Ads & Ends
Nanette Franco-Diyco

THE CELEBRATION of Valentine’s Day has truly peaked. The day celebrating love saw a lot of blazing red dresses, shirts, pants, shorts and whole ensembles worn. Peddlers of red heart-shaped balloons of all sizes roamed around the city, making brisk sales among young lovers and friends. Roses were the most expensive flowers for the week, the redder and longer stemmed, the better. Reservations for choice restaurants had to be pegged more than a fortnight before.

And, yes, television ads flourished from the very start of February. Truth to tell, I was already doing an advanced review of a good hard-sell Valentine’s TV commercial of Toblerone endorsed in a sophisticated elegant manner by Solenn Heussaff when I stopped dead in my tracks. An unexpected text exploded on my cellphone at 11:45 p.m. teasing me with the announcement “Breaking the Internet now. Our Jollibee film entitled #Vow.” For whatever reason, I found myself sitting on my bed, now fully awake and viewing commercials at this ungodly hour.


My response to my texter: “It’s midnight! And you made me cry!”

I found out the next day that the three Jollibee Valentine commercials that touched many hearts upon first viewing are part of an ongoing online brand “love” campaign launched last year. “It has since been a vehicle for Jollibee to celebrate special occasions like Mother’s Day and Christmas. This campaign is a collection of real stories that echo the deep relationship that Filipinos have developed with the brand.”

Talk about emotional commercials, these Jollibee Valentine commercials are absolutely “kurot sa puso” (literally: pinch the heart, figuratively: tug at the heartstrings). Let’s face it: they are mushy to the hilt — but they hit the majority of its targeted Filipino like nothing else. I will never forget a visiting fireman, a client from New York, with furrowed forehead viewing a creative reel of our agency, commenting at the end of a full hour review of our commercials that our target markets seem to be quite emotional.

McCann Worldgroup Philippines associate managing partner Mitzie Lim-Nacianceno said, “This new Valentine series aims to celebrate love that lasts forever. It is a value that Jollibee wants to advocate at a time when everything is fleeting and people have become cynical about enduring love. The three stories focus on different manifestations of pure love.”

I’m sure Jollibee’s global Chief Marketing Officer Francis Flores liked McCann’s expansion of the joyous and grim realities of loving and living — and most of all, the very graceful weaving into each story of the Jollibee products: Chicken Joy, Yum Burger, and the Chicken Joy bucket. I was told that Francis is in the US right now: he must be chuckling with glee over the overwhelming positive response of young and old in social media.

My favorite of these three “Kwentong Jollibee” (Jollibee Stories) is Vow, which relates a full love story from a young man’s falling in love at first sight and ending with a long and slow walk down the aisle in a church wedding. The abruption here was terrific, well executed and directed. The casting in all of the three love commercials contributed to our staying glued, watching the material from beginning to end — and not getting tired of watching them over again.

I find the ad featuring the young boy on a dinner Valentine date with his mom, ending with both of them watching a video of the father in a hospital bed a bit “too-too.” But perhaps it’s because I’d much rather connect Jollibee with altogether joyous and fun scenes.

Coming from Green Meadows enroute to Eastwood, I have learned not to mind the horrendous traffic I always encounter as I view Jollibee’s head way on top of its Jollibee house. Makes you smile and lifts you up and away from life’s doldrums.

Congratulations to Jollibee and McCann for all the joys you’ve added to Valentine’s!

Credits. Jollibee: Francis Flores, global chief marketing officer; Arline Adeva, brand and PR director; Cat Trivino, PR and engagement manager; Dennis Reyes, PR manager. McCann: Raul Castro, chairman and CCO; Mitzie Nacianceno, associate managing partner; Adi Culalic, business group director; Tonee Lacson, account manager; Sid Simodio, executive creative director; Xzenia Cruz, creative director; Bong Legaspi, associate creative director; Melissa Vibar, art director; Marlon Borreo, copywriter. Production: Mariel Cruz, producer; Straight Shooters, production house; Joel Ruiz, director, Crush; Ianco dela Cruz, director, Vow.

Nanette Franco-Diyco ended her 15 year advertising career as Vice-President of JWT, segueing into the world of academe, teaching communications at the Ateneo de Manila University.