Manila, Philippines – The Colgate brand has been doubling down on its global-wide advertising campaigns, where its optimism-themed #SmileStrong campaign released just recently in Southeast Asia market Malaysia. Today, another region-bound country, the Philippines, has officially announced its installment of the campaign, where the specific Colgate arm decided to spotlight on the optimistic attitude among individuals with special needs.

Three individuals are the protagonists of the Filipino ad spots – teacher and motivational speaker and born with down syndrome Brina Maxino, local actress Candy Pangilinan who is mother to a son who has ADHD, and Arizza Nocum, peace advocate and entrepreneur who co-founded KRIS, a non-profit organization promoting peace through education.

Much like the Malaysian campaign, the ambassadors in the spot states a recurring statement of “When they say…I smile,” where they share people’s judgments of their capabilities and capping it off with a positive “I smile.”

Colgate Philippines, in a press statement, shared that with the local implementation of the global advocacy, it hopes to make the same big impact that other #SmileStrong campaigns in other key markets have generated, which is “an increase of brand love and loyalty among consumers.”

The country’s Marketing Director Ari Mandelbaum speaks of how the ad aims to break the false positivity in “Filipino resilience” and inspire “optimism in action” instead.

“The common Filipino’s ‘resilience’ has constantly been held up as a shining character trait even in the face of natural disasters, violent conflict, poverty, and a number of deep-seated societal issues,” he said.

However, Mandelbaum added, “A growing number of people are seeing ‘The Filipino Resilience’ as a glorified coping mechanism, seemingly resigned to just powering through adversities with a mindset to live just to survive each day. At Colgate, we believe that it takes more than optimism to power through the challenges of today, thus launching #SmileStrong where we encourage Filipinos to believe and uphold the power of ‘optimism in action.’”

Together with Colgate-Palmolive’s global creative partner Red Fuse, which is advertising and communications company WPP’s integrated global team, the brand in the Philippines has tapped another WPP network – integrated marketing communications firm SOHO Square, its local arm – to bring the local rendition to fruition.

Caloy Sambrano, managing partner at SOHO Square Philippines said, “As an agency, we have developed and implemented various equity campaigns in the past, but we must say that this Colgate #SmileStrong campaign is one, if not the most, important campaign that we have ever done. We wanted each and every Filipino to feel inspired and relate to the stories of our muses especially when they see the contents that we put out.”

Following the global campaign’s wide marketing strategy, Colgate Philippines will be releasing integrated communications across digital and public relations, where activations in partnership with muses Arizza, Candy, and Brina will be run until 2021.

Aside from the #SmileStrong campaign, Colgate-Palmolive has earlier piloted its “Made for Greatness” campaign in Thailand, featuring professional climber and Academy Award-winning documentary director Jimmy Chin. The campaign is said to be progressively rolled out across Singapore, Malaysia, and Australia & New Zealand.