Arts & Entertainment
The Inside Scoop on How Jollibee Broke the Internet (and Our Feelings)
One of the people behind Jollibee's tear-jerking commercials teaches us about creating the right brand.
IMAGE Screenshot from "The Vow"
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Jollibee is proving to be hotter than their spicy Chickenjoy. For Valentine's Day, the fast-food giant is releasing a series of videos depicting different kinds of love, and suffice to say, they're having a major social media moment. Inspired by true stories (proving just how deeply inculcated Jollibee is into the Filipino lifestyle), they came up with three commercials that has everyone sniffling secretly behind their cubicles.

We spoke with Cat Triviño, Jollibee's brand PR and engagement manager, who, together with Francis Flores (Global CMO), Arline Adeva (Brand Communication and Digital Director), and Dennis Reyes (Corporate PR Manager), and advertising agency McCann, created this ad phenom.

"Crush," directed by Joel Ruiz

"Vow," directed by Ianco dela Cruz

"Date," directed by Pepe Diokno

How did you come up with these kinds of ads? And how did you choose the themes?

The #KwentongJollibee campaign, launched in 2016, is a series of online videos about the story of the Filipino, highlighting life’s challenges, victories, and joys—and their own unique love story with Jollibee.

For this year’s Valentine Series, Jollibee went for different definitions of love. All inspired by a true story, the series features various levels of love among individuals, showing us that love does indeed come in all forms, is ever present, and that the joy of love (being in love as a best friend, as an admirer, as family) should always be celebrated.

What were you thinking when conceptualizing this series? Did you consider virality?

Three important factors that we kept in mind were authenticity, relatability, and seamless brand integration.

Every Pinoy has a #KwentongJollibee, and we keep to our campaign promise of sharing true stories of Pinoys across generations and their unique and long-standing love affair with Jollibee. What makes the materials so engaging is how it reminds us of our own love stories and experiences as well as the memories we’ve had (and continue to have) with the brand and products. It’s also vital that brand integration is seamless: that the role of the brand and the product does not only enhance, but is also integral to the story. All these are qualities of Jollibee content we put to heart.

What went down when you were making the commercials?

It's a lot of brainstorming! Of sharing stories and personal experiences of love (and Jollibee) back and forth. At the end of the day, the message Jollibee wants to get across is that these are true stories of love in different forms that should also be celebrated. After all, JOY goes far beyond happiness. Joy is a feeling from within, it's contentment through selflessness, gratitude and thankfulness. Happiness is external. 

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You have a pretty rad set of directors, Pepe Diokno, Joel Ruiz, Ianco dela Cruz.

Direk Ianco has been our director since last year for KJ, for the other two, we wanted to see different treatments, through very talented directors, on how they can make the stories as beautiful on film as on paper!

The reactions have been mixed. While some folks have turned sentimenal, others are saying that some of the characters are almost stalker-like and that Jollibee puts you on the "friend zone."

The Kwentong Jollibee series has generated varied opinions towards the story and the brand, all of which we respect. This is where our campaign purpose and content qualities come in: true stories of life’s challenges, victories, and joys, stories of endless, unconditional love, stories of perseverance and acceptance which many Filipinos can relate to. Jollibee is a brand that we have grown with, a brand that has been witness (if not pivotal) to very important moments in our lives.

Is it overwhelming to see this kind of response to your ads?

The response is more than what we expected and we are all very grateful! We published the #KwentongJollibeeValentineSeries hoping for the best, but did not expect this amazing traction! This certainly sets the bar for our next #KwentongJollibee films.

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About The Author
Sasha Lim Uy
Managing Editor, EsquireMag.ph
Sasha eats to live and lives to eat. For five years, she handled SPOT.ph's food section and edited the last two installments of its Top 10 Food books. She also recently participated at the Madrid Fusion Manila as curator.
View Other Articles From Sasha
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