Marketing people do their business in front of the world. It is a thankless task because it is absolutely impossible to satisfy everyone.
We see this now with the carping and ridicule directed at the Department of Tourism for the new marketing slogan, "It's more fun in the Philippines . . ." I think the objections are always going to be strident in the Philippines where under-evolved but amazingly huge Ego's have a strange penchant for trying to raise themselves up by tearing someone else down.
Here's the example I use. We were building new home on a large 2,400 sq meter lot, but before doing that needed to build a small house for my wife's mother, as she had no permanent living arrangement.
People would visit, see the small house, and invariably ask "Why is your house so small? You have lots of money."
Later, as we were working on our own home, a two-story place of good but not lavish size, visitors would invariably ask "Why is your house so big? There are only three of you?"
You see, the questions were not really about our house. They were about the person asking them. The penchant for having a wiser view of things exists everywhere in the Philippines, for just about every subject. It is the subtle way Filipinos jack themselves up in a land where power and face ride on every interpersonal meeting.
Another quirk in marketing . . . in the Philippines or anywhere else . . . is that people generally don't see marketing as a skill. It is something anyone can do. And, indeed, you will hear people offering up better slogans, and it is difficult to understand how they figure theirs will do any better. ANY slogan has an upside and a downside, unless you invest in it relentlessly like Nike does to make the slogan mean one thing: shoes that are more prestigious and more fun. Fancy that.
So for the Tourism people, I would say you have a sound slogan so let the commentary roll off your back like so much water off an albatross's back. Or maybe a duck's is a better back to use.
I don't know if the Department of Tourism did focus group research, or any kind of testing of competing slogans. If they did, they should say so. Most slogans are not just thrown out without a great deal of thought. When I was marketing director of a major bank in the U.S., it was common practice to test different approaches to understand better how a creative pitch would strike the people to whom advertising would be directed. Slogans, logos, advertising creative . . . all pre-tested.
Indeed, I see the new slogan as having great potential as it is applied to different attractions that are unique in the Philippines. "More fun finding underwater caves . . ." "More fun climbing volcanoes . . ." "More fun finding girls . . ." More fun scuba diving . . ." "More fun making your dollar go a long way . . ."
You can't do that with "Wow, Philippines."
But I also don't know to whom the slogan is directed. If it is to Malaysians, it may ring better than if it is to Americans. Americans would claim Hong Kong Disneyland is more fun for families than anything the Philippines could put up. Americans are cynics and can read "smoke" or "sizzle" pretty well. Malls are not a great attraction for Americans, except for local shopping.
I rather think the slogan is partly directed toward Filipinos, making them proud. Making them think their country is fun. Filipino pride is always lurking behind anything going overseas. I dislike this pride because it is so anchored on showboat boxers and stars, reflecting a kind of complacency with the way things are. It is not pride in achievement. It is peacock pride, people flaring their feathers with no real substance behind the squawk.
A big problem with tourism under any slogan is that the Philippines is rather dirty and worn out, in the mainstream cities and roads . Some tourist destinations certainly have a lot more attraction. But a lot of them are frayed around the edges, too. So the slogan may be jazzy, but the product is not. And those who travel a lot are not fools. They won't take risks or just fly off somewhere because of a slogan. They will do THEIR research.
If the Philippines can put good product behind the slogan, then I would say give the slogan a lot of play. Work that baby until it is blue in the face. But if the product is what I think it is, you can't sell a sow's ear as a purse. Spend your money working on the product, not pushing smoke.
So, in conclusion, I'd say the slogan is largely irrelevant, the product is what counts, and a lot of people are only arguing for the sake of their own Egos. Maybe even people in the Palace.