Travel

Observations and Reactions to DOT's #WhenWithFilipinos Promo

They replaced "It's more fun in the Philippines" with this?!
IMAGE DOT Facebook Page
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After years of campaigns that resembled karaoke machine commercials, the Philippine Department of Tourism decided to go a different route with their latest #WhenWithFilipinos promotion. For the moment, we're forgetting the awkward syntax in the hashtag to focus on the content. Instead of cramming an entire country in a one-minute reel, this new promo, titled "Anak," taps into another famous Pinoy trait—hospitality. Let's analyze:

1. The video is told in the perspective of a foreigner. While this initially seems off-putting, it makes sense because the DOT's function is to promote the country to the rest of the world. We hear it will also be aired during the Miss Universe broadcast. 

2. This lucky gent (played by travel blogger Jack Ellis) is the cleanest backpacker we've ever seen. He closes the video with the quote "When you're with Filipinos, you're with family."

3. According to an article on CNN Philippines, this campaign plays off the previous "It's more fun in the Philippines" material. Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo says that after establishing the fun aspect, now they're explaining why it's fun. Rappler reports that this idea was suggested by United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Secretary-General Taleb Rifai.

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4. We've never seen a person feel this visibly touched to be called "my child" before, so we're legitimately concerned about the man's probable deep-seated family issues. There, there. The Philippines will adopt you.

5. Surigao's Enchanted River and Britania Islands are as picturesque as Nanay's ube kakanin. She must be a food stylist. 

6. The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that P650-million has been allotted for the campaign and "Anak" will be the first in a series to feature different parts of the Philippines. We're excited to see this saga continue.

7. No Freddie Aguilar references were used in this video. 

8. We give it two thumbs up for Excellent Use of Drones.

9. Leading advertising agency McCann Erickson helped conceptualize the promotion, but we need to talk about the cheesy script. While no less heartfelt, the dialogue feels particularly rehearsed. 

10. Concerned netizens have spoken and they're crying:

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As for us, 2.5 over 5 stars

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About The Author
Sasha Lim Uy
Managing Editor, EsquireMag.ph
Sasha eats to live and lives to eat. For five years, she handled SPOT.ph's food section and edited the last two installments of its Top 10 Food books. She also recently participated at the Madrid Fusion Manila as curator.
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