Listerine Philippines recently launched its Celebrity Total Care Challenge, a program that features some of the Philippines popular lifestyle bloggers.
The featured bloggers are:
This program got my attention, thanks in part to a Facebook ad.
Brands working with bloggers is not really new, but I do like how the campaign decided to put this on Facebook, instead of coming up with its own website. It seems the trend now is placing rudimentary community engagement functions in Facebook, and then placing more complex stuff into its own website.
I also remember a campaign by Vitamin Water in the past, where there were ads placed in Google and the link went straight to the campaign Facebook page. This was late 2009 I think and at that time, I thought it was a pretty innovative move.
There’s a viral video from the Philippines making the rounds these days.
It’s Pepsi’s “Sa Akin Ang Pinas” (Pinas is Mine). The video is a satire of the action movies that dominated the Philippine cinema scene in the 1970′s and 1980′s. This genre produced iconic stars such as Fernando Poe, Jr., Lito Lapid, Joseph Estrada, and Ramon Revilla.
In the video, a guy named Alvarez is in the presumably climactic scene in the action flick in pursuit of the Pepsi Pinas. To folks who are not familiar with Filipino actions films in the 70′s, there’s always that confrontation scene in the end where the hero and the villain exchange metaphors that pertain to their opponents demise. (Thus the joke of the viral video).
It’s good that there’s a brand in the local scene that appreciates the key ingredient in viral videos: humor.
Since the start of 2011, folks in the Philippines stopped seeing Delifrance. What used to be Delifrance stores are now CafeFrance.
After Jollibee Foods Corporation, the parent company of the holder of the Delifrance franchise here in the Philippines, discontinued its agreement with Delifrance, the rebranding had started.
CafeFrance is not too far from its prior name, but also could serve as a new marketing strategy. The word “cafe” gives the food giant a better step into the coffee shop business dominated by Starbucks. CafeFrance could cater to a new segment the old Delifrance stores wasn’t able to capture.
Let’s see how CafeFrance will fare in the high-end food & drink segment without the Delifrance brand.
Starbucks just unveiled their new logo a few days ago and it has joined the likes of Nike and Apple– global brands with text-less logos.
The new logo isn’t exactly that different. It’s essentially the same mermaid/siren that has adorned the corporate branding images since the 1980′s. What went out is the green ring around the graphic that spelled out “Starbucks Coffee.” The green color is now carried by the mermaid.
Why the change? it is speculated that the Starbucks Corporation are planning to expand their offerings and go beyond coffee. There’s also talk that Starbucks will become more aggressive in going international.
If you ask me, this change just makes sense. If Starbucks will be coming out with, say, Chinese deli products, then the current logo won’t cut it. At the same time, it retains most of the elements that were part of the prior branding (an amount that I think won’t alienate most of its customers.)
Of course, there will be critics and several loyal customers won’t like it. But if you ask me, it’s a welcome change.
The new branding will reach stores this coming March 2011.
Early this year, SM unveiled a new corporate identity that was implemented across the various SM group of companies. The new logo is not too different from the previous incarnation, but it added a typeface that’s less curvy. Also, a solid blue circle surrounds the “SM” text:
Here’s the old SM logo:
After the rebranding, SM implemented a “branded house” approach where all of the companies under the SM Group used the logo and affixed the name of the particular unit.
What does this subtle change bring? The new logo comes off as more serious but stable. The design itself doesn’t depart from the old logo, which says a lot about its value to tradition and past successes. Finally, the circle works two ways: the circle is a symbol of prosperity among the Chinese (SM is owned by Filipino-Chinese tycoon Henry Sy), and it may signify that SM can encompass all the needs of the world and its customers.
SM’s approach, from the way I see it, is to unify all the corporate identity of the SM Prime Holdings group– something that makes sense of most of the companies have similar businesses. In the case of SM, most of the companies under this umbrella are quite related, thus spreading the equity amomg the members. If done effectively, the brand will be able to spread its values like a huge blanket over everyone.
The assumption here, of course, is that the SM brand has an excellent brand equity and resides in a very positive place in the customers’ minds.
Are mainstream brands and media eating too much of the Facebook and Twitter landscape in the Philippines?
I just read UM’s Wave 5 report and it says that brands have founds their way into social media and people have likewise found their way the brands’ social media presence. I agree with that finding as it is consistent with my observations in the Philippine scene.
More and more brands are integrating Facebook into their campaigns and television shows, especially news shows, have used Twitter to post updates, as well as get viewer feedback. More and more billboards along EDSA are placing links to the advertiser’s Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, and of course, website.
If you ask me, the deluge of brands into the Philippine landscape cements Facebook and Twitter as a legitimate marketing channels. But this also increases the risk of fatigue in marketing noise and accelerates the loss of novelty of the medium.
Therefore, marketing folks should be wary of getting caught in a trap that Facebook and Twitter are a sure-fire combo. Heck, most marketing people I’ve encountered are still grappling with the metrics and the measurement of the effectiveness of spending on adding a Facebook page and putting folks to man the Twitter accounts.
If Facebook and Twitter are becoming too mainstream, it means that they are working (at least for some companies). Marketing folks should still stick to the focus on the proper messages to their target market.
“Pilipinas Kay Ganda” may have set the record for the shortest-lived Philippine tourism campaign ever.
The Philippine government has officially decided to drop the beleaguered campaign, citing that the deluge of criticism in just one week from various sectors. From the marketing point of view, I’ve mentioned that the slogan is not differentiated enough, but has flavor.
Since we’re replacing the “Pilipinas Kay Ganda” slogan, here are my suggestions:
- It should be in English – We can retain “Pilipinas,” but use English in the messaging. It can hit two birds with one stone: a) it can be more understandable to the potential foreign tourists, and b) it can convey that we are English speaking. Not to malign our local language, but this may also be more impressive to the locals.
- It should be memorable – Surprisingly, our Asian neighbors have done great jobs in making country brands that stick. “Amazing Thailand,” “Uniquely Singapore,” “Malaysia, Truly Asia,” and “Incredible India” are simple and memorable.
- it should work with the foreign tourists and be acceptable to the locals – Apparently, the creative folks doesn’t only have to consider the target market, but also the other stakeholders. I was open to the campaign, but once the logo was found out to be derived from Poland’s tourism logo, I figured the logo will not sit well with the public.
- It should focus the distinct strengths of the Philippines – Branding expert Junie Del Mundo has an excellent post on country branding, I’m wondering if he ever was consulted on the new campaign. “Pilipinas Kay Ganda” is too undifferentiated in terms of the value it communicates, and I believe the Philippines has more to offer than beauty. Anton of Our Awesome Planet has a good set of recommendations. The former slogan had sexual undercurrents that folks noticed (Hello, beauifulpilipinas.com)
To make a suitable replacement, the Department of Tourism should do a lot of research and expectations management to have a smoother launch. Simply put, they should learn their lessons from the “Pilipinas Kay Ganda” debacle.