Young Marketers, Advocates for Sustainable Tourism at the 19th PANAnaw Awards
Cheap travel deals and access to a wealth of knowledge offered by the internet have making today’s young Filipinos a well-traveled and socially aware generation. They know that it is more fun the Philippines, but they also ask themselves: for how long?
The country has seen a record number of tourists come to our shores over the last few years. In 2017, 6 million visited our islands. The sheer number of people plus our own everyday practices like our use of plastics has made it urgent to make sustainable tourism not just a way of doing business but a way of life.
For almost two decades, the Philippine Association of National Advertisers (PANA) has empowered future Filipino marketers to create integrated marketing campaigns that aim to contribute to the development of the country through the Philippine Association of National Advertisers Foundation (PANAF). This year, the young marketers were tasked to conceptualize and design a brand communications plan that would address environmental challenges in the Philippine tourism industry.
Armed with communication theories and their own experience as travelers and digital natives, five university teams vied for the top place at the final round of the 19th PANAnaw Awards: University of the Philippines – Visayas (UPV), Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), Ateneo de Manila University, San Beda University (SBU), and University of the Philippines – Diliman (UPD).
Five finalists were chosen to present their brand communications plans to a panel of judges composed of leaders in the advertising industry and chaired by Nedalin Miranda, Officer-in-Charge of the Tourism Promotions Board Marketing Communications Department.
“Combining patience and passion is the best formula in creating a well-crafted campaign. Trust your teammates and always believe in the talent and skills of one another,” said Haniel Joseph Esteban, leader of the PUP team who won first place with their campaign Bakas Ko ‘Yon.
Esteban’s team came up with the campaign Bakas Ko ‘Yon, which means “that’s my footprint” which is also a pun on the Filipino word for vacation, “bakasyon.” They picked up from their insight that Filipino travelers want to take care of the environment but they just lack information or sometimes forget to do so especially when they are having fun. The proposed campaign integrated the “leave no trace” principle that says, “Leave nothing but footprints. Take nothing but pictures. Kill nothing but time.” The judges commended them for their clear message and catchy jingle.
“If we really want to achieve real sustainability in the tourism industry, everyone should play their part. It should not only be the government, but also the community members, the members of the private sector, and, of course, the tourists,” said Kim Gravata, a fourth year Business Administration student of UPV.
UPV took fifth place with their multi-stakeholder approach to sustainable tourism with their campaign GalaOne Tayo, which encourages the government, business-owners, tourists, and local communities to do their part in taking care of the environment while maximizing the economic benefits of tourism.
SBU bagged fourth placed with their concept for an app called PointPH which will help tourists get around the country and find tourist spots that are eco-friendly.
ADMU placed third with their campaign Chance Natin ‘To; and UPD took second place with one-stop mobile app Kalokal, which hopes to stave off overtourism in the popular tourist destinations by promoting other less known local destinations.
“We learned that sustainable tourism actually goes beyond just coming up with new policies. It’s about building more sustainable travel habits and encouraging tourists to care for the places they visit. Every good campaign should craft the perfect message, and communicate it in the best way possible," said Anthony Theodore Ng Chiang, fourth year Business Administration student from UPD.
Grand winner PUP took home P75,000 for their group, a trophy, individual medals and P10,000 for their adviser. But the bigger prize for everyone was the opportunity for young Filipinos to think of innovative ways to conserve our natural resources so that future generations can enjoy them as well.
“From more than 20 entries that were submitted, we went down to our top five finalists. To our final five, you are all winners in your own right and we congratulate you for making it this far,” said Len Pozon, PANAF Chair, “More than just the brand, the Philippines is our beloved land, and together, the efforts we put into saving it today will allow us to promise that ‘fun is forever in the Philippines.’”