by any nationality and would create a great impact to every individual.
The latest criticism and accusations making the rounds of social networking sites on the Internet is that the "Pilipinas Kay Ganda" logo was lifted from Poland's own tourism campaign, “Polska”. A check with the official travel website of Poland showed that indeed, their logo has a striking similarity to "Pilipinas Kay Ganda" from the font, the colors, and even the use of a tree (well granted, that of the Philippines is a coconut tree, while that of Poland is, well a common tree).
There's a lot of speculations about our slogan that is not yet done. A debate that is still existing. Meanwhile, The DOT Secretary Alberto Lim says "The latest effort by the government to craft and communicate an all-encompassing message to the world about what Singapore is all about, what makes it unique and great is likely to fail." It went on to argue that Singapore has firmly established itself as the premiere business destination. Why repackage Singapore to mean something else? Why fix it when it ain't broke?
Similarly, some people are questioning the wisdom of our own rebranding. Why not just build on the brand equity of Wow Philippines? With our limited budget, can we really successfully launch and sustain a new brand? The answer is quite simple. At a time when every nation, big or small, is either creating a new brand or repackaging their current ones, would you rather rehash an 8-year old brand? Besides, a new brand always generates a buzz that translates to more media mileage for the same promotional budget. Even more importantly, this is a good opportunity for us to express in a fresh manner the hope and optimism that the Aquino administration represents. Finally, let me just say that a brand, by itself no matter how solid the concept is, no matter how stunning the visuals are and how compelling the slogan is, no matter how big the budget is cannot guarantee success.¬ Singapore launched its new brand early this year. And already, they have achieved their arrival target for the year as early as October. We can only conclude that Singapore has successfully repositioned itself from a business destination to one where you can work and play. Of course, the brand launch was timed with the opening of a theme park and casinos. Without a doubt, Singapore’s old brand was relevant to its primary market –the business traveler. It was believable. The business and communications infrastructure were in place. And it was distinctive. Singapore was one of the few, if not the only one, who can claim to be the business hub in the region. When they expanded their market to include the leisure traveler, they needed to project a new Singapore. The idea of a “work and play” destination was certainly relevant to this new market. The casinos and...