Posts Tagged ‘marketing strategy’


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.



#HashTag2020: What does 2020 look like in the eyes of Millennials

In Published Works,Views and Reviews on February 17, 2014 by Jox Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

As published on Digital Market Asia on 11th February 2014 and BLINK, an international publication by Mediacom


Image developed by Muk Ho

For many young professionals, it’s easier to talk about how they imagine their 30s will be different than their 20s than it is to consider the Year 2020. It’ll be important soon enough: Millennials (Generation Y) will make up the majority of employees at 50 percent of US companies by 2020 and 75 percent of global organisations by 2030. So, what are these young people thinking about? Check out their answers to a simple question: ‘What do you think will happen to you and the world in 2020?’

It’s encouraging to note that most of the answers were generally optimistic. ‘Life 360’ was a term used more than once to describe a holistic future where family and career are balanced with the help of technology. Contrary to the selfish stereotype, Gen Y wants to contribute to collective efforts such as sustainable living, organic farming and promoting a better world. “I just want to be a better person than I am today,” said a digital media team lead in Jakarta. There are some, though, who foresee nothing short of an apocalypse. These Millennials seek alternative, or underground, news online. “The environment will be much worse than it is today. We will be close to broad scale armed conflict,” said a team leader from Japan. They may have faith in technology and humanity, but their hope does not extend to political systems. This group has gone beyond conventional preparations for the future, including learning how to open cans (of food) without a can opener. They’re not paranoid; they’re just preparing to survive.

Our panel expects seamless integration – not just of multiple devices, but of human cognitive and emotive functions. No more multiple transactions, SIM card swaps or currency exchange. A planner from Malaysia foresees a ‘universal card’, which she thinks will merge daunting application and validation transactions by the time she becomes a busy working mom. Surprisingly, Millennials hope technology will help them slow down, not go even faster. They expect devices to simplify life and make people more reflective, especially about privacy. A young manager from New York imagines that “the need for privacy will become a huge issue and will create almost a new industry for people who wish to protect themselves from privacy invasion”. “I imagine the world will have become so ‘noisy’ – with streams of unedited and uncontrolled information from all over the place – that there will be opportunity to create platforms that help individuals counteract that clamour, speed and invasion of privacy,” notes a media planner executive from Indonesia.

#YOLO (You Only Live Once)
Generation Y consumes content to find inspiration and help them figure out what they want to do with their lives… or just where to live next. Online search (particularly Google) helps them make savvier choices. And they’re not settling. Millennials have become career slashers, working at multiple professions that may not necessarily relate to each other. One Filipino expat in Singapore has continued booking casting calls while working as a planner. More people refuse to be referred to by one designation, with the Internet enabling the constant search for the next gig. Content curation and image management via LinkedIn, Tumblr and other sites are just some of the proactive steps taken by young professionals, especially when they have one foot out the door. It’s just a matter of being aware of what will appear in Google’s search results.

What if you could organise the FUTURE?
Millennials are organised, but depend on automation to pay bills, budget and manage their day-to-day activities. Most Millennials, particularly the youngest of the generation, can theoretically imagine 2020 but are vague on the details (even though it’s only six years away). Most talk about wanting to settle down and have a genuine and happy family life.

Imagine a life app that could run for a year before it served up possible mates, based on every transaction, interaction and connection made (or missed) in the prior twelve months? Or one that encourages you to start eating healthier (or invest in insurance for a probable bypass surgery)? Millennials assume that technology will lead to better decision making… and more free time to think about global issues. Gen Y’s heightened interest in politics, the environment and humanity may be an opportunity for brands to reshape their identities. Social causes could become brand definers or fuel product innovation.

Bottom line: Millennials have expectations of themselves and of the world, and plan to be active participants in that future.


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.


Are Science and Marketing like Oil and Water?

In talks and lessons on April 12, 2012 by Jox Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Marketing is often perceived as a discipline completely isolated and remotely comparable with the Sciences. While I love marketing, Science has always been my passion. If it wasn’t for a rare opportunity of an Integrated Marketing Communications degree, I would have pursued my course in Biology.

I went to a high school with a specialized curriculum in Science and Math. I must say, those were the happiest times of my life. Most of the subject matter would deal with the concepts but we would have regular activities that would test practical applications.

Having stumbled upon a TED talk given by Google’s Marketing Director, Dan Colbey, I completely agree with his correlations of marketing with scientific concepts starting with forming and disproving hypotheses. Some may say it is much of a push and the conclusions might have been forced but Mr. Colbey has opened my mind about leveraging my stored knowledge in Science to become a better marketer.

Here are the key points of his talk.

1. Newton’s Second Law of Motion: Force = mass x acceleration

Deriving another formula from it is Acceleration = Force/ mass. The bigger the brand, the more force it requires to make it “move” i.e. gain market shares, increase penetration, etc. Big companies with big brands are also often the big spenders to maximize share of voice. He also pointed out the importance of being agile thus, companies like Unilever and P&G have several brands under their portfolio, each functioning independently to grow the company.

2. Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle

I find this inference on pointe. The explanation is that the measurement and characteristics of a particle cannot be determined because by measuring it, its very properties have already changed. The same principle applies in determining consumer behaviors that change as soon as the act of determining them is activated.

3. In the scientific method, disproving a hypothesis is more probable. A brand is hard to build but is easy to destroy with just one wrong move.

(C) Copyright Brands and Pitches 2012


Branding Yourself: Your Professional Image Part 1

In Personal Marketing,Views and Reviews on April 7, 2012 by Jox Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

It is unsurprisingly common to meet a person with multiple titles/designations these days. Among young professionals, diversity is key to move forward in the job market or take a budding business to the next level. I browse through my LinkedIn contacts from 1st to 3rd degrees and any person does not settle on one title alone e.g. Student/Blogger/Youth Revolutionary: Marketing Manager/Yoga Instructor; Entrepreneur/Surfer; Finance Consultant/Life Coach/; each combination seems fascinating and promising.

People of my generation (coined as Gen Y that has received mixed reviews from the Boomers and Gen X), find it necessary to do so. Not because to merely tag themselves as such but because there is a compelling need to become more. Gone are the days that you are banker and you slightly brush on painting as a “hobby”. Young professionals and students nowadays pursue both profession and passion such that these activities get converted into expertise thus, the multiple titles.

I, myself, am currently working on other branches of my abilities so I get to develop myself further. I want to establish myself as a great marketer and brand custodian but I also want to be an entrepreneur. I am glad that this year I have finally become a blogger and a published writer. The thrill of reinventing my portfolio gives me a sense of maximizing time whilst attaining the best possible version of myself. I encountered this captivating spoken poetry by Sarah Kay where she thought when she was a kid that she could be everything in one lifetime but when she discovered that one can live only one life and become very great at something, she pursued her love for literature. Yet in the process of perfecting herself as a poet, she has become an advocate of the arts among young people, a public speaker, etc. I think while becoming relevant and a master at one thing, you develop faculties of multiplicity. And this makes individuals interesting.

Branding yourself is not a superfluous pursuit. “Poser” is the mean term in high school. No, it is about manifesting a discovered self for others to witness and connect with. Being “you” may not be enough these days because you may be embodying the least plausible version of yourself. Excellence is a constant human undertaking. We are meant to be greater than our circumstances whether good or bad. I am not an expert but I aim to extend my knowledge in marketing to the personal aspects of people. Here are some points for consideration if you want to create your “professional” self.

Part 1. The Diagnosis. Review your brand 

Your online self. Open any, if not all, of your online accounts and review them.

A. Is your email address still I suggest you replace your high school email account with a name that needs to be professionally recognized. Make sure to use credible domains as well and not the questionable ones. You may still keep the old one for personal use and should not be found on your resume’s contact details.

B. Check your Facebook. Is your profile a smorgasbord of events from your wild beach party to your board room presentation and it’s up to your friends and/or colleagues to sort which ones they’re supposed to process or not? Impressions matter and here comes the age that a boss or business partner want to know how your personal inconspicuous behaviors affect your work performance. I have decided that at work, people should know 80-100% of my identity as a worker and not the other way around. This doesn’t mean you have to be uptight but you don’t want to be known as the “party girl” or “wild animal” in the office. Again, my personal opinion. It’s time to create boundaries and sort people according to social groups. In that way, you can compartmentalize aspects of your activities.

C. What do you tweet about? Who do you follow? Twitter has enabled the perpetual need to declare real-time activities and opinions. Unless you are a celebrity, most people don’t care by your mere “ugh”and “this sucks” tweets. Please try to create complete sentences. After all, twitter also challenges you to say much in just 114 characters. I’ve also read that you can establish your expertise by tweeting about things relevant to your profession. You may also follow those relevant to your interests and profession to learn a thing or two.

D.Google yourself, both your full name and nick name. This is the fastest way of looking at your online self. What web contents are associated with you? It will always be Facebook and Twitter (thus, the first points to work on). What next? Click also on the images to see. It might shock you. I admit mine is not that impeccable but not alarming anyway. If you don’t like what you see, you may ask friends to take down unfavorable information about you or you may start counteracting those web content with the next few points:

E. LinkedIn is your professional network. It’s time to be present here to build your connections. Believe me, at some point, you are going to cross paths with someone who will need your help and/or vice versa. Observe how people in your field present themselves on the site and you may refer to them in building yours. Eventually, you’d know how to market yourself. If you already have a LinkedIn account, review your profile. Make sure each field highlights your strengths. It is after all a venue to legitimately showcase yourself. What’s good is that, your profile can be easily transformed into your resume. You may simultaneously update both as you go on.

F. Consider making a professional blog. This can be as simple as chronicling your learning points everyday but be careful of the information you reveal. Please stick to the objective learning and professional realizations. Do not rant about work on your blog. Seriously. You can also talk about your observations in your industry. You are smart enough to have an opinion. If not, you can take great photos and turn them into visual masterpieces.

G.  Join professional forums or subscribe to leadership blogs. Might as well learn from the best and your counterparts. For example, brand managers from the Middle East post about their campaigns and observations and they give me a snapshot of what their market is like. You can think globally by just reading through posts. Moreover, they can serve as sources of great knowledge that you can apply at any project. I like reading Seth Godin and John Maxwell‘s blogs. I also receive daily management tips from Harvard Business Review. Mashable is always entertaining. never fails to cultivate my mind. There is a plethora of information resources  but do not take in so much as they can be paralyzing.

I guess this is just my take on diagnosing and improving your professional self online. I may have missed something but these are exactly what I did before to utilize the internet wisely. As they say, the discretion is ours and online sites are just the tools to make or break us.

Next topic will be about Diagnosing Your Professional Self Offline.

(C) Copyright. Brands and Pitches 2012


The “Lent” Ads Go To: A Holy Week Special

In Campaigns,Marketing Ethics,Views and Reviews on April 5, 2012 by Jox Tagged: , , , , , , ,

The basic functions of an ad is to catch attention and elicit a response. Commercially, that response must ideally be transformed into purchase. Nevertheless, there are ads that settle on evoking any response.

Religion or more specifically, the Catholic Church, is often a subject of satire ads that evoke fragmented responses. Some brush on the gradual loss of faith. Others wittingly invite people back to church. The rest just offend heads on with blasphemous portrayals of the Church and bank on ecclesiastical controversies.

I stumbled upon a series of religious advertisements on buzz and each one, I had different responses for. I will not discuss my opinions of them for they are personally driven and based on my faith. Rather, I will just present the plethora of ambient ads that will either entertain or offend. You may view the full list on their website.

Today is Maundy Thursday and if you were Catholic you would know that Lent is about to culminate on Sunday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I am not about to go proselytizing readers but to explain how brands are getting attention during the supposed time of resisting worldly temptations. Some ads opt to be of service, facilitating religious practices or providing convenience when the line between fanaticism and genuine devotion cannot be drawn.

Fast food chains remain at the forefront during Lent offering guilt-free meals to the devout and the struggling. Telecommunications companies also provide information assistance. Indeed, respect for culture of the area of operation should be observed while maintaining commercial relevance.

Below are some ads, current or outdated, that exemplify the practice. I graciously borrowed them from other blogs which you may kindly visit for more insight.

McDonald's Lent meal|image from

Jollibee's tuna pie is back for the season. Image from

KFC's twist on their twister. Image from

Get bible verses from you phone. Image from

SMS a prayer. Image from

Find a church for confession. Image from

(C) Copyright protected| BRANDS AND PITCHES 2012



Campaign Watch: The Deep Sea Challenge

In Campaigns on March 30, 2012 by Jox Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

A few days ago, Director James Cameron made history by having the deepest solo dive in the Mariana Trench. Of course the news caught my attention: 1. It’s James Cameron 2. It’s on National Geographic 3. The Mariana Trench! All fascinating elements of a newsworthy event that just made my anticipation for the complete video footage of the deepest place on Earth more intense.

And then yesterday on CNN, Rolex apparently also made another record of its own with the Oyster Perpetual as the deepest diving watch in the world. The watch already prides itself being made of 904L steel that can resist the harshest corrosion-causing elements. Diving down strapped on the submarine that plunged into the deepest part of the earth only made it incontestable. The In a short riveting ad, Rolex congratulates resident explorer James Cameron and builds the brand association with prestige. Certainly, Rolex already has an undisputed brand equity but brands like it aim for the highest distinct achievements that its opulent target and aspiring consumers admire.

For more information about the watch, Geeky Gadgets has a full feature on about it. Know more about The Deep Sea Challenge on National Geographic.