MANILA, Philippines – Is the new Department of Tourism (DOT) commercial unoriginal? Netizens on social media were quick to point out the striking similarity in concept between the new heartwarming ad from the DOT and a South African tourism video.
“Sights”, the Philippine ad, features a Japanese retiree, M. Uchimura, traveling across the Philippines and experiencing iconic sights and landmarks such as the Banaue Rice Terraces and the Paoay Sand Dunes.
At the end of the video, viewers find out that Uchimura is blind, highlighting the fact that more than just the sights, the Philippine experience is felt.
Several netizens pointed out that the theme, complete with the revelation at the end, is similar to a South African tourism ad.
Did you like the new DOT ad? I like it. It’s touching. But it’s also unoriginal. It’s copied from South Africa’s. https://t.co/97hOfxq2EZ— Millennial Brat (@PH_Millennial) June 12, 2017
had high hopes with the new DOT ad which ends up plagiarized pala ano na Pilipinas ano bang pwede asahan sa iyo— Lord Nicolas ü (@lordnicolas_) June 12, 2017
The latest DoT ad was nice but ayun mej plagiarized pala. Watch this tourism ad of South Africa from last year https://t.co/iYL50cpJ7G—(@biiimb) June 12, 2017
DOT defends new ad
Tourism Assistant Secretary Frederick Alegre defended the new DOT ad in an interview with ANC’s “Early Edition” saying that the ad was based on the true experience of a Japanese retiree. “While it has similarity with the ads of South Africa, the biggest difference, really, is that it’s a true story.”
“Not a rip-off. Definitely, this is experiential. Japanese retirees have been coming the the Philippines for many years.”
McCann responds to criticism
McCann Worldgroup Philippines, the group behind the ad, has released a statement: “We acknowledge the feedback that the way this story was told may have similarities with the South African tourism campaign. It is unfortunate that the DOT has been called out and accused of plagiarism, for work we have done to highlight the testimonial of a real retiree,” (READ it in full here: McCann responds to plagiarism accusations vs DOT ad)
What do you think of the ad? Let us know in the comments below! – Rappler.com