Max's Jim Fuentebella Tells Us What Happened in That Surreal Commercial

Because who wants to make another hugot ad? Not Max's.

We assume that by now you've watched, analyzed, cringed, and laughed at Max's latest commercial featuring the uncanny story about the house that fried chicken built. (If you haven't, you really should.) Reactions to the ad have been mixed, with some ROFLing and some left scratching their heads, but what's important is that we're all watching and we're all craving chicken.

Quite a deviation from Max's teleserye-inspired advertisements (remember Piolo and Isabel?), we had to ask the company's chief marketing officer Jim Fuentebella what exactly happened BTS. Fortunately, no chickens were harmed in the making of this ad (we hope). 

Okay, first of all, what happened here? How'd you come up with this fun commercial?

JTF: We wanted to talk to a younger market and introduce a new product, and we knew that we wanted to definitely do it online. We knew that most of the things we were doing in the past might not appeal so much to the younger generation so we wanted to shake things up a bit and do things differently. We didn’t want to go the way of “hugot” ads—there’s so much of that going around already.

Of course, we were still conscious of the values strongly associated with the brand so this is, I guess, just a different side of who Max’s has always been.


Did you ever worry that people might not get it?

JTF: Of course. It’s just something you’ve never seen Max’s doing. It’s an idea totally from left field but I think the more interesting question is, “What if?” With the video, we gave the opportunity for this “What if?” idea to see the light of day.


Max’s has always been a brand that keeps on trying to put new ideas, products, and campaigns out there. That’s why there is this film, new products such as the new Crispy Pata and Kare-Kare Rice Bowls, and the new Max’s in Shell NLEX Mexico with a major redesign. We’re constantly thinking of new ways to express our brand, and that makes the brand very much alive.

We are conscious of the environment we are in, the market that is emerging, the different tastes and perspectives out there, and people who might not know who we are but are interested to find out. When you put all those thoughts into play, you’ll see that this commercial is just one of the many things the brand is doing.


Max's commercials have long been associated with some of emotion-tugging advertisements--which has now become a trend for other brands—was it a conscious choice to go for humor?

JTF: Very conscious. We were too somber, too serious, almost to the point of being predictable that you could be easily forgotten just by having those qualities. It’s almost an effort for the brand to say, “Can’t we laugh a little?” We needed to have that balance, we can’t always be so formal because that’s not what everybody wants.

Max’s has always been known for Sarap-to-the-Bones Fried Chicken but we can’t tell you that every single time we make a commercial. It becomes stale. So this is our fresh take on introducing our brand to those who might not yet be familiar with it.

watch now


Did you expect the positive reaction from the ad?

JTF: There will always be different opinions when they see something new for the first time. That’s why it was good for us to do this because it was a point-of-view we believed in and we just went for it. Seeing from the reactions, good thing we did.

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Sasha Lim Uy
Sasha eats to live and lives to eat. For five years, she handled'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.
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