Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

What happens when someone hires from social media? JobStreet PH pokes fun at it with these ads

Manila, Philippines – With companies actively doing background checks when hiring someone, viewing someone’s social media can get confusing for employers. With some potential applicants still hiding under anonymity, employers often have less transparency to look into as to what type of individual their next employee is.

And that is exactly what the latest ads from JobStreet Philippines show: instead of relying on social media for hiring, companies can get ‘real talent’ by visiting the JobStreet platform.

The ads, conceptualised by local creative agency GIGIL, feature a series of hilarious situations when an employer interviews someone from social media. Instead of a real person, they interview a fictional character, an avatar, or even the whole family of the applicant.

For Soleil Badenhop, associate creative director at GIGIL, humour has been an integral part of most of their campaigns, even for a formal brand such as JobStreet.

“Hiring can be really taxing for HR managers. We wanted to come up with content that would break the monotony and entertain them, get their attention while getting the message across clearly,” Badenhop said in an exclusive statement to MARKETECH APAC.

When asked how GIGIL came up with the idea for these ads, she said that while the brief for the ad was to simply market the service for free to HR managers, they wanted to dig deeper into the insights from HR managers to conceptualise the ads.

“We dug deep for true insight and found that HR managers still hire largely on social media simply because the Philippines is still the social media capital of the world. The funny thing about hiring on social media is, you don’t know whom you’re talking to because most profiles use cartoon pictures, avatars, group pictures, and fictional characters. By showing the reality of hiring there, we were able to push JobStreet as the reliable yet free option for hirers,” Badenshop told MARKETECH APAC.

Meanwhile, Kim Martin Viray, country head of marketing at JobStreet Philippines told MARKETECH APAC that aside from promoting said service to HR managers, the overarching objective of the ads was about addressing unstructured hiring, particularly on social media, where it is prone to scams and fraud.

“We have seen ads with humour and lightness to engage better with Filipino audiences, especially on digital. Our ‘Hire With Real Talent for Free’ campaign is one of the first-ever hyperlocal ad creatives we’ve produced for JobStreet Philippines, fronting our employer franchise that is emotive and targets real situations of HR professionals when hiring on social media,” the company told MARKETECH APAC.

They added, “Specifically, the already-heavy and often stressful situation of an SME hirer and then only to get low-quality candidates. To resonate more with the target audience, we re-imagined that situation lightly and with humour while highlighting our key message on what JobStreet can deliver better.”

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

ShopBack mounts first-ever ‘Users’ Choice Awards’, to spotlight most-loved brands on platform

Manila, Philippines – ShopBack, the shopping, rewards, and payments platform in APAC, is launching its first-ever Users’ Choice Awards, which will inaugurally be focused on the Philippines. The platform is handing the power to users to determine the top-performing brands on the platform. 

As of current, ShopBack boasts over 600 partnerships with some of the most trusted retailers in the Philippines across industries ranging from travel and fashion to tech and marketplaces. According to the platform, the year 2022 saw the onboarding of several exciting new partnerships, with more than 50 brands, including collaborations with notable fashion retailers like SHEIN and Puma, onboarded on the platform. 

For its inaugural Users’ Choice Awards, to be launched in the Philippines; there will be a total of 9 awards up for grabs for the flagship categories.

The recognitions, namely, are the ‘Smart Shoppers’ Choice’ for the Marketplaces category, the ‘Glow Getters’ Choice’ for the Health and Beauty category, the ‘Fitness Junkies’ Choice’ for the Sports category, the ‘Trendsetters’ Choice’ for the Fashion category, the ‘Foodies’ Choice’ for the Food and Grocery category, the ‘Tech Savvy’s Choice’ for the Tech and Gaming category, and the ‘Mommies’ Choice’ for brands that cater to mom and baby essentials. 

True to the current times we have now, the roster includes an award for the top travel brands, aptly called, the ‘Revenge Travelers’ Choice’. In addition, serving as a bit of an icebreaker to the category-inclined awards is the ‘Superfans’ Choice’, which will be contested amongst brands with the highest brand loyalists. 

During the night of the awards itself, aside from the aforementioned, special awards will be given such as the ‘Top Growing Brand’ and ‘Top New Brand’, amongst others. 

The voting period, which has commenced last 10 March, will allow users to vote for their favourite brands per category on ShopBack until 27 March. This leads to the official awards night on 30 March which will be held at Fairmont Makati.

To vote, users will need to utilise ShopBack’s ‘challenges’ feature, where one can earn bonus cashback based on one’s purchases or certain actions on the app. For the Users’ Choice Awards, users can look forward to getting up to P100 from the challenges.

Brand winners would be determined based on the number of votes received (50%), the number of users who visit the merchant online via the ShopBack app (25%), and the number of users who added the merchant to their watchlist (25%). 

“This is also our way to show our gratitude and appreciation to all our merchant partners for the trust and collaborative partnership that we’ve had in the past few years,” commented Prashant Kala, the GM of ShopBack Ads APAC and acting country manager for the PH market.

Last November, ShopBack launched its livestream feature on the ShopBack app in time for 11.11. At present, the platform revealed that it is also currently in the midst of testing other solutions, such as search advertising and segmented audience optimisations.

“It takes less than 2 days for users to convert to purchase on ShopBack. This gives us a huge opportunity in terms of experimenting on new features for users and providing solutions for partners,” said Kala.

He added, “2023 has just begun, but we are already seeing it as a very promising year. Definitely, more exciting things to come from ShopBack.”

In H2 of 2022, ShopBack announced that it has raised fresh funding of US$80m which will go into further building and growing the platform in APAC. A few months following, the platform unveiled its expansion to Hong Kong, which saw the onboarding of over 250 local to global merchants. 

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Around 53% of Twitter users in PH say platform promotes freedom of speech

Manila, Philippines – Around 53% of Twitter users in the country have said that the social media platform is a driving force to promote freedom of speech in the country, according to the latest study from Milieu Insight.

The data also noted that 43% said that Twitter serves as a safe space for others to express their own opinions. Furthermore, 26% said it allows users to gain knowledge, with 21% saying that the platform serves as a space for healthy debates or conversations.

When asked about what they think of Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, 49% thought it was neither good nor bad. Meanwhile, 31% saw it as somewhat good with an 11% identifying it as actual good news. On the other hand, 5% said it was somewhat bad news, with 3% saying, without reservations, it was definitely bad news.

In terms of reduced censorship measures in the platform, 43% states that it will benefit others in a positive way, whilst 22% had no opinion of said changes, and 20% expressing being uncomfortable with said changes.

Following that, when asked about how Twitter’s censorship policy will affect free speech, 51% of the respondents note some form of positive impact on the platform, whilst 24% saying otherwise , and 11% affirming that there is no impact at all.

Lastly, in terms of the impact of the Twitter censorship on hate speech, 45% believed it had some form of positive impact, with the other 29% saying the complete opposite – a negative impact. Meanwhile, 12% think there was no impact at all.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

PH ad agency GIGIL expands services, to now include PR, media

Manila, Philippines – Local independent agency GIGIL has now announced an expansion to its services, which will now include full public relations and media planning and buying services to the public. 

According to the agency, the launch of these new services will also help boost the performance of clients’ campaigns, as well as complement GIGIL’s campaign ideas.

GIGIL’s PR services include media relations, crisis management, digital PR, KOL/Influencer management, community relations, events management, strategic communications, brand awareness, content management, CSR, and activation. 

Meanwhile, its media planning and buying service will continue to provide comprehensive media strategies and employ creative-driven media tactics. It will offer 360-degree media channel planning, management and execution that cover traditional, digital, and social media.

The agency’s PR arm started two years ago, and has earned over PHP100m in PR values combined from its various projects. The media planning and buying services, on the other hand, started in 2021, and have worked with clients such as Netflix Philippines to create media executions for campaigns.

Jake Yrastorza, managing partner at GIGIL said, “We have always envisioned GIGIL Philippines to be an ‘ideas’ agency, first and foremost. With our full-service PR and media departments, our ideas will have a greater chance to move culture, so our clients can move more products off shelves.”

The agency update comes months after GIGIL has announced its expansion to the United States and Canada, as well as unveiling its metaverse division ‘Metama’.

GIGIL has been known for creating humorous and tongue-in-cheek campaigns for brands such as RC Cola, Orocan, Julie’s Bakeshop, Unioil, and Allianz. They are also responsible for multiple campaign drives for Netflix Philippines, including for shows such as Trese, All of us Are Dead, Red Notice, and Money Heist: Korea.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Latest social campaign of Palmolive uses AI to showcase natural Filipina beauty

Manila, Philippines In line with its commitment to championing naturality, shampoo brand Palmolive in the Philippines has used artificial intelligence in its latest social campaign to render a representation of a Filipina – one that authentically showcases what a native woman in the Philippines looks like.

The woman was generated after the prompt ‘Filipina Gen Z Palmolive Girl’ and the result is a tan-skinned woman with long and thick hair and low nasal bridge – a close resemblance to a native Filipina.

Upon posting the AI Palmolive Girl on social media, the brand engaged audiences with a poll, asking the question, “According to AI, ito ang look ng isang Palmolive Naturals girl. Agree ba kayo?.” (“According to AI, this is what a Palmolive Naturals girl looks like. Do you agree?)

The poll was closed after 24 hours, with 90% of the respondents saying ‘yes’.

Bea Atienza, impactful brand experience lead at Colgate-Palmolive, said that they’re thrilled with the positive response towards the said campaign. 

“It proves that naturality and AI can coexist in today’s world. We’re excited to continue working on this project and create something truly beautiful and collaborative,” she added.

Marketing Featured APAC

PH startup-focused PR agency Uniquecorn Strategies launches London office

Manila, Philippines Uniquecorn Strategies, the Philippines-born PR agency focused on startups, has formally launched its operations in the United Kingdom with a new London office. 

The PR agency will be under the corporate name Uniquecorn Worldwide Limited. In the UK, the agency has already represented event technology startup Tevent and has also worked on a Europe-wide PR remit for Butter, a platform for interactive workshops. With the opening of a local office, the company seeks to expand its services to more startups and technology companies based in the UK.

“Uniquecorn Strategies sees the UK as a strategic gateway to facilitate our ambitious worldwide expansion plan, providing our exceptional PR services to a broader range of startups. We are thrilled to leverage the UK’s growing startup ecosystem and economic progress to extend our successful representation of Tevent and Butter and make a significant contribution to the UK startup community,” said Dean Bernales, the founder and CEO of the company. 

Bernales has recently moved from Manila to London to lead the expansion in the market. Before establishing Uniquecorn Strategies, Bernales held various consultant and leadership roles in award-winning PR agencies worldwide, including Top Agency in the US, Luna PR in Dubai, and Joint in Hong Kong. He brings with him nine years of experience working with global brands across the technology, entertainment, and web3 verticals; and within this, have served several Singapore-based PR agencies, such as Pinpoint, Flame Comm, Precious Comm, and Grow.

In the Philippines, the PR agency has also strengthened its local operations by adding two accomplished media industry professionals to its advisory board. 

Joining the team are RJ Ledesma, a seasoned marketing expert, serial entrepreneur, and Consul of Monaco to the Philippines; and John Aguilar, a serial entrepreneur, best-selling author, and founder and host of CNN Philippines’ The Final Pitch. In their advisory roles, they will be offering support and strategic guidance to the company.

“As a fast-growing PR firm, we are fortunate to have RJ and John, two accomplished media industry veterans and serial entrepreneurs, on our advisory board. Their expertise will prove to be invaluable as we strive to achieve our business objectives and foster the growth of our company. Their strategic guidance and valuable insights will enable us to navigate the intricacies of the media industry and make informed decisions that drive growth and success,’ Bernales explained.

Founded in 2021, Uniquecorn Strategies has been on a fast growth trajectory, securing major projects with notable names in the local startup space such as Tier One Entertainment, Shoppertainment Live, PDAX, and Great Deals E-commerce Corp. 

The year after, it launched Blockceler8, the firm’s PR practice catering to web3 brands.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Want to vent out? Alcoholic beverage Chill makes this possible with a ‘venting machine’

Manila, Philippines – Chill, the new alcoholic beverage from Universal Robina Corporation (URC), has launched a new outdoor campaign which allows bystanders to have a safe space to release all their frustrations surrounding Valentine’s Day, by setting up a ‘venting’ machine, a pun on the concept of a vending machine.

Conceptualised by BBDO Guerrero, the ‘venting machine’ is a 16-foot-tall booth in the shape of a Chill can. Inside it were three activities; screaming, punching, and a slicing game. A Chill can was dispensed after completing the chosen activity and participants can share a photograph on social media.

Mian David, chief marketing officer at Universal Robina Corporation, explained that the campaign was aimed at the younger demographic, allowing for a ‘drama-free moment’ following the Valentine’s Day festivities.

“We created the venting machine to give them an avenue to have fun and just chill. That’s what Chill is all about – it offers a laid-back drinking experience for people who want to just relax and unwind,” David said.

Meanwhile, Karen Go, general manager at BBDO Guerrero, commented, “Younger Filipinos love to creatively express their feelings. Congratulations to our partners at Chill for their successful event and we are excited to see how we can elevate them further.”

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Former Carousell MD Djon Nacario moves to lead Lalamove in PH

Philippines – Djon Nacario, who led the e-commerce platform Carousell in the Philippines as managing director for a full year in 2022, has now moved to delivery platform Lalamove to be at the helm of its Philippine operations. The update was shared personally on his LinkedIn. 

Nacario assumes the same position of managing director for the platform. 

Back in 2021, Nacario became the country head of travel platform Agoda. He brings with him seasoned marketing experience where aside from the mentioned role, he was also previously Agoda’s head of market management. 

Other notable experience under his belt is working with consumer goods giant Unilever. 

In December 2022, Carousell announced that it has laid off 10% of its staff. The e-commerce is only one of the many large-scale companies that have announced downsizing since the latter part of 2022.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Digital payments Maya taps biggest ambassador yet since rebranding

Manila, Philippines – Maya, one of the top digital payment apps in the Philippines, has launched a new campaign called ‘My Money. My Bank. My Way’, simultaneously introducing its newest — and biggest ambassador yet since it rebranded in May 2022. 

The fintech tapped top local actress Liza Soberano and even appointed her to the unique position of chief advocacy officer. As chief advocacy officer, Soberano will champion shared advocacies for financial inclusion with Maya and lead key initiatives, starting with a joint activity for Save The Children, the world’s leading independent organisation for children. 

The new campaign of Maya is aimed at doubling down on the local wallet’s advantage in the digital banking scene. 

The campaign was conceptualised by Soberano herself and said move breaks the mould of traditional celebrity endorsements and changes the game for marketing financial services.

Speaking of her involvement, the actress said, “I’m excited for everyone to level up their banking experience with me through Maya because I love using their app. On top of that, working with Maya truly feels like a level up for me – it’s a joy to collaborate with them creatively, and I’m excited for the professional challenge of becoming their chief advocacy officer.”

Meanwhile, Pepe Torres, chief marketing officer at Maya, commented that their partnership with Liza hopes to communicate that it is about time for Filipinos to make bigger and bolder financial decisions with the help of game-changing innovations. He also added that they aim at spearheading the industry’s evolution on making digital banking a breakthrough experience for all.

Shailesh Baidwan, group president at Maya, said that their digital banking strategy has allowed them to be more advantageous than other local competitors.

“Filipinos trust banks and like the convenience of e-wallets. By providing an all-in-one digital banking app where people can save, spend, borrow, and invest seamlessly, we have simplified the whole financial services experience for consumers,” Baidwan said.

The new campaign comes months after Maya appointed IPG Mediabrands’ Initiative Philippines as its media agency of record.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

GoTyme Bank marks partnership with Cebu Pacific with an actual airplane activation

Manila, Philippines – GoTyme Bank has announced a partnership with airline Cebu Pacific for its loyalty program Go Rewards last February 9. To mark such partnership, the digital bank used an airplane outdoor activation during its launch event held at the Palacio de Memoria in Parañaque, Manila, Philippines.

For this outdoor activation, GoTyme Bank used an experimental technology called 3D mapping video, which maps video footage onto surfaces like buildings, runways, water, and airplanes, turning them into astonishing displays.

The new feature from GoTyme Bank allows Go Rewards members to earn points each time they book Cebu Pacific flights. When they use their GoTyme Bank Visa Debit Card or Virtual Card to book their flight, they get to earn even more Go Rewards points which they can use to book future flights.

“This new rewards program is a permanent feature and not just a promo so every Juan has all the time in the world to take advantage of this boosted rewards system from GoTyme Bank,” the company said in a press statement.