Taking back the narrative of the Philippines
Enhancing a country's image through social storytelling, positive content and innovative digital marketing
- Digital and social media strategy
- Brand partnership
- Creative direction
- Content curation and production
- Writing / copywriting
- Media distribution
Date of partnership
April 2016 — Ongoing
6.6M number of tourist arrivals in 2017
+11% increase in tourist arrivals in 2017
5PPT Outperformance to average tourism growth in Asia & the Pacific of 6%
Over 7,600 islands make up the Southeast Asian nation of the Philippines, the third largest English speaking country in the world. The beautiful country enjoys abundant natural resources, some of the world’s greatest biodiversity, and a welcoming population whose hospitality is renowned across the globe.
But the Philippines has been plagued with its fair share of serious safety issues and incidents in recent years: an impending change in government, some devastating natural disasters and a spate of high profile crimes. The worldwide media heavily focused on the increased levels of danger and violence in the Philippines, sparking a global dialogue and keeping would-be tourists at bay.
Traditional media was leading the discussion about the country and perpetuating a negative perception around a lack of safety. Key target markets in the US and UK did not trust marketing campaigns for the Philippines, and the diasporas in these regions, despite being large, were relatively untapped as a target market. The Philippines needed credibility amongst tourists and a rallying cry from its citizens overseas.
Launching exclusively on digital media, we put our name behind the cause, creating the “It’s More Fun in The Philippines with Beautiful Destinations” digital campaign. We showed the reality of life as a tourist in the Philippines, highlighting that more than 95% of the country was safe and that the pristine beaches, electric blue waters, and natural habitats had not been spoiled.
The first phase launched on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and YouTube. Our team traveled all over the country, filming videos and taking photos of Palawan, which was an area that had been deemed as “unsafe,” as well as Cebu, the Banaue rice terraces, and Manila.
Leveraging our brand following and engage audience, we announced that our team was in the Philippines and wanted to meet local Filipinos to learn about what life was really like in the country and to help them share their story with the world. Thousands of people turned up to meet the team, including all the major television networks — CNN even ran a special report interviewing CEO Jeremy Jauncey and Tourism Minister Secretary Ramon Jimenez.
The second phase focused on key channel partners and physical activations. Specific ad units were shot for STA Travel, Lonely Planet, TripAdvisor, Expedia, and other third party websites and tour operators that were sending tourists to the Philippines. A suite of marketing assets was also created for all regional offices of The Philippine Department of Tourism to use in their conferences, travel and tourism fairs, and trade marketing.
To top it all off, a grassroots campaign to unite Filipinos around the world, particularly in London, LA, and New York, was activated to showcase favorable video and photo content in key locations across the globe. Streaming videos were shown in multiple Philippines Embassies via our Instagram and Snapchat Live channels, and photo content was used for an experiential activation in London’s Waterloo and King’s Cross rail stations, the two most popular commuter stations in the UK.