Archive for the ‘Philippine Advertising’ Category

neastea’s layers upon layers of leap of logic TV ad that fails – “say yes”

October 28, 2014 Leave a comment

we think the intent of this ad is to be cute and amusing, then after that to be memorable to build a brand image for nestea. but on the road to achieving those goals, we stopped way ahead of it – we didn’t understand the TV ad.

we did not get the ad after seeing the ad once for the first time. it took us a few more times watching it to understand what was going on in the ad.

ads that you don’t get on the first time you watch it are weak ads. good ads work even after seeing it only once. that didn’t happen for us on this ad. and even after seeing the ad several times more and being able to finally get what the ad is all about, we still didn’t get the ad.

there was too much leap of logic in the ad. layers and upon layers of them.

what we didn’t understand was why did  the male lead who was making the presentation break into song on top the table after the boss who was seated at the end of the table saw a picture of his daughter with the male lead on the screen?

we got it that the male lead mistakenly showed a picture of himself and a girl on the screen who turned out to be the daughter of the big boss.

why did the male lead break out into a “say yes” song? and even the people around the conference table also broke out into song?

nestea a tea drink positioned here as having the ability to cool things off in “hot situations” apparently led the male lead to sing.

forcing ourselves to understand the tv ad, we think the story in the ad was that to save himself from the embarrassment of   accidentally showing a picture of himself and the daughter of the big boss, the male lead led him to propose marriage.

yes, propose marriage not to the big boss who was a male but to the daughter of the big boss who was in the picture with him. but the daughter was not in the conference room, just the dad and his office mates. since the girl was not in the room, to whom was he proposing marriage to? the song had the lyrics “say yes” which we are thinking it meant “say yes to my marriage proposal”. marriage proposal to whom? the dad? nope. to the daughter. but she is not in the room.

the above explains why we did not get the TV ad. the ad has layers and layers of leap of logic.  the ad is asking the audience to accept too many things and not only that, to make their own conclusions not only once but many times about the story in the ad.

TV ads are usually just 30 seconds. it is such a short time that effective  ads are those that deliver the story of the ad, the message in a memorable way and finally to impress or capture the audience in just 30 seconds. this ad fails right at the very first stage of the process.

we are wondering if this ad was tested. we think this ad will fail miserably on understandability and recall. it will probably come at par or score close to likeability but its over-all score will be bad.

the likeability score will be its best score because of the song. while the production value of the song is poor, it’s obvious the male lead was not singing the song, the melody is interesting enough to make it okay on likeability,

we also think the ad was made because of the song. we are guessing the creatives and the client liked the song a lot, and when they fell in love with the song, they somehow convinced themselves it is a good ad.

and then propose marriage just to save yourself from embarassment of showing a picture with the girl? come on! they were not even naked in the picture!


it is not a good ad. it is a WAWAM! (what a waste of ad money)


~~mindscape landmark ~~
carlo arvisu

“strategic thinking” according to Calvin of Calvin & Hobbes

September 25, 2014 Leave a comment

good strategic thinking is all about using what you have – the market, the competition, consumer insights (psychographics)  and your objectives and  putting all those together and funnel them into a coherent action that gets you what you want. it is not at all random but it is placing all the elements, sometime a few often numerous into a certain sequence that leads to getting your goals achieved.

that is essentially what Calvin did,

when use of a celebrity in TV ad fails – the new security bank’s TV ad with Megan Young

March 26, 2014 Comments off

use of celebrities in ads is a huge trend in the philippines, it has been for decades years now.  almost all the ads you see in TV, print, billboards and hear on radio use a celebrity. use of a celebrity in advertising is the go-to ad concept for most if not all the advertising agencies in the phiippines. we do not know how that happened or if that was instigated by ad agencies in general or clients in general. that is an interesting question but it is for another article in the future.

for now, we are interested in this particular celebrity TV ad by security bank using megan young.

megan young won the Miss World beauty title in 2013. she has brought so much glory to the country for this win
specially when it has been a long time when the country has won a major international beauty contest title.

beautiful women and men have been big choices for philippine advertising agencies specially if they have gained celebrity status. the usual choices are TV and movie stars and big sports heroes like manny pacquiao but beauty queens specially someone like young who has won a major international beauty contest classifies her a celebrity endorser.

security bank is a medium sized bank in the country. it has a good reputation among institutional or business bank clients but not as popular and in fact has very little mass consumer clientele like the top 3 major banks. you would know very few among your friends and relatives who bank with security bank.

security bank is not a big advertiser among the banks. it makes sense that it is not since its clientele, specially among mass consumers is not that much but it has been known to try to get into attract mass consumer clientele from time to time in spurts and in very limited efforts in the past.

this advertising with megan young represents a giant marketing effort for security bank. it has been many, many years since it had released any kind of advertising and in this magnitude. it has been airing heavily in the past weeks.

in marketing this megan young TV campaign represent what is called a brand relaunch where the bank re-positions itself and puts across a “new bank”, a new security bank.

based on the TV ad, security ad wants consumers to “switch to the new security bank, you deserve better“, the tagline of the ad. the “new security bank” offers the following new services : “priority queuing”, “exclusive privileges” and a “relationship manager” with all that intending to give clients better, more efficient, faster and personalized banking services. the ad shows young going into the bank and talks to the camera about her “new relationship” and she breezes through the bank services and gets attended to by a handsome relationship manager who wears a suit, no less.

well, that part of the handsome relationship manager in a suit is for certain an over promise and the roominess and good ambiance of the security bank branch featured in the TV, we do not think there is one single branch of security bank that has that kind of employee and branch design. but let’s pretend that is not an issue in this ad for the moment.

the ad also shows megan young being served coffee by the relationship manager. another over-promise that we should pretend we did not see in the ad and something we should not expect in an actual security bank branch.

the issue we have on this TV ad is much more than the over-promises of what a security bank branch looks like and what happens to customers inside the bank, what we are making a point on is the choice of the talent in the ad, the celebrity endorser and what the promises of what a new security bank is all about.

first a side bar – technically, security bank as a whole has not been changed. it’s not really a “new security bank” but its a just new product that security bank offers to well-off clients. this “new relationship” or the “new security bank” that is being talked about in the ad will be given to a select number of clients – those who have a minimum P100,000 deposit in the bank, not to all clients of the bank. because it is offered only to a select few of its clients, it is just one product in the bank. do not expect to get the kind of servicing in a security bank if you are an ordinary bank client.

this new product of security bank  is being pitched to young bank clients, the yuppies given the use of young who is herself young (pun unintended) and the ad uses references to “relationships that are not complicated” a modern-day reference to social media (facebook) that young adults are familiar with and most likely very few older adults know about.

from there the question comes up on the defined target market of the ad – young yuppies as we would think very few of them can afford to have a remaining balance of  P100,000 in their bank accounts. they can afford to buy an iPhone worth P30,0000+ but hardly will you find people at that age bracket having that large amount of cash in their bank accounts.

now back to megan young.

the point of this “new security bank” but actually the new security bank product is that it promises to give its bank clients “special treatment”, something that clients of other banks and other security bank clients will not or do not get. what it is saying is that bank clients get the regular treatment of having to line up, no privileges and no relationship manager tending to your personal needs (including coffee being served). it is saying many bank clients get the regular treatment, not the special one.

and that is where the choice of megan young as talent in this tv ad shows a disconnect.

megan young IS A VERY POPULAR CELEBRITY. everyone knows her. for being a celebrity and this kind of beauty with an international beauty title, she WILL get special treatment from any bank or in fact any establishment like restaurants, department stores and malls even if she does not do anything, ask for it or have P100,000 with her to open a bank account with. getting special treatment, even the priority ones is part and parcel of the benefits one gets in being a celebrity and being an international beauty titlist.

we are willing to bet that if she enters any branch of any bank, the branch manager will most likely stand up from her desk and attend to her. she is that recognizable and that is what we do for celebrities.

using her in this ad then destroys the whole concept of the “new security bank”. if the bank used a regular person, a non-celebrity in the ad and the ad proceeds to show this regular person gets special treatment in security bank, then the ad works and delivers the message very well.

the point of relationship products like this is that one gets “special treatment” even if you are an ordinary person but has P100,000 minimum deposit. a regular person gets special treatment, that is the idea.

in this ad and with the new security bank product, the choice of a celebrity endorser destroyed the very idea of the new product. it’s a WAWAM!


 ~~~ mindscape landmark ~~~
carlo arvisu









BIR’s public shaming of doctors print ad – brilliant ad, disparaging to doctors & it can be banned from publication

March 5, 2014 Leave a comment

this is Part 2 : BIR’s public shaming of doctors print ad is disparaging to doctors and the profession

this print ad has gotten thousands of reactions from pinoy netizens on the very first day the ad was published. not surprising, many of the negative reactions, angry even came from doctors themselves. non-doctor netizens also gave a lot of reaction to the ad almost in the same 20140304-090954.jpgintensity and content – some liked the ad, others didn’t.

this i think is the first public shaming ad published in the philippines. it is the first of its kind that we have seen in our entire career. there have been other shaming activities  done in the philippines but not an advertising campaign like this non-scientific scanning of the reactions to the ad i think are mostly negative where they are saying they do not like the ad. this is not surprising. i think the negative reaction to the ads both by doctors and non-medical netizens is a result of the tone and concept of the ad – it is public shaming of a group of people.

we have heard  alfredo lim’s shaming campaign against frug pushers when he was interior secretary where he spray painted the homes of suspected drug pushers to identify the occupant as one.

“shaming” of tax cheats is one of the intended objectives of this print advertising campaign. the question of course is will shaming the doctors get them to pay the appropriate taxes?

the number 1 objective of any ad campaign is to get the target audience to take action after seeing the ad. volume sales, market share increase or attitude change are the goals of advertising. for this particular ad, the intended action is for doctors to finally pay the right amount of taxes on their earnings.

another objective of ads, in the top 2, is to create awareness. this ad has done extremely well on the awareness part as we can see that it is the key topic talked about of almost everyone exposed to media, both in the internet and traditional media. the ad and accompanying controversy it 20140305-122241.jpgcreated led to it being front page headline news at the Philippine Daily Inquirer on March  4, 2014 .

the kind of exposure it got and the resulting discussions obviously had this ad over-achieving its objective of creating awareness on the importance of properly paying your taxes. we think on this alone the BIR and the ad agency that developed it should look at the ad as a huge success.

high awareness is the first step before action. with awareness very high, will the doctors take action and stop cheating the BIR and start paying the correct taxes?

that is actually left to be seen. we suppose the BIR has some way of tracking whether this public shaming ad campaign will generate more taxpayers to pay the right amount of taxes. an increase of 10% will be a great achievement.

filipinos are big on reputation. things like protecting  or preserving the good name of the family is important to us as a race. this is even more important for doctors. doctors get their patients on the basis of their reputation. we know of names of doctors who are good in certain fields of specializations.  while they have not been specifically named in this ad, we think this ad will have the effect it intends to achieve and will succeed on getting more doctors to pay the right taxes.

aside from avoiding an even indirect slight to their reputation as doctors, this ad will signal to the doctors that the BIR in the next tax filing will closely scrutinize the tax returns of doctors. the BIR with this ad has put the doctors on notice. that should instill some kind of fear on the doctors. we won’t be surprised if many doctors have hired accountants in the past days to have their tax returns professionally and accurately prepared in the next tax filing which is in a few weeks time.

the doctors feeling shamed and insulted by this ad has merit. i think the ad do disparage the reputation of doctors. the key problem of the ad is that it does not have a disclaimer that not all doctors are tax cheats. all it has is this fictitious name of a doctor and this one ad talent appearing to be a doctor. the ad even without directly saying it generalizes ALL DOCTORS to be tax cheats. of course not all doctors are tax cheats.

releasing just this one ad first obviously singles out doctors. we only get to know that there are two more versions only from news articles on interviews done by BIR chief Kim Henares. the ad could have just featured the “generic tax cheat”, not identifying specific professions and that could have removed the problem of disparaging the practitioners of the medical profession. but if that was done we do not think it will be as provocative and effective as this ad is.

PMA president: ‘We are not tax evaders’

the print ad actually talks about doctors as tax cheats which has nothing to do with their medical skills and reputation.  but regardless, it is understandable that the doctors feels slighted by the print ad. for people who belong to a profession where reputation gets you business and your livelihood, even a indirect insult can have the same intensity.

>> more to come <<

~~~ mindscape landmark ~~~
carlo arvisu

Read here :

Part 1 : BIR’s public shaming of doctors print ad is brilliant, it should win an ad congress award for excellence

BIR’s public shaming of doctors print ad – brilliant print ad, disparaging to doctors & it can be banned from publication

March 4, 2014 Leave a comment

Part 1 : BIR’s public shaming of doctors print ad is brilliant, it should win an ad congress award for excellence


the BIR just launched what i call the “public shaming of doctors” (PSoD) ad campaign, above is the first print ad of the campaign. this doctor ad apparently is the first of three ad executions, with the accountants and online sellers being the next to be featured in two more ads. last night, i saw on GMA7 the TV version of the PSoD using accountants. we are assuming there are  2 more TV ad versions to come with doctors and online sellers.

the print ad has these elements :

> it features a doctor literally sitting on the shoulders of a teacher in a classroom setting

> the concept revolves the idea of tax cheats are a burden to honest taxpayers, in this ad represented literally as being put on the shoulders of the teacher. we all know that teachers in the philippines are not paid very well and yet their jobs are very important, very difficult and impacts the nation specially the youth in very significant ways. doctors on the hand we know to be high income individuals. we know that first hand through the professional fees we pay them in every visit to their clinics and when we need to pay hospital bills.

– the ad even includes a computation of the salaries and taxes paid by doctors and teachers where we see in very glaring numbers, shocking even that the doctor who earns much higher pays much lower taxes than the teacher.

– the ad ends with the tagline : “When you don’t pay your taxes, you’re a burden to those who do.”

from an advertising point of view we think this print ad is brilliant! we think it should win an award in the next ad congress.

> the ad’s message is very provocative. provocative is one of  the top 3 qualities that you want in an ad to be. it is in the top 3 by which you measure the effectiveness of  an ad. the responses and reactions it has been getting in social media and traditional media, both from doctors and citizens have been massive, for or against the ad, a good indicator of provocativeness (sic) for this kinds of ads.

>the ad concept and the visuals communicate the message very well and with ease. just by looking at the visuals, you understand the message of the ad.

the only push  back we have and this it is a minor one on this ad is the execution of the ‘burden”. we thought the ad could have been more effective if it showed more ‘burden” being suffered by the teacher.

i am guessing the ad agency thought of it but they probably decided against it as they probably knew it will be a controversial ad and pusing the burden more in the visuals might make the ad too much to bear for the audience.

> the strategy of the ad was spot on – the impact of tax cheats on taxpayers is real and full of credible and strong insight. the ill effect of the actions of tax cheats is not just on the government but also on individual citizens. being the weak link makes everyone else in the link weaker and burdened.

> the choice of the doctor and teacher for this comparison was brilliant and very effective, quickly understandable to the audience. almost by rote, we know that doctors are one of the highest paid in the country and teachers are one of the lowest paid.

we know of the doctors as we have our own experiences to base it on. for a visit to the doctor, we pay anywhere from P400 to P1,200 every consultation depending on the specialization and reputation of the doctor. those consultation fees are nothing when we or members of our family are hospitalized or God forbid goes through surgery. surgery fees of doctors range from P5T to P200T depending on what the surgery is.

our own experience also tells us the doctors we see almost always do not voluntarily issue official receipts after a consultation. they issue one only when we ask.

we know of teachers as we have read about them – on how their pay is so low and yet they do a lot of hard work, their roles important and even critical to nation building and to our children.

the doctor versus the teacher simply put gives an excellent and concrete contrast for the purpose of communicating disparities and burden.

>> more to come <<

~~~ mindscape landmark ~~~
carlo arvisu

Caltex Techron’s message cleans the wrong way

January 3, 2014 Leave a comment

photo (5)


this is a poster appearing in Caltex gas stations. to say the least, the message it is trying to communicate is anywhere from confused to non communication of the intended message.

we are guessing that this is the message they intended to communicate with the poster – Tachron has been reformulated to include an ingredient that cleans the engine as the car runs. we do not know the exact science of it but we are guessing they included a cleaning agent additive to the formula of Techron.

that could be an interesting proposition for car owners – a clean engine means it will run better and more importantly the car will be very efficient in burning the fuel which enables the car owner to save on gas consumption plus a better maintained engine.

but the poster is not communicating that. with the suds emanating from the car and even bigger bubbles on the trees and roadside, the poster seem to be saying the car is cleaning the environment, not the engine. the car or Techron cleaning the environment? that is a crazy idea and totally unbelievable.

or… maybe that is what Techron does – it cleans the environment and not the engine of the car as we had understood it. whatever real benefit the new Techron has, cleaning the engine or the environment, the poster fails in clearly communicating what it was meant to say.

it’s a WAWAM!


~~~ mindscape landmark ~~~
carlo arvisu


@scrap_pork gets the scrap pork logo right, very, very close

November 5, 2013 Leave a comment

we had written about the poster of the october 4 million people march poster previously (click here : million people march october 4 rally poster – cute shades the point) where we said the image of the scrap pork idea was too cute and missed the important point of what the rally was all about – to scrap pork.

the twitter account @scrap_pork recently released a new logo for it and we think this one just about got it right.

scrap pork

this logo says it right – to scrap pork with the diagonal line across the face of the pig image like what we see in traffic signs that says  “no left turn” or the the simple “no smoking signs”.

no smoking no left turn

we are all familiar and that means we all know what that diagonal line across the image mean. logos or symbols work best when it obviously and easily communicates what it means. when you see these images, you know immediately what they mean, even without needing to think about it.

“no pork” or “no pork barrel” is the message and this new logo of @scrap_pork says it all and very well.

well, at least very, very close to it – the diagonal line did not cover or slash the snout of the pig. you can still see the two holes of the snout. this treatment made it look like the snout and the diagonal line is a design element rather than single-mindedly talking about removing it or saying no to it.

BUT that really is a very, very minor point. it is as many in the ad industry will say, “it’s just nit-picking”.

kudos to the designer of this new logo!

sleaze in kataxpayer billboard that fails to sell or even make sense

October 17, 2013 Leave a comment

this is a billboard that is on that road where White Plains subdivision is in Quezon City.  we were of course driving when we first saw the billboard and two things caught my eyes – the mini-skirted legs of the woman and the words “tax accounting”.  as we were driving, we didn’t get the message of the billboard, did not have enough time to read all of it.

but just the same, as we drove past the billboard, we thought something was not making sense in that billboard. we were unable to connect in any way the woman’s mini-skirted legs and tax accounting. they were just unrelated even if we stretched the meaning and message of the ad with those visuals and words.

we drove really slow the next time we went past  it to be able to read the whole thing. our instinct was right, the billboard didn’t make sense. it used sleaze in a bad way and nothing in the ad made sense, nor does it make a sale.




this is a close up of the main visual and the headline in the billboard.





the visual is sleazy and totally appalling  – it shows a before and after situation where the mini-skirted woman in the before picture had her legs crossed and then spreads her legs apart after a man supposedly offers her an engagement ring. yes, the woman spreads her legs!

why would anyone put this kind of visual in an ad? it is insensitive and very offensive. the sexual meaning is blatantly disrespectful.

and the main visual  is just the beginning.  there is more on how this billboard totally fails.

the legs spread apart with an engagement ring has nothing to do with “tax accounting”.  the product being sold here is apparently a tax accounting seminar. legs being spread, sex and tax accounting seminar all don’t mix well and don’t make sense. there is no message there. the message is all lost and probably because of the obsession with sex and sleaze.

the sleaze in this billboard is heightened with the subhead “it works all the time”. like saying it’s a “sure thing” the legs will be spread.

there is a large chunk of unsaid message in that billboard – taking the tax accounting seminar is a “timely solution. important investment” that it will be most useful and will work all the time. but all that is actually unsaid because the ad has been so obsessed with the sleaze.

there are many more ways, more effective and more sensible to deliver that message than use the sleazy visuals. there is an attempt to be creative here but it is used badly and being used just for the sake of showing some sleaze.

aside from the advertising component failure of this billboard there is another one – the billboard is actually right beside the gate of St. Ignatius Subdivision where we can assume  families live there.  their young children see that billboard on a daily basis.

this is a WAWAM!

call these numbers to ask them to bring down this billboard : (998) 979-3922;  921-6107


million people march october 4 rally poster – cute shades the point

October 4, 2013 1 comment


there is a second Million People March rally since the first august 26 one and this time at ayala avenue at makati city. the organizers released the above poster. our take on it:

it’s a great poster, the visuals grab you. the over-powering graphics of the pig does this very well. a cute and very red pig that you can’t miss and in fact is the central element in the poster.

and that is where the problem lie – it’s too cute. the cuteness of the pig graphics robs the seriousness of the purpose of the rally it is supposed to promote. it feels like its a celebration of something nice and cute while the PDAF scam is nowhere close to those adjectives and in fact many people are angered by the PDAF. not that we want the pig graphics to be designed ugly or disgusting but it needs to be within the context of the event it is promoting. there should be other ways to draw the pig graphics other than sugary and everything nice.

that leads to the next point which is to us the bigger point – the pig graphics does not communicate that “pork is unwanted” or as the what the rally is all about, to “abolish pork”. we think, much more than the cuteness of the design, this really is the bigger weakness of the poster. the posted fails to communicate that we do not want pork and as what the rally will be saying, we want it abolished.

the graphics does not say we want pork, but neither does it say we do not want it. the graphics technically is neutral on the issue of wanting or not wanting pork but the cuteness of the pig design can be argued as it is something desirable.

this poster withstanding and the analysis of the  poster, we will be going to the october 4 rally at ayala avenue.

Ford Focus direct mail effort – impressive spending but unimpressive mailer material that fails

November 8, 2012 2 comments

i got a surprising knock at my house from LBC – they delivered an odd sized package to me. quickly, i made a mental audit – am i expecting a package or document from anyone? the quick answer was – none. bells in my mind  rang!  oh, is this a surprise from someone? 

i opened the pack and i found a mailer from Ford on their new car, the Focus. i checked the envelope and yes it was addressed to me and it had my address. i wondered if it was sent to “occupant” or if it was sent to my house by mistake. no such mistake.

i was impressed with the direct mailing effort of Ford!

it was impressive as this was the first direct mail i got through LBC and this was addressed specifically to me. sending direct mail through LBC is a very expensive proposition. LBC cost alone is a killer of advertising budgets.

the other thing that is equally impressive was that it was  specifically for me. i was surprised they got my name and address. coming from marketing and advertising myself, i have for many years not given out my name, address and even cell phone number to almost anyone or any organization that i thought can  turn my personal information into data in a direct mail effort.

the most i do is sign my name when asked by any organization, including the schools of my children, retail outlets, stores or any other organization. when an address is required, all i put is the city name, not the complete address. for telephone or cell phone numbers, i would usually put some random number and very far from my real cell phone number.

this ford focus mailer was very targeted, having the ability to reach potential buyers. a targeted direct mail effort is very difficult for many direct mail agencies to pull off. this means this direct mail agency has a very good data base.

although i was impressed with the direct mail effort, i was not at all impressed with the mailer material they sent out.

front page & letter

the main weakness of the mailer is that it is just a re-layout of their print ads and a restating of the key elements of their TV ad. not saying the mailer should have a different advertising strategy and ad components from the TV and print ad, as  they should have the same but they should have changed the execution and implementation of the elements.

the mailer does not look like a mailer, it looks like a print ad but printed in glossy paper and folded. except for the letter that came with it, the mailer had nothing in it from a design and content standpoint that will get the recipient to take action or even just enjoy the mailer.

aside from coming up with a new design appropriate for a mailer, it should have some elements that exploit the mailer format medium. it could have been more interactive or leading where the recipient will want to read, interact with or manipulate  the mailer because it is interesting or creative.

the Focus has a few features that are unique in the market and potentially very attractive to potential car buyers. while these were mentioned in the mailer, it was not exploited in a way that is creative and compelling.

the mailer as an advertising medium is self contained and has the target audience practically as captive, designing the mailer to exploit the great features of the car and the characteristics of the medium would have served Ford very well.

inside pages

another key weakness of this mailer is that it does not include some kind of an incentive for the recipient to take action – for the recipient to go to the Ford showroom and look at the car or as the letter suggests to test drive the car.

the end objective of this mailer is not just to generate awareness on the features of the car, it is to get the target audience to go to the showroom to look and test drive the car. the weak design of the mailer fails in achieving this key objective.

the mailer may succeed in informing the target audience of the features of the car but it may be failing in getting them to take action.

lacking this incentive and the weakness of the design and concept makes this mailer a WAWAM! What A Waste Of Advertising Money!


we will be going to a Ford showroom to complete the experience and effort of this mailer. will post a write-up here.


~~~ mindscape landmark ~~~
carrlo arvisu


wawamTECH: how bad is globe service? smart launches a national ad campaign to exploit it

September 8, 2012 3 comments

competitive advertising  is one of the most effective advertising concept and format. competitive advertising takes many forms, one is calling out the weakness of your competitor to set up your brand as the superior brand to the inferiority of your competitor. it is one of the most effective as consumers will always go for the superior brand.

not only that, users of your competitive brand, the inferior brand will be encouraged to switch to your brand. that is the main reason why smart telco has launched a new advertising campaign.

globe, it’s only other competitor has been experiencing network problems for many months now.

click to read here : wawamTECH: globe handyphone service failing for months now, collapses metro manila wide on the weekend

globe service has been very unreliable with frequent downtime, inconsistent signal strength, fluctuating signal strength from zero to 2 bars, 30 minute to several hours of receiving and sending text and inability of subscribers to make calls. this has been happening to globe for several months now. this happens area to area but the other weekend the globe system apparently failed metro manila wide.

smart very smartly exploited the inferiority of service that globe has been showing by launching an national ad campaign calling out globe’s network failures. the advertising objective is to get globe subscribers to switch to smart and to prevent new subscribers from going to globe.

this move of smart is very unusual from an advertising strategy standpoint. ads like what smart ran are usually aired by new brands just launching into the market, not by a brand that has been in the market for almost as long as globe is. newly introduced brands use this type of advertising to get loyal consumers of competitive brands already in the market to switch to the new entrant.

globe has been having network problems as a result of a mismanagement of their switch over to a new hardware and system from chinese supplier Huawei which was supposed to upgrade their service – faster service and bigger handling capacity. the change over is so bad that it is wrecking havoc to globe service. (read link, above)

smart obviously knew this as you don’t normally run ad campaigns that feature competitive weaknesses that can easily be solved and quickly. doing that will waste advertising money. smart must have known that the network problems of globe will be going on for a long time that they can actually air an ad campaign on it. smart’s competitive ad campaign has bite only if globe continues to have an inferior product.

this cellphone service war can very well be named as – how your own upgrade can kill yourself.

~~~mindscape landmark~~~
carlo p arvisu 

“make it makati” campaign – logo that works hard and beautifully

July 19, 2012 2 comments

we have been seeing these banners on the main streets of makati along the ayala avenue business area and it caught our attention on the positive side.

we think it’s a good logo design and even more brilliant was how the logo design concept elements of colorful lines were flawlessly incorporated into the banner design. the whole thing is so put together with elements or components  and the whole working well together.  it’s a very classy logo and banner design which is a perfect fit to makati city and most appropriate to the target audience of business people and investors.

our push back though, although minor is the readability of “makati”. the lines in white and color makes it not very easy to pick up. the eyes naturally separate the lines, deconstructing the shape of the letters.

bayo apologizes and pulls out their mixed race ad campaign – what’s next for bayo?

June 8, 2012 1 comment

bayo finally does the right thing by recognizing their error, not making excuses for it, apologizing for their error  and announcing they will pull out the offensive ad campaign.

Bayo says sorry for ads, will bring down billboards

By Francine M. Marquez, · Thursday, June 7, 2012 · 11:06 pm

On Thursday evening, an official statement issued by the company through its VP for Product Research and Development, Lyn Agustin, said: “We at BAYO deeply apologize for the message our campaign—‘What’s Your Mix?’—has unintentionally conveyed. We would like to express our regret to those who have been offended or felt discriminated against.

“Our company and our partners have always taken pride in being pro-Filipino as we continue to celebrate our uniqueness and achievements. We believe that being a Filipino will always make you 100% beautiful. It is unfortunate that this message got lost along the way.

“We thank everyone who has shown support for our thrust of promoting Filipino beauty, talent, and creativity.”

In a phone interview with Bayo’s GM Pinky Estrebillo, the clothing brand’s executive said that the company will also temporarily bring down all its billboards with the said ads. The campaign, she said, was conceptualized by its in-house creative team with the help of a consultant.

the statements of apology no longer come from the spokesperson but two other company officials. that is a good move. the spokesperson who released a statement first did not do a good job at it and we even think may have harmed the brand even more by attempting to rationalize their error.

they should have released the latest statement of apology and ad recall at the very start. people have been offended by the ads,. no amount of debate, argument or excuses can change that. making excuses for the error will only deepen the hurt and prolong the agony of a failed and insulting ad campaign.

what’s next for bayo?

1. new ad campaign – quick! they need to release a new ad campaign quickly. this may take longer than usual as they need to do some very serious thinking on the next ad campaign. this will be a tough assignment as the new ad campaign need to take into consideration the ill effects of mixed race ad campaign.

they need to find the correct balance. in a situation like this, doing too little and too much are both detrimental to the brand. will they ignore what happened? or will they recognize it?

very serious strategic thinking need to be applied on the next ad campaign.  more importantly, they should do things other than just advertising. a holistic, strategy driven and integrated effort need to be done.

2. comprehensive PR campaign – now! while they are developing their new ads, they need to go on a PR offensive to smooth things out with the public  and their target market.

equally important, they need to do a PR campaign for their suppliers, the malls that house their retail outlets and their employees. for sure many of their partners and employees feel demoralized from what happened. bayo needs to restore confidence and faith on the company and company management.

3. get rid of  the consultant, do not engage in house communication group to do next ad campaign –  the press statement said a consultant and their in house communication group did the ads. getting them to do the next ad campaign will be counter productive. getting them involve will not result to good things as they will for sure feel defensive and tainted.

4. re-train and re-tool in store dealing with customers by sales personnel –  byo should not forget that being a retail operation, the company does have direct contact with their customers at the stores. theirs is  unlike mass consumer goods marketers whose contact with the customers is mostly through advertising. people who buy a bottle of coke or sanitary napkin for example just go to the stores and buy the product, no other interaction takes place with the customer.

that is not true with retail stores. the clothing company actually has direct contact with their customers via the sales ladies in their retail stores. these sales ladies need to be given guidelines and training as to how they will behave and what to say to customers.  for sure the bayo sales ladies will be faced with questions on the ad campaign by customers. they need to know what to say and how to say it.

5. completely drop the mixed race advertising campaign, not even with a ten foot pole   – they should NOT, not even put a hint on the mixed race campaign.

the fact is the ad campaign they had was a race-driven campaign, it was not even about clothes or fashion, it was about race. race and religion are the two things in this world that no advertising or brand should have in their advertising campaign. race and religion are always very touchy subject matters where the line between doing good for the brand and doing bad is a very, very thin line.

to begin with, the advertising strategy for their mixed race ad campaign was a total failure. the ad campaign was selling the idea of mixed-fashion which is not unique to their brand and something that other clothing companies can claim. it is a very generic claim that does not build brand equity for them.

just to simplify the point, they could have for example sold their clothing line on the basis of having the best yellow color in the industry. that is ownable and unique . mixed fashion is not.

the ad campaign was selling the idea of mixed race, zeroing in on the celebrity talents they had in their ads. race has nothing to do with clothes or fashion.

this ad campaign is a celebrity endorsement ad campaign gone wrong and done badly.   they took the idea of celebrity endorsement ad campaign to the extreme – selling their endorsers instead of the product which is clothes.

this is the weakness of the philippine advertising industry as a whole. the ad industry in this country knows nothing else but celebrity endorsement ad campaigns. a huge 80% to 90% of the total ads aired on tv and radio and published in print feature celebrity endorsers. celebrity endorsement has become a go-to ad campaign concept for the industry.  it has become the default ad campaign concept.

the bayo mixed-race ad campaign has taken that ad campaign concept to the extreme that they were already selling the mixed race element of their celebrity endorser rather than the clothes they were supposed to advertise.

in developing all of the above, the company needs to face the fact that they have offended the general public and their target market.  not only that, most people will now know them as the clothing brand that insulted the filipino. that is no easy issue to face.

~~~ mindscape landmark ~~~
carlo p arvisu 

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

June 7, 2012 6 comments

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

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


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.


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.”

Read more…

philippine tourism ad campaign launched in london

June 6, 2012 1 comment

the london cab and london bus are two of what are iconic  in london . using these to carry the country’s tourism message is a very good idea. launching the ad campaign at this time, during the celebration marking the 60th reign of queen elizabeth makes it even more special. london must be full of people during the week long celebration. that will mean more people will be exposed to the “it’s more fun in the philippines” ad camoaign.

“It’s More Fun in the Philippines” Campaign Debuts in London

3 May 2012 – Philippine tourism received a rousing boost in the United Kingdom (UK) with the rollout of 75 iconic London black cabs and double-decker buses sporting the new “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” banners last May 1.

Philippine Ambassador to the United Kingdom Enrique A. Manalo and Philippine Department of Tourism-London head Rosario Afuang saw off a large group of invited officials, travel trade partners, media representatives, and members of the Filipino community who gathered at the Philippine Embassy for the start of a ride on the “More Fun” vehicles around central London.

 The Philippine motorcade travelled through some of London’s most famous and visited areas, making an unscheduled stop on Oxford Street – Europe and the UK’s busiest commercial district – to allow passengers to disembark and give delighted British shoppers an impromptu performance of Philippine song and dance.
 Upon completion of their trip, Ambassador Manalo feted the guests to Philippine food and drink at the Embassy.
“This is just a sample of what you will experience when you visit our country”, he said.  “A culture of fun, beauty and excitement await every visitor. With 7,107 islands, guests are sure to find islands that will suit their adventure, and with more than 90 million hosts, you are definitely going to have more fun in the Philippines.”
According to Ms. Afuang, apart from the exteriors of 50 black cabs and 25 double-decker buses, “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” images will appear on 75 panels at some of London’s busiest underground stations, including Piccadilly Circus, Covent Garden, Leicester Square, Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Circus.  There will also be 30-second “More Fun” ad appearing on 1,400 digital screens onboard London cabs.
The advertisements in the UK are part of synchronized efforts with the Department of Tourism in Manila as it launches a worldwide campaign on CNN International which began last April 30.  The UK campaign will remain in time for the millions of visitors from around the world attending the Queen’s Jubilee in June, the Olympic Games in July, and the Paralympic games in September.
The UK ranks 1st in Europe in number of tourist arrivals to the Philippines, and 10th overall.  Over 100,000 British tourists travelled to the Philippines in 2011 alone – an all-time high. END

“its more fun in the philippines” campaign should get Jessica Sanchez in advertising campaign

May 25, 2012 1 comment

the department of tourism of the philippinjes just launched its new tourism advertising campaign, “it’s more fun in the philippines”. it’s a great tourism ad campaign and we have seen it’s execution in tv ads somewhat when ads were aired at CNN when the news network featured the philippines just a few weeks ago. how good are those ads aired at CNN? that will  be for another topic.

one of advertising 101 principles is recency and relevance. this is pretty basic – for an ad to work you need it to talk to the audience of today. it does not matter what the age of the target audience is, the ad needs to feel, look and contain advertising promises and execution that says to the audience, the product being advertised exist right now and is talking to them right now.

just yesterday is one such event – jessica sanchez, the filipina-mexican-american 16 year old girl came in second in the very popular american idol singing reality tv show. jessica was born in the US, that’s where she got the “american” part while she has a mexican father and a filipina mother.

american idol is not only a popular tv show in the US but also all over the world. the show is closely followed by audiences worldwide.  for most watching the telecast after it’s aired in the US and in this case social media giving a blow by blow account of the performances. it follows that the contestants who battle it out in the show also gain worldwide acclaim and popularity.

and this is where jessica sanchez and the DOT’s  (department of tourism) tourism advertising campaign meet each other. the country’s tourism campaign by the nature of tourism being global, where tourists from all over the world is a target market makes jessica sanchez a natural choice for its ad campaign. aside from it is safe to assume jessica has a global following , jessica coming in as runner up at american idol says she has a very wide  fan base in the US, one of the largest if not largest market for tourism for the country.  the finale had a total of 130M votes, an american idol record. taking out multiple votes, at least 90 M people in the US know who jessica sanchez is. 90M people is the population size of some countries, like the philippines. having asian roots also make her a naturally strong magnet for tourists in asian countries.

bloggers and social media citizens have pointed out that based on social media responses to the results of the american idol finals,  philip philips who won is the “american idol” but jessica sanchez is the “world idol”. jessica apparently has gotten more positive feedback from all over the world than philip philips had.

the recency factor is also a big plus for jessica as an effective endorser.  but that also puts a lot of urgency for the department of tourism to sign up jessica for an ad campaign.  getting her to appear in an ad sooner will be better for the campaign as a whole.

a tv ad featuring jessica necessarily will need to involve jessica to sing. it is what she is known for and it is what people worldwide admire her for. the DOT may p[erhaps commission a filipino song writer to write the jingle. there are many talented song writers in the country and for sure it will be easy to get a most appropriate one.  this jingle needs to work well in english and in filipino. we;re thinking the ad needs to be shot in both languages.

the filipino version can be used mostly in the philippines  and not only will that generate domestic tourism, it will unite and generate nationalistic pride among the pinoys. the onky question of course is can jessica sing in filipino?

jessica’s global popularity is a built in advantage for the tourism ad campaign. people not only know her but also admire her. having her in a tourism ad will automatically generate a lot of goodwill and call attention.  it also helps a lot that pinoys in general like music and are known to be good singers. there is no hotel in asia that do not have filipino bands playing in the bar or restaurants. a tourism ad for the philippines that features a popular singer is a perfect combination.

the talent who will appear in the ad clearly determined, the only question will be what is the content of the tv ad. – what is the advertising strategy and what are the consumer insights. and how this will fold in nicely to the “it.s more fun on the philippines” concept. we think the last part is a must.

the risk of getting a popular endorser like jessica sanchez in an ad is that the ad agency forgets about strategies. insights and campaign concept and just write copy to exploit the power of the endorser. while this type of ads may pull in audience and recall, it will fail in building a brand for the country.


~~~mindscape landmark ~~~
carlo p arvisu 

marketing & advertising 101 : how to apply hard core mass consumer marketing & advertising to the intangible product “family planning”

March 1, 2012 Leave a comment

we have started a series of articles on our experience on applying hard core mass consumer  marketing & advertising to the intangible product called “family planning”

 this will be a first of a series of articles that will explore how hard core mass consumer marketing and advertising have been successfully applied to a near intangible product called “family planning”. the product “family planning” is actually a mindset and a practice and something you cannot buy like a detergent bar for washing clothes that you can get in a supermarket or sari-sari store (neighborhood store),

while family planning can eventually take the form of real and tangible products like condoms or pills which has real brand names and packages that can be bought in retail and drug stores, what the effort intended to do was to get the target audience to buy in or believe in “family planning” and for the same target audience to decide to use any one of family planning methods available.
read the full article on the key findings on the first  part of the qualitative research done for family planning here: (why pinoys who are single or married need family planning in their relationship)
read how the focus group discussion was designed within the lines of the kinds of research done for mass consumer products: applying mass consumer marketing & advertising to the intangible “family planning” product (click here:
~~mindscape landscape~~
carlo p arvisu

a disruption to family’s dreams and aspirations – what unplanned pregnancy is to filipinos

February 28, 2012 Leave a comment

that is the final slide in the introduction to a qualitative research powerpoint presentation conducted for the purpose of developing advertising and marketing efforts to encourage the use of family planning in the philippines. a series of qualitatve research, focus group discussions were conducted in metro manila, davao and cebu.

the respondents said,  to them  the family is the most important, even over themselves. what they were presently doing were for their families. they said they will do anything and everything for  their families which is exactly what they were doing at the present.

they were asked – what will it mean to you when you find out you are pregnant now? their answers to that question was captured in the chart, above.

find out more about this research here: 

ad review: “Pangmadaliang Sarap, Pangmatagalang Hirap” has 2 fatal errors

October 14, 2011 1 comment

in our ad review, the above ad suffers from two fatal errors -positioning RH as anti-sex and the bigger fatal  error, as anti-children. we think that error was brought about by a lack or no strategy and consumer insight.

rerad about it here:

who is dumb – philippine tv or the phillippine tv audience?

April 11, 2011 2 comments

the willie revillame mess at his tv show “willing willie” has taken a higher level discussion now from the question was there  child abuse in revillame’s show or none to what is philippine tv and should it be?

we applaud monique wilson for speaking out and for urging other filipino talents to speak their minds on the issue.  she makes a very good point that in recent years we have been seeing more and more

filipinos breaking out and being admired in the world stage. there is now a huge army of them with filipinos and half filipinos who have become and are hailed as world-class in their firleds from many persuasions – music, arts, sports, design, modeling, journalism, medicine, visual arts, business  and many others.

with so many filipinos taking on the stature and reputation as being world-class,  why is philippine tv doing a “dumb down” on the philippine audience?

Don’t dumb down viewers, TV urged

Actress, solon seek quality programs

by Volt Contreras
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:11:00 04/11/2011

MANILA, Philippines—Even the theater star who brought “The Vagina Monologues” to the Philippine stage is aghast.

The list of Willie Revillame’s critics now includes acclaimed actress-director Monique Wilson, who called on local artists to band together, overcome fears of crossing potential employers, and help put the pressure on TV networks that “dumb down” the Filipino audience.

“We keep saying Filipino artists are world-class. Well, let’s prove it now,” Wilson wrote on her blog as she weighed in on the latest controversy hounding the game show host.

“The debate is no longer whether it was child abuse or not,” Wilson said, referring to the widely criticized episode of Revillame’s “Willing Willie” show on TV5 that had a 6-year-old boy gyrating like a macho dancer while breaking into tears for a P10,000 cash prize.

“The facts are plain to see. No one with a sense of respect for another human being can dispute that,” Wilson said.

“The discourse now is how we, as Filipinos, as artists involved in the same industry that created Willie Revillame and shows like his, could have allowed this to go on for as long as it has.”

read in full here:

%d bloggers like this: