The amazing truth about More Fun in the Philippines
Learn from the best: the Philippines Social Media tool that will blow your mind
Social Media is by far the potentially most effective marketing tool to gain awareness of your tourist destination among your target group. The “It`s more fun in the Philippines” campaign is a good example of this. It is also a good practice of how to start a creative promotion with a limited budget. Because isn`t that what all DMO`s (Destination Marketing Organizations) want? Massive global awareness of the destination, while spending very little? The tool used by the Philippines DOT (Department of Tourism) is simple, yet super effective!
Tourism promotion. More fun in the Philippines
The Philippines DOT had a great offer for tourists coming to the region. Beautiful beaches, a great climate, and some of the best scuba diving in the world. On top of that Filipino`s are known for their warm hospitality. The one thing that the Department of Tourism didn`t have was money for a global tourism campaign. In 2012 it launched the It`s More Fun In The Philippines campaign, which became a huge success and a perfect Good Practice for other DMO`s to learn from. Besides being a big social media hit, the campaign was good for a 16 percent rise in foreign tourist arrivals for the first quarter of that year. The country’s tourism slogan “It’s more fun in the Philippines” landed third among the 100 smartest marketing campaigns in the world. Whether or not the Philippines is actually able to deliver on their promise of More Fun, their creative campaign can teach us a lot.
The essence of crowd sourcing
By now we all know that the success of this campaign was due to the large social media population in the Philippines, which at the time counted 27 million Facebook users. The government started a campaign with the tagline “It’s More Fun in the Philippines,” openly inviting the country’s social media users to come up with their own advertisements. Within hours, the hashtag #itsmorefuninthephilippines virtually exploded on Twitter. Facebook was overrun with self-made ads, such as “Casual wear, More Fun in the Philippines”, “Stargazing, More Fun in the Philippines”, and “White Christmas, More Fun in the Philippines”. In this way the Philippine people together created the marketing content and the campaign went viral. Although it is obvious to see how this campaign blew up online, the important question here is: how did the Philippines DOT get all these people to participate in the campaign??? The campaign did not become a huge success by chance. There was a carefully designed branding and marketing strategy in place. In order to translate this strategy into tactics, the DOT developed a simple but powerful tool. Through www.morefunmaker.com people could create their own “It`s more fun in the Philippines” meme.
The tool looks so simple and user-friendly that it makes sharing and participating easy and fun. Creating a marketing ad can literally be done in a few seconds! You find out about the campaign on for example Twitter, upload a picture, and add a description of one or a few words… and… you`re done! This is the key to creating engagement. Empower your ambassadors with tools to actively participate in putting your destination on the map!
Plan of action
Do you want similar success as The Philippines Department of Tourism for your own DMO? Just follow these simple, but extremely effective steps:
1. Identify your target group of destination ambassadors
In the case of the Philippines, these are the local people. Other groups that can serve as effective ambassadors or social media agents are for example tourists who have visited the region in the past and have had a positive experience. Make these people the primary agents of tourism in your region or city. They are the ones who will walk the talk, they are the ones to be energized by their own marketing campaign.
2. Develop a campaign aimed to activate your ambassadors
Create a tool that can be used by your ambassadors to deliver their own input as marketeers. Visual material, such as pictures usually have the most powerful effect on social media. Combined with a slogan that can be customized, your campaign is ready to blow up! Another example is the Friday Fan Photo of Australia Tourism.
3. Spread the word!
Market your campaign and facilitate input from your ambassadors. Give them a platform to post their own material and give feedback. The most crucial factor is to develop a simple, yet attractive and user-friendly tool, which can transform an otherwise unorganized group of people into a massive marketing machine! This the reason the More Fun campaign became so successful. Another of your tasks is also to involve the media and support your campaign through PR activities.
4. The next step
Generating massive awareness for your campaign is the first step. The next challenge is to actually get tourists to book their holiday to your destination. The first campaign was focused on creating a buzz awareness among tourists about your destination. Your follow up campaign, should be much more focused on a call to action, which is visiting the destination!