By Mae Valdez
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.