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AITOpinion, Mae Valdez, Tourism Marketing

A National Ice Cream


By Mae Valdez

One of Magnolia’s new flavors. Photo courtesy of Skyscrapercity.com

Magnolia ice cream has recently launched seven flavors that showcase products from provinces across the country. The company tied up with the Department of Tourism and local government units of Laguna, Batangas, and Guimaras to feature famed products and destinations on its packaging.

With the collection dubbed as “The best of the Philippines”, the new flavors feature Ube from Cordillera, Macapuno and Langka from Laguna, Coffee and Tsokolate Tablea from Batangas and Mangga from Guimaras.

The product launching aims to go in line with “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” campaign, started by Sec. Ramon Jimenez late this year to promote the country’s tourism.

One may find the idea interesting in such that Magnolia, one of the country’s ice cream giants, joined the bandwagon in promoting Philippine tourism. But when examined closely, one may wonder whether such campaigns are really helpful to destinations or to Philippine tourism in general.

The campaign has a misleading element because it causes people to think that Magnolia is the “national ice cream” due to the fact that it tied up with a government agency. Moreover, it is a wonder if the products they use to make ice cream really come from the provinces they promote or if they give a certain percentage of the sales proceeds to the provinces’ destination management organization, at least. If not, then the campaign only becomes an exploitation of the said tourism attractions by being means to sell a certain ice cream line of products. It is Magnolia using Philippine tourism attractions to sell Magnolia, not the other way around.

Magnolia’s message implies that buying those flavors is a way of supporting local products. One can’t help but ask: if that marketing campaign sells, what happens to those who sell sorbetes? Certainly, those vendors often called “manong ice cream” are much more authentic, unique, and original, and therefore more worthy to be promoted by the DOT as an attraction in the Philippines.

DOT has released a very good promotional campaign that features Filipino culture in a “fun” way. It is about time that they should monitor who benefits from it.

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The official newsletter of the UP Asian Institute of Tourism.

Discussion

2 thoughts on “A National Ice Cream

  1. This is the first time I’ve heard of this campaign. I think it’s brilliant and very apt with the current weather we have. I don’t find any misleading element. I hope the author did more research on this (i.e. what were the considerations of DOT in choosing to partner with Nestle in this campaign?) than just give her commentary.

    “It is Magnolia using Philippine tourism attractions to sell Magnolia, not the other way around.” – This does not make any sense.

    Posted by Real | May 13, 2012, 13:36
    • ‎”The campaign has a misleading element because it causes people to think that Magnolia is the “national ice cream” due to the fact that it tied up with a government agency.”

      If we go with this logic, then Natures Spring should be our National Mineral Water, Bonamine our National Anti-Hilo med, Smart our National Telecom Service provider.

      “It is Magnolia using Philippine tourism attractions to sell Magnolia, not the other way around.” – Why should they be mutually exclusive? Should corporate interests be always contradictory to public interests? And just because a company earns through its tourism campaign, it’s now being exploitative? Tell that to the travel agencies and tour operators.

      “One can’t help but ask: if that marketing campaign sells, what happens to those who sell sorbetes?” – In marketing, promotion is just one of its elements. Manong sorbetero still has price, distribution, and most especially, PRODUCT to compete for. That’s how an open, competitive market works — those who can provide the best product/service stays in the competition.

      “Certainly, those vendors often called “manong ice cream” are much more AUTHENTIC, UNIQUE, and ORIGINAL, and therefore more worthy to be promoted by the DOT as an attraction in the Philippines.” – I’d say our sorbetes is unique, with the way it is being sold in those colorful street carts, but authentic and original? I think there’s a wrong attribution to these facets.

      I believe this commentary is a classic case of being overly critical.

      Posted by Traveller | May 13, 2012, 14:57

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