The online news portal of TV5
Admit it. It is more fun.
With all the photos, all the attempts at wit—not all of them successful, but those that do succeed are priceless—that are happening online, it’s not so far-fetched to say that the new “It’s more fun in the Philippines” slogan by the Department of Tourism is by far the most successful in recent memory.
We won’t even get into whether the DOT really ripped-off the slogan from a 1950s tourism campaign in Switzerland (“It’s more fun in Switzerland!”) because no one really owns the rights to “It’s more fun”, okay? Besides, in Switzerland they don’t have this:
That’s the beauty of this DOT slogan - the fun is all in how we can participate. And yes, it’s true that, as a slogan per se - as a string of words - the sentence “It’s more fun in the Philippines” doesn’t have as much impact as “Wow Philippines.”
However, "It's more fun in the Philippines" is no longer just a slogan. We can no longer appreciate the words themselves unless there's a picture to go with it. It's multimedia. It's a meme. It's viral. This makes the slogan even more powerful and even more enjoyable.
The enthusiastic response of Filipinos, those who have access to the Internet, at least, is the biggest proof that the new slogan is a success—but let’s qualify that. It’s successful because it is catchy, engaging and fun to play with. But as to whether this enthusiasm translates to actual tourist arrivals is yet to be seen.
(On the other hand, considering the reach of the Internet and the presence of millions of Filipinos overseas, including those with Filipino ancestry, well, we do have reason to hope that the slogan just might rack up those visitor numbers.)
Looking through the various "More fun in the Philippines" photos, we can take a guess at which ones stand out and what qualities make them better than the others.
Naturally, we want our captions or tag lines to be witty - and since "brevity is the soul of wit" as Shakespeare said, it helps to keep the words concise.
So what about the photos? First of all, of course, is you have to have a good photo.
One that has good visual impact in terms of the quality of the photograph - composition, subject, lighting, etc.. It could be awesome and breathtaking, like this one:
Now that's awesome in several levels at once.
Obviously, not everything in the Philippines is as huge and breath-taking as a whale shark, which is pretty hard to top as a photo subject. So another possible good choice of subject is something that is distinctly Filipino, not necessarily an absolute original but something that we can associate immediately with Filipino culture. Like this:
The photo also has to be unusual. It has to show something that blows your mind in a good way. The image must rock your pre-conceptions about the world, throwing your mind upside down and sideways. How about this:
Ahrm. Excuse me. I have to take my prescription psychotropic medication….. and cringe in a dark corner for a few minutes….
Ohh….kaaay. I didn't really mean mind-blowing in that way. But well, at least when you see Madam Auring—popular Filipina psychic, recording artist, femme fatale who displays her glory in the photo above—on your trip to the Philippines, you can at least ask her to tell you your future. But of course, I know what’s in your immediate future—this image will haunt your dreams when you go to bed tonight.
And yes, this image is stuck in your brain. Forever. Pray it doesn’t pop up as you’re about to give that important presentation to your client. Or as you are about to kiss your date. Good luck.
Moving on. The photo you choose also has to tell a story. It can be a fun story and an intriguing one. Plus, the photo could also be making some sort of commentary about an aspect of Filipino culture. Here are some examples, with suggested “More fun in the Philippines” tag lines:
The photo above also serves as a warning for tourists to beware of giant, people-eating swans at the lake in Burnham Park, Baguio City. All right. Here’s the next one:
Wait. That last photo is just terrible. Why is there a child in the background? Maybe we should call the police… Now I’m gonna have nightmares.
Anyway, you all probably get the point right now. The new DOT slogan is a good thing, especially after a few beers, maybe.
By the way, there’s at least one news report that Senator Richard “Dick” Gordon, who is former Tourism Secretary, criticized the new DOT slogan by pointing out the issue that we plagiarized the Swiss.
I expect Senator Gordon to come around and finally see how good the new DOT slogan is. After all, as this photo shows, Senator Gordon knows how to have fun.
If you want to see how much fun Senator Gordon was having, go to YouTube and do a search based on the key words “Senator Richard Gordon” and “In the Jungle 2”.
You may be wondering what my favorite “It’s more fun in the Philippines” meme is. And even if you aren’t wondering, I’ll show it to you anyway:
This probably won’t get the DOT’s approval but it does show the spirit of fun that is distinct to Filipinos. Through disasters and political storms, economic difficulties and personal tragedies, illness, loss and heartache, we survive, rebound and thrive because we have our sense of humor. Whether we are at the peak of our powers or down in the dumps, we Filipinos somehow know that, if we can see the funny side of the situation, we will make it through.
My bitch/Carlos Celdran
Pet fish/whale shark
YouTube Grab from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYhfQfHE4E4
Constipated garden gnome, swan lake, zombie eggplants are sourced from Ramil Digal Gulle