Ads & Ends
Nanette Franco-Diyco

A FEW CHRISTMAS ADS this year in the country have selected to lean strongly on values. Topping these is the station ID of ABS-CBN, conceptualized and produced by the Creative Communications Management Division (CCM), headed by Robert Labayen in cooperation with the Marketing Division.

ABS-CBN Christmas ads: Values and exaltation
Arnel Aba (R), an amputee swimming instructor and a gold medalist at the 7th ASEAN Para Games with actor Piolo Pascual.

Robert revealed, “This year, we wanted to show how people can overcome their struggles, reaching their dreams with the help of God and family.” Thus, the team searched for “real people with a story to tell.”

One ad dramatized the story of Rudy Gaspillo who came from a very poor family in Negros. All his siblings before him could not pursue higher education. One scene shows him praying to God as he weeps among the tall bamboo plants. His father, a farmer, begged his haciendero employer for a scholarhip. Rudy labored through college. The happy ending showed him placing 7th in the national board exams for mechanical engineers.

Another ad focuses on Roy Lawagan, working as a security guard while studying Law. His wife provided his moral support until he did become a lawyer.

Arnel Aba was described as a wayward youth before he lost his leg in an accident. He firmed up his difficult decision to overcome his disability. And he triumphed, winning medals in the Paralympic games.

Growing up in a poor family necessitated that Hydilin Diaz do chores normally assigned to males. One chore was her carrying heavy pails of water day in and day out. Her cousins, themselves weightlifters, encouraged Hydilin to get into the same sport. Marking sports history for our country: Hydilin won the Philippines’ first Olympic silver medal in 20 years.

ABS-CBN Christmas ads: Values and exaltation
Actress Angel Locsin (L) tells Hidilyn Diaz, the 2016 Olympic women’s weightlifting silver medalist, that she is an inspiration to Filipinas.

The ad team also recognized divisions among Filipinos specially after the elections.

Hence, the lyrics of the song, “Naniniwala pa rin ako na magkakaisa tayo sa awiting ito” (I still believe that we can be one in this song). Robert stressed that the materials communicated the team’s trust that “the spirit of Christmas will heal our differences and bring us together as one family.”

The task embraced by the team was to create the station IDs that spelled relevance to the year’s sentiments, wishing to give encouragement to the viewers.

“This is what gives meaning to our work,” said Robert. “Most of the ABS-CBN stars and news personalities appeared in the ads but it’s not about ABS-CBN. It’s about the common Filipino, the people who inspire us. The station IDs are a tribute to the admirable traits of the Filipino.”

In the YouTube comments for the ad, people said that the ABS-CBN Christmas Station IDs make them proud of the Filipino Christmas tradition. “They admit to being emotionally affected, making them miss Christmas in the Philippines all the more.”

Take a bow, ABS-CBN: it’s the finest way to remind all of us, specially during the Christmas season, to be ever-grateful for all the innumerable blessings from God that have come our way.

Credits. Directors Paolo Ramos and Peewee Gonzales of ABS-CBN CCM. The slogan “Isang Pamilya Tayo” (We are one family) came from the brief prepared by Abi Katigbak of ABS-CBN Marketing. Lyrics of the song by Lloyd “Tiny” Corpuz and Robert Labayen with music by Thyro Alfaro and Yumi Lacsamana.

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