Wednesday, November 28, 2012

IT’S MORE FUN BEING RAMON JIMENEZ JR. (Second of three parts) (September 10, 2012)


Vim Nadera: How did you come up with the classic line “It’s More Fun In The Philippines”?
Ramon Jimenez Jr.: The Department of Tourism (DOT) set the direction and guidance for all those who are working on the new campaign to provide a simple answer to the basic question of every traveler: Why should I travel to the Philippines? And we found the right campaign because it was the simplest, most direct answer to this fundamental question. Additionally, we told the participating agencies to include the Filipinos in their creative proposals. BBDO Guerrero/ Proximity Philippines was selected as the winning creative agency because their proposal was able to capture the warmth and vitality of the Filipinos which we wanted to highlight, and encapsulate it into one motivating and exciting campaign. It’s more fun in the Philippines is a response and an invitation - a response to the country’s need for a tagline that is competitive, differentiated, and easily understood; it is an invitation for everyone to see what makes the Philippines different.

The new expression is actually not just something we, Filipinos, would say about ourselves. It is what a lot of foreigners who have been here say about us. It is a powerful, compelling idea that draws strength from the fact that it is a fundamental truth about the Philippines—the Philippines is not just a place to see, it is a place to be.

The main challenge to tourism growth for the Philippines is the plain and simple lack of awareness. Through this campaign, the DOT hopes to build enough energy around tourism, boost awareness for the superiority of the Philippines in key markets, and invite more people across the globe to visit the country. With the viral success of the campaign and astounding domestic and international response so far, a new catchphrase or come-on is not necessary. We intend to maximize this campaign and bring FUN to the world for as long as possible.

VN: As a visual communications graduate, how would you assess the state of Philippine arts? How can you promote Filipino artists?
RJJ: I think Filipino art is very dynamic, and in a certain context very highly developed in the Philippines. However, it does need a certain amount of support. For art to flourish, it needs a lot of support from the country for which it springs. We propose at the DOT to promote Filipino artists by helping them gain regional and international recognition. We have very limited funds, but to whatever extent we are able to help artists participate in these regional and international competitions, we will do so. Another way to help is to nurture the culture and the customs that breed indigenous Filipino art in our villages, towns, and cities. A lot of what the DOT does is actually meant to do exactly this.

VN: What about our literature?
RJJ: The same thing with Philippine arts. Just the other day at Palanca Awards, I mentioned to the organizers that I would like very much to carry examples of Philippine literature that we can either give away or even sell at international exhibitions and symposia that the DOT and the government in general are part of – hundreds of these every year in almost all parts of the world. If we are able to share our literature, then people learn not just about our country, more importantly they get a strong feel for the Filipinos’ soul.

VN: Can you share with us your trade secret as a prominent advertising executive?
RJJ: No I can’t. That’s why it’s a secret. 

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