Armchair Traveller

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Philippines fail: new tourism ad = porn

Philippines fail: new tourism ad = porn

"Where the bloody hell are you" brilliant by comparison

It was high time for the Philippines to rebrand its tourism campaign, which for eight years has been "Wow Philippines" — a less than inspirational and fairly lame-ass tag line. But what they came up with instead, "Beautiful Pilipinas", has been universally panned and subsequently canned after just one day.

Why? Two reasons.

The first is that the slogan is in Tagalog, rather than English. "Pilipinas Kay Ganda" (or "Beautiful Pilipinas") doesn't make sense or resonate with English-speaking travellers, who the country is trying to attract in record numbers (they have a goal of doubling tourist arrivals by 2013).

The second (and more embarrassing) outcome is that the online campaign's defunct-after-a-day website had a URL just one letter different from that of a porn site.

Awkward! And not exactly the sort of message a government board is generally keen to promote.

That said, the 'peens isn't the first place to fall flat when it comes to travel marketing. Thailand had an epic fail last year when they tried to take on country cocktail culture and trump the globally-recognised Manhattan and Singapore Sling with their own Siam Sunray. And how about the flack that Tourism Australia copped with the cheeky "Where the bloody hell are you?" campaign — one that was banned from media in certain key English-speaking markets where the 'b' word is less than polite, and completely over the heads of the majority in other markets where the same word indicates the need for a plaster (or good old fashioned Yankee Band-Aid).

User comments
DREAM A PHILIPINES, now that would be a good slogan for the Philipines to use for their holiday promotions. The Philipines is a wonderfull country and it is a must for any person to visit. Ok, it is not Disneyland, but every country has a little bit of negative reality, so why worry about any of it. Go and have a wonderful holiday, look, listen to the travel warnings and advice, keep your wits about you wherever you go for your holiday, and remember to take the sunscreen. Enjoy.
This is just typical stupididity from the Philippine government. Nice enough country and people but its impossible to do business there because you cant move any goods through their ports without paying off the thieves at customs and on the wharf, cant get around because of the crazy traffic congestion and their immensely stupid driving tactics, corruption everywhere and everyone is so lazy and unmotivated. So unfortunately, Philippines will never get itself out from being anything more than a third world country until people make a real stand and demand change. Hope they do one day.

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