Maldives considering reverting to “sunny side of life” branding

The Tourism Ministry has begun discussing whether to change the  recently branded ‘Maldives-Always Natural‘ slogan back to the previously slogan, ‘The sunny side of life’.

The Maldives Marketing and PR Corporation (MMPRC) re-branded the 11 year-old slogan with a US$100,000 design by Thailand-based global tourism consultancy QUO Keen in October 2011, which was met with mixed reviews from the industry and the public.

Toursim Minister Ahmed Adheeb has commenced discussions with industry representatives to decide on the change, according to local news paper Haveeru.

“Even yesterday we had discussions with various persons in the industry. Most were of the view to change it (the slogan and logo). That is why we are going to discuss this further today,” Adheeb was quoted as saying.

The idea of moving back to the old brand has been put forward as it had been used for a long time and had become familiar: “It would be easier to promote a slogan and logo familiar to a lot of people. That is the why we are determining the view of relevant people from the industry,” Adheeb said.

The new branding, including the slogan and a fingerprint logo consisting of islands, corals, turtles, sharks and herons that transitions from blue to green, was met with criticisms with some people drawing comparisons to the logo of Washington-based environmental advocacy group, Ocean Conservancy.

Speaking to Minivan News, Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) Maleeh Jamal welcomed the talks on the reinstatement of old logo.

“We believe it is best for the destination to reinstate the sunny side of life logo,” Jamal observed.

He said that while the organisation was never against the rebranding, they had concerns over  whether it was the right time to rebrand,  whether enough research was done, or whether the ample budget required for a worldwide rebranding campaign was available. “These basic questions were not answered,” Jamal claimed.

“We noticed that the whole process was not carried out very well. Then we found out that the tourism marketing budget for this year was extremely small for running a new rebranding campaign worldwide,” he continued,“so I hope the change will happen because we need to restore the demand and maintain the occupancy and existing level of arrivals.”

Meanwhile, Simon Hawkins, who headed the 16 month rebranding process as the former Managing Director at the MMPRC, dismissed the move as “a rejection that spits on a democratic, multi-party decision” by committee compromising high stakeholders, including MATATO and Maldives Association of Tourism Industries (MATI).

“We followed a 16 month inclusive process with a cross section of all stake holders, including MATATO and MATI, and we also took the general public view also taken into consideration,” Hawkins observed.

“The reason it took over a year and half to rebrand was because the [former] President want the process to be democratic,” Hawkins added. “But today we are seeing the decisions changed.”

When asked whether the reinstatement of the old logo affect the toursim industry, Hawkins responded: “Slogans do not break or make an industry. This is a highly image sensitive business. Imagine a hotel where the room has not been changed for 12 years. I agree, ‘sunny side of life’ did well in its day. But we needed to change it for today’s market.”


41 thoughts on “Maldives considering reverting to “sunny side of life” branding”

  1. I'm not surprised that Adheeb is going for the logo instead of handling the more demanding and difficult tasks. After all, this guy is so vain and tries to get himself on TV/media on a daily basis. It's as if he's starting a deeper campaign to an even higher office already!

    With his gelled hair and trimmed goatee, I can imagine the hours spent each day on his image before going infront of various media. The guy is all show and no substance, whatsoever!

  2. Don't care what Adheeb did or didnt or want to do, getting rid of that stupid log was necessary and I couldn't understand why MDP (my) government was so determined not to do anything about it. If I could have my wish, I would die to have Simon Hawkins and David Keen investigated over this logo case.

  3. The change of logo was done by a committee that involved all stakeholders and included MATI & MATATO and via a public world wide tender process.
    There was nothing unusual or illegal about the process and the previous cabinet made the final decision after the committe had finished their work.

    So, this new government want to go backwards 12 years to the old image - the whole country has gone backwards 12 years since 7th February.

  4. Bad bad bad decision. Every time a govt changes we don't have to change tourism logo. Agreed that Maldives - Always Natural is crap. So is Maldives - Sunny Side of Life.

  5. @ben
    No individual or one person did this change and MATATO and Maleeh agreed to it as well. All that is irrelevant now with this new lot!!

    By the way, wasn't this lot 100% against GMR and a new airport as well - why are they not screaming now??

  6. ADEEB'S JUSTIFICATION: The idea of moving back to the old brand has been put forward as it had been used for a long time and had become familiar: “It would be easier to promote a slogan and logo familiar to a lot of people. That is the why we are determining the view of relevant people from the industry,” Adheeb said.

    Well Adeeb, this government seems to promoting everything that's familiar to lot of people.
    1. Torture in jails
    2. Breaking rallies by using tear gas and pepper spray WITHOUT WARNING. Beating the area of a person's body where the rules on using weapons prohibit.
    2. Ministry of education discouraging freedom of expression. Fear of expulsion and suspension among students who want to express freely.
    3. Discouraging freedom of information by threatening resort works who watch anti government TV stations.

    Why don't you bring the 30 year familiar dictator Maumoon? He seems to be already crawling into us in the form of Baaghee Waheed.

  7. An important point is, how much did that logo really contribute to the tourism expansion that took place in this country? I'd wager that it contributed nil, nada, zero!

    This is not like trying to promote Coca-Cola. It's a service industry stupid. Time and time again, people come here based on the services available and most importantly, on the "natural" environment it has to offer.

    Now, any idiot with an MBA can create logos and flyers and shout about the merits of it which ultimately matter nought!

  8. @Ahmed bin Addu bin Suvadheeb

    Can you please not comment more than once. Don't you have a proper job to earn a living?

  9. Dear Readers,
    Welcome to the Dark Age – The Maldives.
    Current regime is trying hard to berry all the good habits in this Country. Those idiots are all hell bent ****. Sorry for my language but there is no other way I can comment about those thugs.
    Maldives is already one of the best well known destinations in the whole world. The terrorist group who has already spoiled everything in this country. They have no clue of planning anything accept hatred. They keep disappointing whole public and international community.
    Bruma Qaasim has been planning the terror attack in one of his resort called Paradise for last two month. He supplied a boat full foods and drinks to his terror group in Male every night. Within it he sends 10bottles of famous labeled liquor. This is 100% reality.
    He has taken the right of employees working at his resorts. He already warned them if they want work in any of his resort they have to sign his party and they should not watch any local TV channel accept Villa TV which manages and owned by him. No employees have any rights in there. Even they have forced to change MDP members to his party and told them if they want stay in the job there is no other choice. But he is not aware when it comes for a vote even they change the party does not mean that they all will vote in favor of him and his party .He can’t change their hearts. The employees who are working in his resorts are very much scared of the job and there is no freedom at all.
    The Lolly Jabir – owner of few resorts in Maldives have already given ministerial level job , This guys does not have any educational back ground. He is well known idiot in Maldives for his negative, unprofessional attitude and behaviors. He has promised to the top terror organization if himself and his wife is not getting high post in the current regime he will leak all the audios and videos of the plans to bring down the former government. I have mentioned the same in one of my previous comment. So those who do not believe can understand this was 100% coup and the current regime is illegitimate.
    Mr Deen – Owner of Bandos Resort is one of the Thugs too – He employed one of the former dictators favorite top officer - idiot at his resort and they have been working all together for few years to bring down the elected president and government. But at the moment he has not given any warnings to the employees working at Bandos Resort. It may come at any moment.
    Black Whaeed the biggest idiot – You make sure you don’t come to Addu .We do not accept you as our president and we will never do that in our life….If you want fight us we are ready to fight you and we will defeat you. We are not scared anyone accept Allah. If you shoot one shot we will shot two at you.
    The simple and sweet massage for all those behind the Coup - Make sure not to step a foot in our soils- Addu – We know what’s right and what’s wrong !!!!
    I personally urge the whole world, not to send any tourists to any of Villa group resorts and Bandos. Those idiots have taken the democracy of our beloved nation. If it goes like the way it’s going we will bring the whole nation to complete haunt with those thugs. We will haunt them at any moment and their properties too. The only solution for them is immediate resignation!!! No Other Choice!!!!!

  10. @power loss by accident on Fri, 24th Feb 2012 1:14 AM

    "Can you please not comment more than once. Don’t you have a proper job to earn a living?"

    Since when was there a quota on commenting? I'll comment as often or as little as I feel like!

  11. The logo change is perhaps easiest target to attract attention on the first "big" decision made by adhyb as minister. But it still fails to give him any substance which is his weak point to begin with. His presence on tv is least to say very feeble, immature and resonates an air of clumsiness. But still, It so happened head hancho yamin took notice of this chaalakee young fellow and shoved him into the minister seat before anyone sat there when the music stopped in wake of a coup detat. And while adheeb basks in the new found spotlight, little may he know he is actually sitting in a snake pit while the ground underneath is slowly but surely sinking him into his own grave. I pity the fool who thought he could be tourism minister of the worlds most desired tourism destination without actually having worked for it to earn the title. But then again who wouldn't admire a CV that reads graduated from apiit Sri Lanka with a vague affiliation to an Australian university, served as boy to gulf craft Hamid and witnessed /assisted in his boss's own demise, member and president of chamber of commerce that does nothing but outsource important events like magumathee bazaar, and then suddenly leap to minister of tourism in one of the worlds most popular tourism destinations. Wow wow way to go kiddo! I am jealous!

  12. @power loss by accident

    Yes, because it takes hours and hours to post three 50 word comments. I wonder how he gets any work done.

  13. Who the hell is Simon Hawkins to talk about our own affairs. He should not have been appointed to his previous job in the first place. This is another evidence of x-president's unfaithfulness to the Maldives and Maldivians.

  14. International Human Rights organization across Europe is going to hold the largest "democracy NOW rally at Berlin Fair this March". Without a date for elections before March 1st, Maldives will see the biggest out cry of International organization at the Berlin Fair.

  15. @ Ahmed Bin Laden bin Suvaideeb

    Of course you should keep on commenting on every post. My estimate is that you post about 20 comments per day. That is 5 hours of writing time. Added with the research time and reading time, it would easily take another 3 hours. With lunch and coffee breaks, your daily time with Minivan would amount to 8 hours (more or less a 9 to 5 Job)

  16. @Ahmed bin Addu bin Suvadheeb

    Please disregard @power loss by accident.

    Your comments are welcome and worth reading. You can comment as much as you like. If Minivan imposes a quota on commenting, you can have mine.

    Happy commenting.

  17. I agree old logo is much reflective of what maldives has to offer...what is natural about maldives? theres nothing natural about Maldives? its all a show....
    @Ahmed bin suvadeep bin as..., I can understand your agitation, typical MDP mentality it doesnt matter how illogical or out of touch something people will belive it bacause your Spiritual leader Nasheed says so..
    The new government is doing a fantastic job of leading the skeletons out of MDPs closet...i belive the Maldivian people have a right to know about the MDPs national debt and the mess MDP has created in the past 3 years.

  18. Dr. Waheed sat in the cabinet meeting that endorsed and approved the tourism logo 'always natural'. This all is proving nothing but, Dr.Waheed is not in-charge and its the Old Guards back in business.

  19. I think its a good idea to go back to sunny side. Always natural logo was copied from an international design. MMPRC is directly under the Nasheed's presidents office. They do all the promotion works for SAARC and whatever promotional marketing jobs done by goverment, they waste a lot of money. I personally think colonialism time is over, Simon Hawkins, Cathy Waters and the rest of the high paid Brits should go back to Britain and let Maldivian professionals handle the job.

  20. Now am go make my booking to tour Maldive,
    And will not forget a gift for Adheeb.

    Natural? I would never eat my egg raw!
    That's why to Always Natural I said no.

    I like my egg done sunny side up,
    That way, I don't get to throw up.

    Now they got Sunny Side of Life back,
    I can make the trip on my backpack!

    Slogans are the ones that bring tourist
    Not nature - so say the jurists!

  21. The instability of the Maldives in the past 5 years directly corrosponds to the steady increase in Brits in Government jobs and advisory roles.

    Please leave Maldives to Maldivians and Asians.

    All Simions and marks and robinsons and lynasses should leave. You are are not working in the best interest of Maldives as we know from the last 5 years.

  22. well its not natural here anymore-so promoting that is a big lie as such. But going back 12 years and changing the logo again after investing so much money into the whole process?

  23. What an insecure bunch of terrorists! Change everything back to the way it was under Maumoon eh, to hell with the implications...change TVM, change government employees working hours, change tourism branding, what else eh?! Little people acting big. How pathetic.

  24. Love the way Judas Waheed hugging Thas, I wish I could be this affectionate. Most certainly a love affair not coup.

  25. The thought of replacing a slogan or a logo and calling the process a rebranding exercise is simply appalling.

    Destinations are rebranded after millions of dollars are spent on researching tourist perceptions and spending even more on promotion to actually make the desired image stick in the minds of tourists.

    A destinations's brand is not merely a slogan or a logo. It is how the destination is perceived by its visitors and differentiated from other alternatives.

    To my thinking, merely the name 'Maldives' has become much more of a stronger brand, synonymous with beautiful white beaches and turquoise lagoons, than the two slogans in question ever will be.

  26. This is a matter of subjective opinion. Sometimes there is no one right answer for every-one. In mathematics or physics, there is. Not with a new slogan / logo.

    The process was comprehensive and all inclusive. There was extensive research and feedback from the industry, suppliers and consumer. The process took 16 months with all stakeholders invited including MATATO and the new President.

    More importantly, the feedback from the core markets was very positive. The Germans, Swiss, Japanese and British loved "Always Natural". To go back 12 years image and branding after a few internal meetings with a change of guard seems very odd and unprofessional.

  27. This should be the least of our concerns! 🙂 We have much bigger things to worry about - so lets try and focus our energy to the more important ones than changing back a logo and a slogan! Like someone said above, Maldives is a brand itself - and thats what we should be working on! 🙂

  28. My my... I would say that at this point in time, people would have more important things on their minds... democracy, coup-or-no-coup, constitution like that kind of stuff...

    Guess I am wrong...

  29. The branding issue is mute. The world community is watching the political situation and you can be certain tourism will decline until the political environment stabilizes. There are many lovely vacation destinations around the world, so tourists aren’t likely to put themselves at unnecessary risk to visit the Maldives. Frankly the Bahamas look good to me.

  30. WTF?? why do you guys want to change a more modern looking logo in to the Past Sunny side??? dont you think its time you use your brains so that money, time & labor will saved??? you guys are so pathetic!!!


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