In the ever-evolving world of international travel and tourism marketing, social media continues to reign as the most effective tool for creating awareness amongst your target audience. Despite the challenges posed by changing travel restrictions, timeless lessons from past campaigns can still steer your approach. In this article, we’ll explore the enduring success of the #ItsMoreFunInThePhilippines campaign, which commenced in 2012 and remains pertinent today. This iconic campaign is not only a testament to the power of creativity but also a masterclass in achieving global awareness on a limited budget.
The timeless appeal of #ItsMoreFunInThePhilippines
You might be wondering, “Why are we discussing a campaign from 2012 in 2023?” Well, the #ItsMoreFunInThePhilippines campaign is a timeless classic that offers valuable insights for contemporary tourism marketers. It demonstrates the remarkable potential of attaining substantial global awareness while keeping costs in check.
The Philippines’ abundant offerings on a modest budget
The Department of Tourism (DOT) in the Philippines recognised that their country had a lot to offer tourists: stunning beaches, a pleasant climate, world-class scuba diving, and a reputation for warm hospitality. However, they lacked a substantial budget for a global tourism campaign. In 2012, they launched a campaign that branded the Philippines as the perfect destination, accompanied by the catchy slogan, “It’s More Fun in the Philippines.” This campaign proved highly successful on social media, making it a valuable case study for other Destination Marketing Organisations (DMOs) worldwide.
Beyond social media buzz: tangible results
The campaign’s impact extended beyond viral social media buzz. It led to a 16% increase in foreign tourist arrivals in the first quarter of that year, solidifying the Philippines’ position as a desirable travel destination. Additionally, the country’s tourism slogan earned third place among the 100 smartest marketing campaigns globally. The creative marketing approach employed by the Philippine DOT offers valuable lessons for today’s marketers.
The power of crowdsourcing
One of the key drivers of the #ItsMoreFunInThePhilippines campaign’s success was the Philippines’ substantial social media presence, boasting 27 million Facebook users at the time. The DOT initiated the campaign by inviting social media users in the country to create their advertisements using an online tool. Within hours, the hashtag #ItsMoreFunInThePhilippines erupted on Twitter, and the campaign went viral. Facebook was inundated with user-generated ads, such as “Casual wear, More Fun in the Philippines,” “Stargazing, More Fun in the Philippines,” and “White Christmas, More Fun in the Philippines.”
However, the crucial question is how the Philippines DOT managed to engage so many people in the campaign. The success was not a stroke of luck but the result of a well-thought-out branding and marketing strategy. The combination of a user-friendly tool that simplified content creation and sharing contributed to the strategy’s success. Marketing ads could be created in a matter of seconds, setting an example of effective user-generated content marketing.
Evolving with the times
Even today, the #ItsMoreFunInThePhilippines campaign remains dynamic. People can still create their “It’s more fun in the Philippines” memes through the official campaign website. Anyone interested in contributing can easily access fonts and logos to create and share their own posts under the #ItsMoreFunInThePhilippines banner. This strategy continues to foster engagement and empowers destination ambassadors to actively participate in putting the Philippines on the global map.
Your 2023 action plan
Inspired by the success of the Philippine DOT’s #ItsMoreFunInThePhilippines campaign, your Destination Marketing Organisation can replicate this triumph by following these steps:
1. Identify your destination ambassadors
Determine your target group of destination ambassadors. For the Philippines, it was the local people. Other effective ambassadors can include tourists who have previously enjoyed your region. These individuals are your primary agents of tourism, and their endorsements carry weight.
2. Develop an ambassador activation campaign
Create a tool or claim a unique hashtag that your ambassadors can use to share their own experiences as marketers. Visual content, such as photos, is incredibly impactful on social media. By providing a tool or hashtag, you can transform your community into a formidable marketing force. Take a page from Tourism Australia, which implemented the “Favourite Fan Photo” campaign.
— Australia (@Australia) November 2, 2017
3. Spread the word and facilitate engagement
Promote your campaign and encourage participation from your ambassadors. Provide a platform for them to share their content and offer feedback. Involve the media, leverage PR activities, and watch your campaign gain momentum.
The next step: inspire action
While these steps help generate buzz about your destination, the next challenge is converting interest into bookings. Focus your follow-up campaign on a strong call-to-action that guides potential tourists to book their next trip to your country or region, creating a seamless path from inspiration to reservation.
In conclusion, the #ItsMoreFunInThePhilippines campaign is not just a relic from the past; it’s a timeless source of inspiration for destination marketing in 2023. By leveraging the power of social media, crowdsourcing, and engaged ambassadors, your destination can capture the world’s attention while keeping your budget in check. It’s time to write your own success story in the world of destination marketing!
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