Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Walk Happy, Baguio City Has Released A Video, Here's What We Think

[This is an edited version of our original piece.] After seeing the video just released by the people behind the Walk Happy! Baguio City! advocacy campaign, I have to say I was disappointed. It didn't quite live up to expectations. Allow me to explain why.

1) It is too long. The video runs for nearly 20 minutes. Had it taken several more minutes, it can be rightly categorized as a short film. There's a reason why over 90% of video commercials have a running time of under 5 minutes. In this fast-paced generation, people just don't have the time to sit through long commercials. Tourism ads, in particular, are supposed to be short and sweet. [Correction: The Walk Happy, Baguio City video is an infomercial, not a standard commercial. Infomercials can be as long as a standard television show (30 minutes). Thus, the 20-minute running time shouldn't be an issue. We stand corrected. And we apologize.]

2) The message isn't just clear enough. When you first read the name of the campaign and it's main tagline which is "walk happy, Baguio City", you automatically conjure up images of walking around the city. They do this in the video ad, sure, but it has taken a backseat because of the amalgam of things that's happening in the video. The concept is just all over the place. It's messy.

3) Too many cliches. While watching the video, all I see and hear are young people having fun, eating, and speaking in funny accents. There's nothing wrong with this per se but is this supposed to attract people to visit and be responsible tourists in Baguio City? If this is what the creators of the concept had in mind, I will have to disagree. It's rife with caricatures. The video actually had me thinking of NOT visiting Baguio City.

4) I'm not a 6-year-old kid. The video spends an awful amount of time telling people that they should segregate their trash. That they should not just leave bottles anywhere. That they should not leave banana peelings in random bridges. I understand that sometimes people need to be told that what they are doing is wrong but this is so out of place in a video that aims to forge goodwill with tourists. You're talking to tourists and residents (most of whom are matured folks), not 6-year-old kids.

5) It's kind of corny. I showed the video to a couple of readers of this blog and they agreed with me. Mikey Bustos and company overdid their parts.

6) Anyway, although we didn't like the video, we still appreciate the idea and message behind the advocacy and they have our full support. That Baguio City is a great place and that people would enjoy their stay here. And that they would enjoy more if they explore on foot. Thumbs up to them.

As to the director Ferdinand "Ferdie" Balanag, it could be that he isn't cut for stuff like these or that the material simply didn't fit his style. We've seen his previous works (Agbalbalitok and Walking the Waking Journey ) and these were great documentary pieces. Which is why we had such great expectations when it was divulged that he will be directing the advocacy campaign video. Although the video was a letdown, we'll still be looking forward to his other projects.

Singer and comedian Mikey Bustos interacting with a Baguio-based artist.