SEO-Friendly version of Campaigns & Grey’s Statement on “Pilipinas Kay Ganda”

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:

4 thoughts on “SEO-Friendly version of Campaigns & Grey’s Statement on “Pilipinas Kay Ganda”

  1. What a weak excuse. They’ve been around for quite sometime. They aren’t new grads. They would have known to NOT allow the client to override their judgement, nor should they have agreed to letting the client have the plagiarized logo (or even suggesting the plagiarized logo in the first place).

    Furious back-pedaling indeed.

  2. Inspiration shouldn’t have come from an existing logo, in the first place. If you’ve been around clients long enough, you’d know better than heed their requests of ‘inspiration’, which is really just saying “kopyahin mo ‘to, tapos baguhin mo lang konti”. Heck, they could’ve _at least_ re-executed the letterforms, instead of tracing over it.

  3. It’s not “bad judgment”. It’s bad taste and inappropriateness in the first place. For one, the logo, or any rendering of it looks like something you’d see printed on tee and “sando” souvenirs off a beach. For all the effort and originality placed in there, they might as well have taken a random printed tee, scanned it and traced it and added the copy. As one of the few established gunners in their industry, they should have never even considered it in the first place. A logo should be distinguished easily, not blend in with existing designs.

    For an established firm, they should INSIST and should have told DOT WHY their choice/s of a logo would NEVER work, and actually add humiliation to both parties as well. I mean c’monnnn… even a 7-yr old could tell the difference. It’s like laughing with the joke, but the joke’s also on you. They should have told DOT, “Look, it’s a TERRIBLE idea, it’s plagiarism, (and screw the existence of the bastardization of that law…only in the Philippines!) and the logo IS UGLY. You came to us, let us do OUR JOB.”

    The problem with this is that one finger keeps pointing at the other, and the other is doing the same, but what’s really going on is that, they’re basically royally screwing themselves & each other. It’s a vicious cycle, but you know you’ve lost yourself when you lack the spine to be reminded of the integrity and reason as to why you’re doing design (or whatever it is you’ve set out to do with passion) in the first place—and one of them is telling your client that their idea is crap and you’ve got a much better one. I just hope you guys really do.

    The question next is, what’s going to be done about it, and making something that REALLY works.

    And thanks DOT for the cock-ups, the avoidable waste of money, and the ultimate combination of bad-taste-in-an-already-existing-child-scrawl-of-a-logo and to actually have the balls to plagiarize it. NICE JOB.

  4. Some heads should roll in Campaigns and Grey. Guys, you are supposed to be one of leaders in your field. How can you commit such a blunder?

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