Reddit users were quick to point the similarities between the recently released promotional video by the Department of Tourism and the viral tourism brand video launched by South Africa in 2014.
The Reddit thread, “The Philippines’ new tourism vide is a copycat of South Africa’s from last year,” has received over 90 comments, as of writing.
One Reddit user said that DOT clearly plagiarized after watching both videos.
Some said it was “embarrassing” and “disappointing.”
But one user said that what the DOT ad did cannot be considered as “plagiarism,” and the other Reddit users argued that it was still a “no no in the design world,” with the key common point being that both men featured in the video were blind.
Some Reddit users piped in, saying the ad was a #symbolism. Remember Communications Asec. Mocha Uson’s earlier defense?
One called for Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo’s resignation over this.
And there was no missing the theme of both ads.
However, a Reddit user pointed out that the blame should not be placed on DOT, but on the ad agency.
Award-winning director Brillante Mendoza should have been hired, said one netizen.
You can compare the two videos yourself.
Here’s DOT’s “Sights” ad:
And here is South Africa’s tourism brand video:
The DOT has denied copying the concept of its “Experience the Philippines” ad, released on June 12.
“[It is] not a rip-off, definitely this is experiential,” Tourism Asec. Frederick Alegre told ANC’s “Early Edition.”
Alegre said that the ad starred a real-life Japanese retiree who is now staying in the Philippines.
“Our ad that was released yesterday was beautifully executed. While it has similarity with the ads of South Africa, the biggest difference really is that it is a true story. The Japanese retiree is an actual retiree residing in the Philippines,” he said.
“We’d also like to add that we have been consistently putting out testimonials of foreigners in the Philippines and retirement is really a key pillar of the Department of Tourism… The Philippines is actually one of the best places in the world for retirees and we’d like to believe that the feature about the Japanese retiree really expresses what they feel about the Philippines,” he added.
He further clarified that the DOT’s slogan remains to be “It’s More Fun in the Philippines,” adding that the “Experience the Philippines” line supports the slogan as a call to action. The said line was used to promote tourist spots in Northern Luzon, while taking into consideration the Marawi City conflict.
The clash between the terrorists and the government forces in Marawi City has led several countries, such as the US, UK and Canada to issue a travel warning to their citizens who are traveling to the southern Philippines.
In response, Alegre said, “We only appeal to the countries that issued travel advisories to be more fair, to try to be more specific to which area and when the situation improves, it’s about fair that they also issue a travel advisory saying its safe.”