McDo’s Sharon-Gabby ad lands on top of YouTube’s leaderboard

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THE REUNION of former celebrity couple Sharon Cuneta and Gabby Concepcion in a McDonald’s commercial handily beat four Jollibee ads–three of which from its ad series, “Kwentong Jollibee”–making it the most popular YouTube ad in the Philippines for the first half of 2018.

This was the first time that McDonald’s has taken the top spot in the bi-annual ranking despite being nominated consistently since the leaderboard was introduced in 2013.

“The brief was about a classic pairing (McDo’s fried chicken and fries), so we were looking for a pairing that would rival our classic pairing,” Cholo Perreras, McDo Philippines marketing manager said during the leaderboard reveal on Aug. 23 at the Google Philippines offices in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

He explained when they thought of classic pairing, the team thought of Sharon Cuneta, who has done several commercials with the brand, and Gabby Concepcion, who was Ms. Cuneta’s former husband and has starred with her in several successful romantic films in the 1980s.

The minute-and-a-half video, called “Kamusta Ka,” showed Ms. Cuneta and Mr. Concepcion reuniting on-screen and catching up.

“The reaction (to the reunion) was amazing and the views were coming both locally and from abroad,” Mr. Perreras said, noting that they also noticed that a considerable number of viewers were younger than they thought the audience would attract initially — the people who were fans of the Sharon-Gabby pairing.

The video has 4.1 million views as of this writing.

Jollibee might not have won this year’s leaderboard cycle, which counts ads from January to June, but the quick service chain managed to enter the top 10 with four entries, three of which come from the ongoing “Kwentong Jollibee” series.

The three Jollibee commercials are: “Signs” which placed second, “Status” which placed fourth, and “Homecoming” which placed fifth. Aside from the three, Jollibee’s “Alex Wassabi for Jolly Crispy Fries,” which saw the brand’s first collaboration with an international YouTuber, placed sixth on the list.

Aside from the two quick service brands, Google Philippines noted that for this cycle, the top 10 ads all come from local brands and that this year, all ads which made it to the charts are long-form videos with an average duration of three and a half minutes, with AmbiPur clocking in as this cycle’s longest ad at 11 minutes.

The chart also saw first timers putting on a good showing, with Cerelac’s “Let’s Eat Bulilit” ad, featuring toddlers enjoying the brand’s food while having fun with their mothers, placing at number three.

“What people search for are [all about] cute dogs, cute cats, and cute babies. This was the first time [the brand] didn’t focus on nutrition but on having happy meal times,” Issang Ceballos, consumer marketing manager of Cerelac, said during the event.

This was a risk the brand took, she said as they also decided to only show the brand the end of the video, but it became so successful that, Ms. Ceballos told BusinessWorld on the sidelines of the event, mothers would send them photos and videos of their babies enjoying Cerelac in hope to being featured. Now the brand plans on creating a separate ad featuring these mothers and their babies.

Google Philippines noted in a press release that while this cycle’s chart still showed how much Filipinos love romantic stories, it also “showcased diversity of digital ads in their length and format.”

“The list underscores how brands are maximizing YouTube to bring out their narratives and make these even more timely and relevant for local audiences,” the company said.

Among the prominent themes of the ads which made it to the charts are in-season narratives (for Valentine’s Day), multi-video storytelling like Jollibee’s ad series, and celebrities on YouTube as AmbiPur featured Kris Aquino while McDonald’s featured Maine Mendoza, Ms. Cuneta, and Mr. Concepcion, and Jollibee featured international YouTuber Alex Wassabi.

“The most successful brands on the list maximize this approach, and had audiences leaning in first and becoming engaged, with “selling” as an afterthought,” it explained.

“YouTube brings to the foreground the role and impact of brands in the lives of their audiences, and the YouTube Ads Leaderboard shows us the many ways this can be done. Great stories elicit that strong response from audiences, enough to make millions watch on and anticipate the next episodes brands have in store,” said Gabby Roxas, country marketing Manager of Google Philippines said in the statement.

Here are the top 10 YouTube ads in the Philippines for the first half of 2018:

1. “Kumusta Ka” by McDo Philippines

2. “#KwentongJollibee2018: Signs” by Jollibee Philippines

3. CERELAC’s “Let’s Eat, Bulilit!” by Nestlé Philippines

4. “#KwentongJollibee2018: Status” by Jollibee Philippines

5. “#KwentongJollibee2018: Homecoming” by Jollibee Philippines

6. “Alex Wassabi for Jolly Crispy Fries” by Jollibee Philippines

7. “Cutiespotting” by Unilever-Selecta Cornetto

8. “Si Vivoree, may bagong crush? Watch to know more!” by Smart-TNT

9. “Heart to Heart with Kris: Entry #37 Stuck In Traffic with the Aquinos | Kris Aquino | The Aquinos” by P&G

10. “One Sweet Day” by McDo Philippines — Zsarlene B. Chua