Posts Tagged ‘advocacy’


Make it “Viral”

In Ads and other executions,Campaigns,Views and Reviews on February 26, 2014 by Jox Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

There is a Content bubble happening across brands. Stories have become the currency of engagement. It is quite surprising how Brands (and Brand Managers for that matter) have decided to take a back seat, patiently waiting for functional messaging to come out in the end or subtly along story lines.

VIRAL & MOVEMENT are words circling around in brainstorming sessions and client briefs. “Viral”, is a function of highly entertaining or moving stories that people “organically” circulate online.  Honestly speaking, I am way past “Viral” that if we keep on saying it, the marketing gods might just release the Kraken. My proposals have been consciously turned to, “Let’s make a viral video” to “Let’s make a good story that can potentially go viral”. No asset or campaign is inherently viral. If people like it (or hate it), it will be picked up. And now here’s hoping that the brand won’t be overshadowed by the story. DEBATABLE.

“Movement”, is when having triggered an idea, what then do you want consumers to do? To many movements out there that we’ve run out of words to call them. And consumers have become exhausted that we’ve been asking them so many things to do just to support our brands and tactical campaigns. “Isn’t a Facebook like enough?” No because now that you are our advocate, we need you to convert others. And then they just don’t like us anymore thus, the drop off. Then we resort to incentives just to move the needle conversion just a little bit. I am no expert and I have yet to figure out a new way to get out of the Movement mindset.

Brands have embraced Advocacy and assumed identities that ride on the signs of the times whether on diversity, animal rights, human rights, or what have you. For instance, campaigns with Feminist undertones (I, myself, have yet to fully grasp what Feminism really is) have invaded newsfeeds encouraging women to be “themselves”, stand up for what’s right and stand up for themselves. These are not exactly new it’s just that because of brands and commercial attempts, these topics have moved mainstream. After all, if you support a woman of character, a credible bra brand support her. I digress.

Here are some examples:

Pantene Whip It (Philippines): The first thing that I did as soon as I saw it was post on Lean In’s wall. This one was picked up by the right people who believe in the cause but was questioned by Brand advocates. “Where’s my brand?”, they asked. My honest take, at least that’s new news for shampoo vs. trying to convince women what Keratin is.


Wacoal My Beautiful Woman (Thailand): The Thais have done it again. They always manage to get reactions from me. Again, no new news for bras but this one just made me question what kind of support have I been getting from Victoria.


Budweiser Puppy Commercial (USA): Just pure love. And it doesn’t just apply on animals.



Women, Causes, and Ads: International Women’s Day

In Ads and other executions,Campaigns,Marketing Ethics on March 9, 2013 by Jox Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Talking to women, selling products, services, ideas, and any commodity imaginable have been proven to be profitable. Billion-dollar businesses thrive on women’s buying power. Advertising has come a long way when it comes to women empowerment. Ads have evolved with women as their roles changed, shifted, and escalated to new heights.

Yet International (Working) Women’s Day serves as a reminder that whilst it is worth celebrating gender equality, there are still issues that can be considered backward as culture, religion, or even ignorance can be a factor that hinders rights from being acknowledged and implemented. It’s always a step forward and two steps back in the feminist realm.

TIME Magazine hit the stands yesterday with a bold statement, “Don’t Hate Her Because She’s Successful” with a seemingly ubiquitous presence of Sheryl Sandberg that implied that we’re not going to get rid of her and her supposed cause easily. The statement pertains to one of Sandberg’s points on female’s rise to power that is inversely proportional to her likability. Now whether this is a publicity stunt for mercenary causes or a real cause about “rebooting Feminism”, I personally believe the latter but I shall not dwell on this.


Image courtesy of TIME magazine

Timing is everything and the riveting cover opened up International Women’s Day on a positive note. It also happened to be a grand launch of Sandberg’s new book, Lean In and her new organization that has already gathered women of power. Given all these contact points that strategically hit the right buttons at the right time, the campaign seems to be moving full speed ahead.

Screen Shot 2013-03-09 at 10.15.02 PM

International Women’s Day is also a perfect platform for make up brands. L’Oreal has been truly effective with its “Because I’m/you’re worth it” tagline. One way to keep track of women’s progress is through their ads. Back in the day, make up ads would be even dubbed with male voice talents because beauty and image were defined from a man’s perspective. The Feminist Revolution has shifted the focus and spoke to women by women.

L’Oreal also has reinforced its Women of Worth campaign to reinforce the brand’s association with women empowerment.

The brand partnered with Marie Claire and kickstarted the #womenwishes campaign on twitter.


At the end of the day, campaigns that capitalize on words are not enough. When a brand or company hinges on a cause and venture in Corporate Social Responsibility, there must a follow through. The agenda must be real. Companies must excavate their hearts that have been piled on by corporate blur. It’s time to go back to humanity.

And ads are just waiting to be conceived to once again stir the status quo and document history.#

(C) Brand and Pitches 2013


Of Brand Equities and Sponsorships

In Campaigns,Strategy,Views and Reviews on April 21, 2012 by Jox Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Recently, this massively touching Procter & Gamble global ad featuring dedicated mothers as driving forces behind Olympic winners reached into viral mode. The “Thank You, Mum” campaign is simple as it is genuine but what makes it successful is its relevance with the upcoming 2012 Summer Olympics in London and all the emotions attached to the anticipation of knowing the medalists and their stories. True enough, the underdogs often rise in the world arena.

It is no doubt a strategic move for P&G in communicating to their consumers worldwide. Their products may have been household staples but the brands should strive to remain significant through time. By becoming a major sponsor of the Olympic Games, the company shares the spotlight even if it doesn’t need much push for consumer preference due to its brands’ competitive edge. However,it still pays to have a strategic undertaking when it comes to sponsorships.

Brand Equity is a pillar of Brand Identity. It is basically the strength of a brand and its ability to transmit the same strength to other products and conditions under it or associated with it. Below is an extensive explanation by Investopedia.

With big companies such as P&G, sponsorships can be very common from the smallest village projects to worldwide events such as the Olympics. The greater the brand equity, the more sponsorships get attracted.

When this happens, people in the company must be aligned with the marketing strategies of the brands such that anyone who may say yes to a sponsorship, enriches the brand rather than dents it. Moreover, sponsorship partners must be properly oriented about the brand so they are aligned. I have seen several brand violations unintentionally done by partners just because they were not aware.

The brand must be consistent across communication points especially if it has a strong equity. Any deviation from how it is recognized and admired by consumers can be damaging. Sure, some might claim that brand manager can be exaggerated but that’s because they are custodians of the brand.
Brand managers should not be alone in maintaining the brand’s integrity in any event. There must be a solid and updates brand book that explains the brand from its visual treatment to emotional associations. This brand book is the single consistent guide of any one who wishes to deal with a brand as soon as allowed by the brand manager and/or communications director.
Brand books are not just for big brands who can afford strategic agencies but for budding ones as well. So for any business owner who wishes to make their products distinct, it is time to get started.#
(C) Copyright. Brands & Pitches 2012.


Marketing Tool: The KONY 2012 Action Kit

In Views and Reviews on March 17, 2012 by Jox Tagged: , , , , , ,

I need not discuss the viral phenomenon that is KONY 2012 by Invisible Children. Controversies aside, the team has used the best marketing tools (especially the social media) to reach the apathetic and the unaware. All with the best intentions, Invisible Children wants to achieve awareness. What happens after the Awareness Stage is always challenging. What now? So what? Then what? Thus, there is a call to action: incite the arrest of Joseph Kony by the International Criminal Court.

There seems to be a lot of derived actions before the actual goal is achieved. The burden of awareness is on the marketing/IC team but the burden of the arrest, which is the very root of the campaign, is on the International Criminal Court which is tangled in debatable and sensitive political webs.

I think the campaign could have beefed up its rationality and credibility. The approach could have been more holistic so that policy makers are willing to carry the burden of the arrest for political and humanitarian reasons and not just by mere “pestering” of virally and social media driven masses who have been carried away by emotional highs. The campaign could have been strongly supported by the ICC, UN, or the Ugandan government- authorities that have credibility among policy makers. But then again, I do not know the entire scope of this project.

Another question is by having massive awareness, how soon will the arrest happen before the hype dies down? Thus, the deadline and expiration for the call this 2012. This year is the year of Kony’s incarceration.

How long should Invisible Children sustain the hype and will the ones who enable it continue to do so? After the surge in online popularity, what are the sustainable steps to keep the cause alive? A probable answer is: bring the viral campaign offline where real action is demanded.

Introducing, the KONY 2012 ACTION KIT

Download the digital kit here.

Status: SOLD OUT (orders are currently on hold)

Price: $30

Contents: T-shirt ; KONY bracelet; Action guide; Stickers; Button; Posters

Strategy: Go VIRAL then go VITAL.

1. Take action by helping spread the information. Let people know that you are not going to “stop at nothing” by wearing the bracelet and giving it to another.

2. Prove that people care. Sign the pledge.

3. Get the attention of the opinion leaders who make the issue socially relevant.

4. Urge the ones with power to take action. People want to talk and do something about it.

5. Maximize all contact points. Achieve visibility in every possible venue.

6. Prove that this is the cause of the year by exercising the right to assemble for a cause.

7. Create a series of buzz worthy events in conclusive rallies and fund raisers.

The kit is socially relevant and generally appealing to the masses (particularly the youth) who may be apathetic and think human rights issues are for the “grown ups” to fix. Invisible Children has made this issue palatable for the mainstream youth and incited their passion to belong in a cause they can’t fully decipher. I’m just wondering if the hype will create relevance among conservative policy makers and even Ugandans who do not like the “trivialized” treatment of the issue. Nevertheless, only Kony’s arrest this year will prove the effectiveness of the campaign which shall silence the critics.

On a personal note, the campaign has done substantial efforts to appeal to my emotions that triggered me to pledge and to share. A few years back, I just read about this issue but considered it a task of the “complex political” individuals. KONY 2012 has made the issue understandable and the action, accessible.

For more information about KONY 2012, visit