Home > Kahindik-hindik, mindscape landmark, Philippine Advertising, Philippine Marketing, WAWAM! What A Waste Of Advertising Money > bayo’s anti-filipino ad – advertising creativity gone horribly wrong with twisted logic

bayo’s anti-filipino ad – advertising creativity gone horribly wrong with twisted logic

we join the multitude of netizens condemning the bayo ad as anti-filipino. we join them as a filipino and as a marketing/advertising practitioner.

from the advertising and marketing standpoints, it  is very unfortunate since bayo is one of the country’s local fashion shops who is doing well in the market with many outlets in almost all the major shopping malls in the country. there is nothing worst that any one brand can do in advertising  than being anti-filipino for a filipino clothing line whose market are filipinos.

for us, there is no question on the meaning of this copy : “Call it biased, but the mixing and matching of different nationalists with Filipino blood is almost a sure formula for someone beautiful and world class.”

filipinos with mixed blood are “beautiful and world class” while unsaid, the implication is clear that those with pure filipino blood are less beautiful and not world class.

there is no mistaking the meaning of that line. the whole intent of the line is to put “mixing” as a better or even superior option to the “pure” kind. of course they refer primarily to clothing choices but the reference to mixed races is clear. the use of an australian-filipino celebrity as model for the ad makes that crystal clear as well.

how can a filipino advertising agency and a filipino clothing company make such awful statements?

before that, let’s  first go to a lesson in advertising 101 courtesy of the bayo spokesperson quoted by rappler.com

The words are badly put but the intention there was never to offend. Who would want to offend anybody?” said a Bayo representative who requested not to be named.

“At the end of the day, we’re all just trying to say that Bayo is all about mixing and matching things. That’s how we relate it to mixed races. It’s sad that something positive…na-twist nang konti,” she told Rappler. The representative, however, admitted that the ad “was really open to misunderstanding.

in fact the bayo spokesperson need to learn more than one advertising 101 lessons:

  1. do not release ads with words that are “badly put”. ads are supposed to make people feel good about the product being advertised. words used in ads are supposed to put the brand always in a good light. being put in a good light is definitely a necessity before desirability and purchase action  kicks in.  words in ads are as important as the pictures in them.
  2. what you see is what you get“- that is one of the first things you learn when you take an advertising job for the first time after college. the audience absorbs what you put out in the ad, both in visuals and copy (words or text). visuals and copy contain your message/s. what you write and show in your ad is what the audience gets, not intentions, even good intentions as the bayo spokesperson was trying to say in his/her attempt to make a lame excuse for the ad. intentions are always invisible to the audience. so making a point of it when asked by media about a failed ad shows a very poor understanding of the communication and advertising philosophy and its dynamics. rather than say this, the spokesperson whould have just apologized for the error. we think this bayo spokesperson has done slightly worst than the ad agency that did the ad for bayo.
  3. release ads only if you are 100% sure it will build business – never, ever  release an ad that is “open to misunderstanding” , even the with the slightest chance of “misunderstanding”.  clients advertise because it wants to generate business. generating business through advertising demands brand building which includes brand image that leads to brand desirability which in turn leads to brand purchase. the ideal is to have advertising that generates all those positive points, the next best thing is “target market neutral” where they are not affected by the ad and  neither are they repulsed by it. the worst of course is when the target market is repulsed by your ad. we have done this many times in our career in advertising – we junk ads that have in them even a single element that has even a slight chance of being interpreted as negative. the fact that an ad element has the chance of being interpreted as negative is like putting a tiny grenade in your handbag. it may be a small grenade but if something happens in your handbag, it can still explode. small negative elements in ads can be made bigger as your consumers talk about it and others who may have missed it are now made aware of it.


we think the “mixed race’ campaign idea in the ad has been brought about by  the heightened national attention given to other “mixed race” celebrities that we have been recently admiring like the azkals soccer team, Robin Lim the winner of the CNN Heores, miami heat coach erik spoelstra and most recently just weeks ago, american idol runner up jessica sanchez just to name a few. the phenomenon of the celebrities with filipino blood being admired by the country is really a recent development, having started  something like  just in the past 4 to 5 years ago. the bayo ad wanted to ride on this bandwagon.

that is fine except that they used the idea of “mixed race” in a very wrong way. they wanted to create the analogy of mixed clothing is as good as mixed race. the mistake was that they put the idea of “mixed” on the superior level calling it “beautiful and world class”. the inclusion of  “world class’  plays up to the point i raised about the azkals, spoelstra, lim and sanchez who are all seen as world class.

it is twisted logic at its best. it takes the proposition from the backdoor, rather than a straight up communication of the message. it is an ad that is too intelligent. it asks the audience to go through a complicated thinking process to appreciate the message. “intelligent ads” are very tricky and prone to misinterpretation.  these types of ads are very easy for the audience not to get what it means and or as it is in this case, to be misunderstood by them.

the creative team who wrote this ad cannot deny it – they were writing advertising with the intent of positioning the brand on a superiority platform. a superiority positioning is ALWAYS what creative writers aim for when they write advertising. superiority more often than not sells brands. consumers will hardly deny a brand that they think is superior over others.

that by itself is benign. a superiority positioning is the best kind of advertising. the problem is they referenced that brand superiority positioning with race – filipino  mixed with other races versus pure filipino.  that we think is more than insulting.

whenever we look at an advertising campaign, we always look for two things – what it says  about the brand and if there are things in the ads that can generate negatives. having a hundred positives in an ad is turned worthless with even just one negative. that is the nature of advertising.

whenever we look at advertising research, we always look at the negatives and consider them in the decision making. in fact there are even advertising  research tools that purposely look for negatives in ads.

advertising that works are those that are simple and easy to understand. having complicated ads not only result to poor communication, it can bring negatives to the brand as is the case in this bayo ad.

bottom line, it is a WAWAM – What A Waste Of Advertising Money.

~~~ mindscape landmark ~~~
carlo arvisu

=============================================

[VIRAL] Bayo’s ‘What’s your mix’ campaign earns ire of netizens

 BY RAPPLER.COM

MANILA, Philippines – Filipinos on social media are reacting to a recently-launched campaign by local clothing brand Bayo.

The campaign, which caries the tagline, “What’s your mix?” features Filipino models of mixed descent accompanied by text that “breaks down” their genealogy.

The campaign in itself has been mildly controversial on social media, but one particular ad is being branded by netizens as “racist” and offensive.

The ad features Fil-Aussie Jasmine Curtis-Smith, and is accompanied by copy explaining the “What’s your mix?” concept.

“This is just all about MIXING and MATCHING. Nationalities, moods, personalities and of course your fashion pieces,” the copy reads.

“Call it biased, but the mixing and matching of different nationalists with Filipino blood is almost a sure formula for someone beautiful and world class.”

The ad was never released on any of the brand’s social media accounts, a Bayo representative told Rappler; it was uploaded on their official website to explain the rationale behind the campaign.

One user, however, supposedly took a screen shot of the ad — that’s when it went viral.

Foul

Users on the thread cried foul over the ad’s implication that Filipinos of mixed descent are superior to others, while others said that reactions to the ad were exaggerated, adding that they didn’t see anything offensive in it.

“The words are badly put but the intention there was never to offend. Who would want to offend anybody?” said a Bayo representative who requested not to be named.

“At the end of the day, we’re all just trying to say that Bayo is all about mixing and matching things. That’s how we relate it to mixed races. It’s sad that something positive…na-twist nang konti,” she told Rappler. The representative, however, admitted that the ad “was really open to misunderstanding.”

The campaign has also been written about on tech website Mashable. The article notes, “the brand had previously marketed itself as “proudly Filipino” in the past, so the turnaround came as a surprise to some users, who expressed their dismay over the campaign.”

Bayo said the ads are part of the “first wave” in the entire campaign. The next series of ads will talk about a person’s provincial “origins” and one’s personality.

Do you find the ad (and the campaign) offensive? Tell us what you think.

Meanwhile, here’s how the twitterverse is reacting to the ad. – Rappler.com

http://www.rappler.com/life-and-style/136-technology/viral/6559-viral-what-s-your-mix-campaign-earns-ire-of-netizens

  1. June 7, 2012 at 10:30 am

    bayo has also mishandled the crisis management aspect of this ad. the spokesperson of bayo has given the wrong statements / messages. they should have just owned up to the error and issue an apology rather than make an excuse for their errors. it is an indefensible error.

    the sense we get is that the bayo spokesperson is probably young and very, very inexperienced in PR and communications work. his/her statements is a huge and very basic mistake in handling a bad thing for the brand.

    we would re-look at the status of the ad agency of bayo and the spokesperson if we were working for bayo.

  2. June 7, 2012 at 10:50 am

    I think this ad fails not just because it can be interpreted as anti-Filipino, it can be interpreted to be against the other races included the campaign as well.

    Bayo just has to own up to it. How can they make an excuse for ad copy that has the words “call it biased” in it?

    – got here from twitter.🙂 @raz_ambat

    • June 7, 2012 at 10:58 am

      it is really one mistake after another. rather than make the issue die away and disappear, the spokesperson made everything an even bugger problem and bigger pain to the bayo brand.

  3. June 7, 2012 at 11:18 am

    bayo is saying the filipino can be beautiful and world class when it is mixed with another race.

    wow! really?

  4. June 7, 2012 at 11:19 am

    i think the filipino is beautiful and yes many of us are world class as is, no change, no mixing.

  5. bentre
    June 9, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    I don’t know how you go from mixing and matching your clothes to mixed race, the first part is a choice, the latter, you’re born into it, so I don’t know how they expect the public to find the connection between clothes and race. I’m 100% Filipino and I’m not offended at all. I just think this idea is dumb, but also a reality people in the Philippines treat mixed raced persons differently than pure Filipinos.

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