Coinciding with the 119th Philippine Independence Day celebration, the Department of Tourism (DOT) launched its latest campaign video to attract more tourists to our local shores.
With the new slogan "Experience the Philippines," the one-minute clip entitled Sights showcased the beauty of our country through the “eyes” of a foreigner, blind Japanese retiree M. Uchimura.
The new campaign's heartwarming twist initially generated positive responses.
But some netizens were quick to point out its similarity to South Africa’s 2014 campaign video Meet South Africa.
Unfortunately, this was not the first time DOT had been accused of copying another country’s tourism campaign.
In an Instagram post earlier today, June 13, celebrity DJ Mo Twister wrote, “The Department of Tourism has been a repeat offender.
“In 2010, the tourism logo‘Pilipinas Kay Ganda’ was thrashed because many accused it of ripping off the design from Poland’s ‘Polska.’
“In 2012, ‘It’s more fun in the Philippines’ was possibly ‘inspired’ by Switzerland’s tourism campaign from 1951 that was called, wait for it, ‘It’s more fun in Switzerland!’ Lol.”
PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) broke down the elements:
Premise: The most striking similarities between the two campaign videos were the lead characters and the storylines.
Both showed a man arriving at an island, exploring his surroundings, trying out some adventures, and mingling with locals.
At the end of the clip, the man turned out to be visually impaired.
Message: Both encouraged the viewers to go beyond seeing the beauty of both countries, which are also known for their rich cultures and the warmth of people.
Tone: This was where the two videos differ.
The opening shots of the South Africa campaign video suggested an introspective tone with its more subdued colors and mellow background music.
The lead character was aboard a plane, looking pensive by the window.
He asked himself, “What is beauty?”
The Philippines’ campaign video was more lighthearted.
Colors were brighter and more vibrant; the music was much more upbeat and lively.
The viewers' first look at Uchimura would show him smiling from ear-to-ear.
Upon his arrival on the island, he declared, “Here, you don’t need to see the sun to discover radiance.”
Delivery of message: Even if both clips encouraged travelers to experience every thing in its fullness, another difference was Uchimura, a Japanese native, wasn't simply a tourist visiting our islands. He chose to retire in our country and called it his "home."
Again, the opening sequence suggested this subplot showing Uchimura enjoying a boat trip, and capturing his excitement and familiarity with his surroundings.
Meanwhile, South Africa’s main character was a tourist visiting the country.
Cinematography: Both showed two different ways of enticing international wanderers.
Meet South Africa did it through the blind man himself.
Throughout the two-minute and 15-seconder clip, the attention was focused on the man and how he was absorbing his surroundings.
The video however failed to show South Africa’s beauty in its entirety.
Shots rarely zoomed out to reveal the full scenery that the man and his companions were admiring.
But this constant use of close-up shots remained consistent to the introspective tone of the campaign video.
The Experience the Philippines video gave every travel spot a moment in all its picturesque glory.
At the same time, Uchimura was not out-of-place in our islands. He was part of the scenery.
What do you think, PEPsters?