New tourism campaign in the Philippines helps local workers

Skift take

The Philippine Tourism Department’s newest video is the epitome of “creative advertising talk”: performers transform their bodies into birds, mountains, waterfalls and oceans to remind tourists that there are workers behind every travel experience and that they deserve recognition.

Mary Ann Ha

In the face of one of the longest-running problems in tourism — the inability of the tourist to respect the bond between the land and the true community, which often results in the appropriation of both destination and culture — the Philippines Department of Tourism’s latest advert prefers to speak directly about the phenomenon.

“For years, we have covered the country’s stunning beaches and landscapes, its wonderful heritage sites and natural attractions,” the caption to the video on their Facebook page says. always making our destinations more memorable and fun — our travel workers.”

People Make Destination (BINAURAL VERSION) on YouTube

The nearly two-minute advertisement titled “Destination is made by people” takes place entirely in the studio. It acts almost like a feature film, tacitly stating at the start that no airframe footage, flashy photography, special effects, or actors were used to make the video.

Instead, energetic and elegant dancers fill the camera frame, using their painted limbs to act out landscapes, animals and famous natural landmarks across the Philippines. These performers are in constant motion throughout the video, twisting and turning their bodies to provide props and scenery that would otherwise be purchased and obtained from a typical travel commercial.

In addition to the visual depiction of major natural sites and outdoor activities, the ad uses audio consisting of raw audio snippets from 23 locations around the country, from “crashing waves in Samara” to the drum sound of top percussionist La Union.

At a time when we see tourism campaign after tourism campaign, hoping to capture the attention of Western tourists with trendy pop songs or upbeat promotional jingles, the Philippine Tourism Department has remained true to what they know the beauty of their country really has to offer, no matter , it may seem less appealing to the partygoer or adrenaline junkie.

Long awaited message

Tourism is about desire, and in order to sell a desired product, it is undeniable that curation must be a factor. However, curated content in travel campaigns, especially when it involves bringing film crews to untouched natural sites or depicting “happy” natives whose homes are paraded as exotic places to pose in front of, can quickly become detrimental to the location. , and for. ..

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