By Nickky F. P. de Guzman
GIVEN THE FLICKERING and fleeting stardom of some showbiz stars, companies are obliged to drop endorsements as soon as said stars lose, literally and figuratively, their face value. Brands must then look beyond what the eye can see. In its efforts to personify its marketing and values, Western Union has partnered with actor John Lloyd Cruz as its global ambassador. Why him?
Marketing strategists rely on the FRED framework — familiarity, relevance, esteem, and differentiation — to assess the potentials of a campaign. And it seems that Mr. Cruz, in the eyes of Western Union, personifies FRED.
“John Lloyd Cruz is current,” said Steve Peregrino director for marketing in Southeast Asia and Oceania Steve Peregrino.
The actor, whose biggest movie in terms of revenue was A Second Chance alongside Bea Alonzo, is slated for another Star Cinema film, Just the Three of Us, opening on April 27. “He is everywhere,” added Mr. Peregrino.
One’s staying power in the industry has a shelf life. In Mr. Cruz’s case, his seems to just get longer. The 33-year-old started acting when he was 14.
“John Lloyd has a long track record. He has evolved through the years,” explained Mr. Peregrino. This evolution is something Western Union itself wants to reflect.
Western Union is over a century old. It currently operates in 200 countries with over 130 different currencies. The company taps today’s technologies through online transactions like the mobile wallet. In the US, people can transfer money via the Viber and WeChat messaging applications. Soon, social media transactions will roll out in the Philippines.
“The country is the fastest growing nation in Southeast Asia for online technology,” said Western Union Senior Vice-President Patricia Riingen.
The Philippines is a huge online market. Over 30 million Filipinos are connected to the Internet. Their top five online activities are social media, online shopping, video streaming, gaming, and location-based research.
Mr. Cruz is also “a piece of home,” Mr. Peregrino said. With over 10 million and growing overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), the celebrity’s familiar face is home wherever OFWs may be.