16 Feb The Marketing Science Behind the Jollibee Commercial



JUAN SAYS: We know you liked the stories. We know that at one point or the other you brushed a tear away knowing that what you’ve seen cuts right through the heart. You may not have experienced exactly what was depicted on the video, but you have fantasized about it a good number of times. Maybe you know that someday, something similar might happen to you. We know you loved the stories and we have seen you share these videos on your wall. Bato ka na lang talaga kung wala kang maramdaman sa napanood mo. Even us in JUAN were quite teary eyed watching the videos.


“Akala ko ba BEE HAPPY?! Punyeta Jollibee. Punyeta lang talaga,” read the post of Sisa as tears fell from her eyes watching the videos while riding her uber home. But what makes these videos work? Why did Jollibee’s work this time around when many have said that it is a sheer copy cat of that of McDonald’s in 2009?

The advertising agency has opted to go rogue on this one. Jollibee was always about being happy, being wholesome, a feeling that many viewers are sick and tired of, to be honest. When you think of Jollibee, you think of happiness, you think of fun, you think children, you think balloons, mascots, chicken joy and spaghetti. You think this is one happy place, but in reality, there is no such thing. Shit happens in life and we just want to be real.

And Jollibee just gave that – real #Hugots from real people as stated in their opening billboards “based on a true story.” Everybody is a sucker for true stories. Everybody wants to see what others lives are like. Is it any different from ours? Is it the same? Does shit happen to them too? How do they deal? How do they accept? How do they even muster the courage to live life again? Ah, we are getting ahead of ourselves. But we know you get the drift.

Today’s commercial of Jollibee is more than just #Hugot, in truth, it is using the “pain point” strategy, which has always been ignored by many advertisers. Companies and brands think that to be associated with “pain” is a suicide mission. They believe that to be associated with the negative, with the pain, people will think of them as such. But what they fail to realize is that the pain point strategy is what the target audience is looking for. And if you play it right, just like McCann did for Jollibee, then it will hit your target audience the good way.

McDonald’s commercial maybe the first but if you watch it closely, it is not as relatable as the Jollibee commercial entitled “Vow.” Sure everybody has a childhood crush, but not everybody wanted to marry their childhood crushes. But then again, with the Jollibee commercial, every person on this entire planet has that one person whom we can say “the one that got away.” There will be that one person whom we would resort to as our opposite-sex “best friend” because of things… things that may have gotten out of hand that made us settle for a pseudo relationship we now regard as “friendship.” It became more relatable. Mas abot kamay sa tao ang konsepto. Mas masakit. Mas tagos. Mas tama sa panlasa ng Pilipino.

However, we believe that Jollibee’s concepts are global. As we speak, it is already being shared in other parts of the world confirming that this formula works. Finally, the Filipino way of “feeling,” the #hugots of Pinoys are already a global phenomenon. And we at JUAN are hoping that this too would pave the way for a new breed of commercials. Tigilan na natin ang masyadong masaya. Hindi naman yan ang totoong buhay. If you want to sell, make your target market understand that you know and empathize with what they feel. Hindi pwede yung masyado kang distant. Hindi na umuubra ang aspirational. We deal with shit. We feel the pain. Because just like in real life, pain demands to be felt.




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