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Kick Ass Department of Tourism Ad

Written by Jayvee Fernandez


[Click on image for bigger size]

Apparently this is not a fake campaign. It’s blooming with awesomeness and controversy, I wasn’t too sure if it was indeed material from the DOT. But it is. This is a part of a series launched by the DOT and SMART and will be all over the place soon. To fully appreciate this ad, you need to see the fine print at the bottom:

** This value driven campaign promotes the Philippines to its own people, many of whom opt to travel abroad unaware of their country’s beauty. “Tara na” means let’s go.

As to whether I only need to pay PHP 4,050.00 for a round trip ticket, that I am not sure. But I guess that’s not the point, is it?

I also highly doubt its meant to belittle Thailand. For generations, Thailand has fast become a major backpacking route for Europeans as it is part of the banana pancake trail. This trail is a rite of passage for Europeans. How can we possibly compete with a backpacking tradition?

Maybe it’s time to start new traditions.

What a brazen ad. What a HUGE improvement from the previous failed campaigns. This one doesn’t speak softly. And it may even carry a big stick.

Net of it all, it’s brilliant. It’s viral. It’s controversial. I love it.

About the author

Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast, EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.

24 Comments

  • Wow. Now this is something. It’s stylish and it delivers the message effectively. Great job.

  • As someone who lived and worked in El Nido for almost 2 years, YES demmit it’s better than Phuket – cleaner, quieter, and the environment is in better shape. Though the only way DOT could have gotten P4,050 for a round trip ticket is by calculating it as flying in via Puerto Princesa then taking the bus or FX to El Nido.

  • I’ve seen the film “The Beach” and we’ve been to El Nido and this is soo true! Except Palawan is better kasi it’s untouched.
    Trivia mode : “The Beach” movie is based on a novel by Alex Garland and rumor has it, he was actually inspired to write it because he stayed in the Philippines for a few years and he’s been to Palawan. 🙂

  • The airfare going to El Nido alone is 12,500.00 so even if the El Nido resort slashed its rates 50& off and became 12500, it’s still expensive.

  • I don’t think the message is captured in the first 15 seconds so its not something that you would use as a billboard and not a “message at a glance” sort of thing. It also sets the expectations on “actual” values so may be misconstrued as false advertising when the rates don’t match after inquiries are made. The visual is good, though, but it lacks that “X” factor to get the message across faster. Throw more ideas on the table… I think its almost there.

  • This ad from DM9 JaymeSyfu won a Bronze Lion in the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.

    Dapat may fine print sa baba,

    P 4,050.00*

    *Terms and conditions apply.

  • I actually saw this poster in the airport. It definitely costs more than that to go to El Nido, but what the hell, the message comes across. El Nido is love. <3 Good job DOT!

  • nice! eto na ata ang pinakamagandang nagawa ng DOT ngayon. though, hindi pa rin ako convince sa “Pilipinas, tara Na!”

  • yes! thumbs up!!!!!i really like this advertisement of the DOT…

    honestly at first i thought the picture is taken in Phuket “james bond island” pero nung tiningnan kung mabuti dalawa pala…

    hindi pa ako nakapunta sa El Nido but i am pretty sure that Palawan is way better than that island in Phuket.. my husband and I went last November in Thailand for a 12 days vacation kaya almost part of bangkok and phuket na libot namin..in my opinion mas gusto ko parin ang beaches ng Pilipinas kasi mas malinis at malinaw…wala talagang binatbat ang Thailand at ska super commercialize na..

  • Like I previously said before the concept is bold but the copy is misleading.

    1. People might actually think that going to El Nido is as cheap as 4k+

    2. A bit unfair to thailand as going to phuket even if you combine bus trips and airfare wouldn’t reach 40K +

    3. That rock is not even in Phuket, that’s in Phang Nga Bay, Thailand

    4. It’s China-style marketing, competing on “cheapness” and face value instead of quality or what El Nido has “More” to offer. El Nido is a class of it’s own.

  • My family is from Palawan. You can actually go to El Nido for that price even less. You just have to take the non-airconditioned buses from Puerto Princesa which costs around P300-P500 for 8 hours.

    I don’t like comparisons to Phuket. This is injustice to El Nido. We should have our own identity.

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