This statement has been doing the online rounds lately, scanned jpegs of the just-released statement of the ad agency Campaigns & Grey regarding their participation in the Department of Tourism’s “Pilipinas Kay Ganda” brouhaha. Talk about “furious backpedalling” – they are trying to put as much distance as possible between them and the DOT campaign. I guess the association must be bad for business.
Through it all, I get the impression that a) doing business with the government is a bummer, b) the agency feels really crappy about doing pro bono work for government entities with big budgets, and c) the DOT was a “client” from hell. But due to love of country, they did it anyway.
The closer is the killer. “We shall take this experience as a cautionary tale against giving in to the client and allowing their over-enthusiasm to override our better judgement. It was a reminder that the road to perdition is paved with good intentions.”
It makes for fascinating reading – except that the fonts on this scan are so tiny, my eyes hurt after two minutes! iPad readers will have a better time putting their thumbs and forefingers together and then apart, doing the whole multi touch thing.
I don’t know why no one bothered to type it in – for one thing, it’ll make the post more search engine friendly. So I typed it in and voila, here’s an SEO friendly copy for y’all:
Pilipinas Kay Ganda and Campaigns & Grey
Campaigns & Grey was called by DOT for a new branding exercise. There was hesitation on our end as we were familiar with the complex bidding process, and we were still owed by the past administration for services rendered. our love for country prevailed. From the beginning, it was clear that the actual campaign would be bidded out and that our work was merely to establish preliminary strategic directions. But suddenly, there was a pressing need for exploratory concepts to be shown in some travel industry events. Again, we warned the client that we were taking too many shortcuts. But it was agreed that there will be a proper market research where multiple concepts will be thoroughly tested among the target market i.e. North America, Korea, Japan, China etc. Through this whole episode, we did not have a contract nor did we receive a single centavo.
Based on avalable market data, ‘Pilipinas Kay Ganda!’ was developed as one of the 5 concepts for testing among the market segments. The intention of this particular concept was to come up with a novel line that visitors would find memorable, similar to Hawaii’s ‘Aloha’, or even the Japanese ‘Irasshaimase!’ and help regain the Filipino pride in the long run.
From many different logo studies that we recommended, we were directed to use the Polska logo for inspiration. Again, this went through several revisions until the client approved a logo similar to the fonts of Polska. With the addition of several other Philippine elements like the tarsier, smiling coconuts and the sun, there was enough distinction to send the logo into market research.
We repeatedly warned the client that it was premature to launch, or even preview the study, but apprently, preparations for the tour operator event were already underway. we ourselves were shocked at the grand scale of what was supposed to be a mere glimpse to draw out a constructive exchange among industry partners. It was not surprising that media and the public took it as a done deal.
We shall take this experience as a cautionary tale against giving in to the client and allowing their over-enthusiasm to override our better judgement. It was a reminder that the road to perdition is paved with good intentions.
As far as I can tell, the story broke over Twitter by Ces Drillon. Heck, she practically tweeted the whole statement over the twitterverse in 140 character chunks. I asked her if she thought the statement was authentic, and she tweeted back, “Of course. I won’t tweet it if it were not verified.”
Here are the pages circulating over the net: