Pilipinas Kay Ganda Brouhaha

Posted: Friday, November 19, 2010

So many has been said on the media, social networks and blogs about the Department of Tourism’s new Philippine’s branding dubbed “Pilipinas Kay Ganda”. It even drew criticisms on the apparent similarities to Poland’s tourism initiative ’Polska’. Worse. the domain beautifulpilipinas.com is also very similar (2 letter difference) to a pornographic site.

Is it the type, the color, the graphics used in the logo the problem? A congressman even said it’s too maka-Kapamilya? (referring to ABS-CBN’s morning show Umagang Kay Ganda).

The DOT said that its new slogan is:

portrayed in a colorful, vibrant logo, which shows both the tropical scenery and the happy smiles of our people. A cute tarsier, a marsupial endemic to the country, highlights our unique and playful character.

In fairness to DOT, with every rebranding, may it be for commercial or social purposes, comes a period where people will oppose it at first just because there is that nostalgic and sentimental value to the old one. Who would name an ambitious startup company ‘Google’? or what about the console whose name was sounded to much like pee -the Nintendo Wii. Those brands eventually reached mainstream and was adopted as common, and even effective brand names.

We know we cannot judge a brand by the logo alone. It is the combined applications and execution that would matter in the long run. If DOT can sustain this then good for them and ultimately good for us.

Campaigns and Grey could’ve obviously done better. They could’ve consulted with the makers of Island Souvenirs for starters or, to repeat my tweet, made it in plain simple English. National pride aside, what’s the use of a brand when nobody understands it. It’s a no brainer really.

But branding and logo is just one factor of it all. If we really want tourists. Peace and order should be enforced. Historical sites should be preserved. Arts and culture should be cultivated, and the local native Filipino identity should be nurtured.

Personally, I’d probably keep WOW Philippines and spend the money on revitalizing the brand. Same brand but refreshed logo and usage.

If you were given a chance to suggest a tagline for the Philippines, what would it be?

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