Marketing Campaign of The Year: Jollibee’s ‘A Message From The Future’

Marketing Campaign of The Year: Jollibee’s ‘A Message From The Future’

Jollibee, the top local fast-food chain in the Philippines, which is continually making a name worldwide with its growing global presence, unveils in May of 2021 its first-ever global campaign. Amid numerous advertising campaigns launched this year, it’s ‘A Message From The Future’ that comes out as our Marketing Campaign of The Year. 

In a moving and tear-jerker three-minute film, Jollibee views the pandemic from the future – as a ‘survival story’ told to the new generation, one that is overcome through the power of family and sticking together. 

Through Jollibee’s strong delivery of content in the past years, it has moved from merely being a fast-food brand to now a platform that brings human stories to audiences, packaged in the most inspiring and touching narratives.

Here’s Francis Flores, JFC Philippines’ regional marketing head and Jollibee Philippines’ marketing head, who lets us in on the conceptualization process of the campaign – sharing on the inspiration and the goal of the film; and once and for all, revealing what the brand considers the crucial elements in serving a successful reel that resonates.

Creative Direction 

What inspired the storyline of the campaign?

Jollibee as a brand has always been about the joy of family. This has always been our main inspiration and guiding principle for all our Brand Love Campaigns whether for short films or brand thematic ads.

When the pandemic broke out, everyone was unprepared and had to face an uncomfortable reality. During this time, it was very difficult to convey messages of joy because fear and anxiety were the general sentiments of everyone, but we believed that there was a silver lining amid all this.

We were determined to encourage and uplift everyone by conveying an undisputed truth that even the worst situations cannot put down – the priceless joy that we get from being with our families. Despite the challenges and unfortunate effects that COVID-19 has brought, there is one positive thing that came with it, which is being able to spend more time with our families. From physically spending every waking hour together in lockdown to long video calls across continents, our family was what got us through.

We wanted this campaign to acknowledge the grim reality of the pandemic but still give a positive message of hope. It’s all about appreciating these moments and finding the ultimate joy with family. Our families have been a comforting factor for most of us in these tough times and we wanted everyone to be grateful for that. It was the year of the pandemic, but it was also the year of the family.

What elements does Jollibee’s creative team consider to make an ideal Jollibee campaign?

It all starts with a powerful and universal truth, and for this campaign – we are spending more time with our families now, it has never happened before and may never happen again. And coming from this powerful truth, we wanted to surface the positive things that we can be grateful for even at the height of the pandemic.

a. The rare opportunity to spend more time and grow closer with our family because of the lockdown/quarantine.

b. The realization that anything can happen anytime, so we must never take anything for granted.

c. Our greatest source of joy lies in the ones that matter the most – our families.

Another important aspect is our collaboration with our partner agencies. We’re blessed to be working with several world-class creative agencies and teams that work with us in bringing our brief and vision to life. And during the whole campaign process, we made sure that we worked in close collaboration with our partner agency – from crafting the brief, ideation, storylines until actual production.

It is also critical to clearly define the message we want to convey and who our audience is. Given the widespread effect of the pandemic, we aimed to reach every Filipino family across the globe and not just in the Philippines. To make this possible, we chose to work with a global team to package the creative message in the most universal way possible, but consciously kept it rooted in genuine Filipino values. The campaign was brought to life with the help of BBH (Bartle Bogle Hegarty), a Singapore-based creative agency, and director Law Chen, an American Born Chinese who is a multi-awarded film and advertising director. Armed with a global perspective, a powerful truth, and an inspiring universal message, we were determined to create a film that not only reflects the heart of the Jollibee brand, but also uplifts the human spirit.

Lastly, we made sure that we provided sufficient media, digital and PR support for our campaigns. We didn’t just focus on launching digital videos and ads, we applied a holistic approach for every campaign. We collaborated with our media, digital, and PR agencies to cover all relevant touchpoints and to maximize the reach and effectiveness of our campaigns. Specific to this campaign, we rolled out various initiatives in social media platforms, tapped media partners, and utilized influencers.

We also made it part of a bigger campaign for the month of May where we celebrated the joy of family, notwithstanding the challenges we were all faced during the pandemic. We launched the Family Thanksgiving month last May 1, and we came out with our Kwentong Jollibee Mother’s Day special a week after which espouses gratitude for your loved ones and the joy of family messaging.

Jollibee has been known to roll out emotional-driven films; why do you think it is important for a brand like Jollibee to communicate its brand message through film?

For over 40 years, Jollibee is a brand that is deeply rooted in Filipino culture and is known for bringing joy to families. It has been part of the lives of Filipino families – from simple bonding moments to celebrating major milestones. And it’s not just in the food that we provide, but in the actual experience and joy that people have with our brand. 

It has always been our mission to bring joy to everyone and producing video content has allowed us to continue effectively conveying our message to our target audience. As the world becomes more digital, with information and content made readily available on various platforms, we’re maximizing the use of videos and short films to continue spreading joy through meaningful but free content that resonates with our target audience.

Viewer perception

What has been the feedback of the audience since releasing this first-ever global campaign? 

As of this writing, the film has garnered over 24 million views on YouTube and Facebook combined since we launched it this year in May 2021. It is always great to see several comments and mentions on social media on how they were able to relate to the film and how it has prompted them to actually show and express their appreciation and love for their family members. 

Since this is Jollibee’s first global brand love campaign, it is also overwhelming to see a lot of positive feedback from the international media and advertising industry. We are also humbled and honored to be featured and picked up by global publications such as Ad Age, Ads of the World, and being among the Top 5 in Ad Forum’s best ads of the week worldwide.

What do you think the brand values ‘A Message from the Future’ convey to its viewers?

It’s about giving people a different perspective on the pandemic; to look at it from a more positive and hopeful light. While it’s undeniable that we are faced with a lot of challenges and hardships because of the pandemic, we want to highlight the importance of having our family by our side. So that when we look back, we won’t only relive the difficulties we have experienced, but rather we’ll remember more how our family was our source of strength, hope, and joy.

We know it’s easy to take things for granted, so we want to remind people to appreciate the time we have with our family and be thankful for even the little things that our family does for us. And like what was said in the video, we’ve all gone through a rough time during the pandemic, but it is our family’s love which saved us. So, no matter how sad this period of our life was, because of our family, we still found joy.

Agency: BBH Singapore
Chief Creative Officer: Sascha Kuntze
Creative Directors: Mae Ong & Gaston Soto
Creative Team: Sandra Eichner, Charlene Chua, Dawn Abegail, Shervin Low
Business Director: Ross Henderson
Account Director: Victoria Fernandez
Account Managers: Isabel Ong, Daphne Tan
Chief Strategic Officer: Jacob Wright
Senior Strategist: Zoe Chen
Agency Producer: Wendi Chong
Production Company: Stink Films Shanghai
Director: Lawrence Chen
Film Out: Metropolis Post
Audio House: Twenty Below Music, 750mph, Fuse
Client: Jollibee
JFC Philippines Country/Regional Marketing Head and Jollibee Philippines Marketing Head: Francis Flores
Assistant Vice President and Head of Brand PR, Engagement and Digital Marketing: Arline Adeva

Senior Brand PR and Communications Manager: Dennis Reyes
Brand Engagement Manager: Beatriz Cruz
Social Media & Digital Content Officer: Jean Vittorio Sabado

This recognition is based on the results of Google Analytics on the most-read stories of 2021 with editorial validation on the significance of a leader’s contribution, campaigns results, and overall impact.

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