RETAIL | Pinoy Superbrands + The OFWs That Keep Them Afloat

PINOY SUPERBRANDS: PHILIPPINES AIRLINES FUSELAGE

PINOY SUPERBRANDS: PHILIPPINES AIRLINES POSTER

NATIONAL BOOK STORE LOGO

PINOY SUPERBRANDS: NATIONAL BOOK STORE

SAN MIGUEL AD IN HK

PINOY SUPERBRANDS: SAN MIGUEL BEER

The Superbrands organization is an independent arbiter on branding. It pays tribute to brands that it considers exceptional through its programs. Superbrands has launched its programs in many key global markets and has publications in over 80 countries.

– Wikipedia, “Superbrands”

The Philippines belongs to the “Superbrands” organization that decides which products and services are “cool.” Yet, when I think of the country’s real superbrands, I can really only count two: Jollibee and bench/.

Philippine Airlines has a great corporate ID; National Book Stores (often the only source of the printed word in the country) is a godsend; and San Miguel beer has its fans.

But only Jollibee and bench/ have taken on the “big guys” (McDonalds and the Gap, respectively) and won on their own turf.

Jollibee’s food is not quite ready for prime-time, but it sure is popular amongst the mid-level income Filipino family.

Just like McD’s, Jollibee’s omnipresent advertising ensures that new generations of Jollikids are being indoctrinated into the ways of  fast food. Who can resist that cute Jollibee statue outside every outlet, beckoning us into his deep fried coconut oil grease pit? He’s arguably the most recognized character in the archipelago, although GMA tries hard to compete.

PINOY SUPERBRANDS: MR. JOLLIBEE TO YOU

JOLLIKIDS ON BOARD

PINOY SUPERBRANDS: JOLLIBEE BAG

JOLLIBEE PANCAKE AD W/ HOT CHOCOLATE!

PINOY SUPERBRANDS: MALL OF ASIA JOLLIBEE

PINOY SUPERBRANDS: JOlLIBEE FRES

bench/ also uses saturation marketing to aggressively promote its products. Their heavily sexualized ads feature the cutest of Euroasians in provocative poses (the company’s website has a page devoted to more photos of said models, their stats, and interests, much like a cheesy online dating service).

The aspirational message these images send to the youth of the country ensures a steady drove of shoppers and lookey loos into bench/ stores nationwide (about 35% of the county’s 98 million people are under the age of 15).

PINOY SUPERBRANDS: MALL OF ASIA bench/

PINOY SUPERBRANDS: bench/ HIPPIE DAYS

PINOY SUPERBRANDS: bench/ BILLBOARD

PINOY SUPERBRANDS: bench/ BODY

bench/ STORE WINDOW

bench/ PINOY LAB

These, then, are the two true Pinoy superbrands.

But looking at the country from another perspective, the Philippines’ biggest export is its human resources. Overseas Foreign Workers (OFWs in this acronym-obsessed country) keep the Pinoy economy afloat. They are referred to as “heroes” for remitting part of their overseas salaries back to the communities from whence they came.

OFWs just might be the country’s one, true, superbrand. More than 10% of Filipinos are living outside their homeland to support their compatriots back home.

Shoemart (SM), the country’s largest retailer, is aware of the impact of the OFW on the retail landscape of the Philippines. Just in time for the Xmas 2009 season, they established a pilot “Global Pinoy” centre at their flagship Mall of Asia. Here, the families of separated OFWs can contact their loved ones via Internet and avail themselves of other services:

Overseas Filipino workers can now process all their documents, requirements, remittance and hold videoconferencing with their loved ones at the Global Pinoy Centers located in the SM supermalls all over the country. Hans Sy, president of SM Prime Holdings Inc., the mall developer of the SM Group, told reporters at Thursday’s launch of the pilot Global Pinoy Center in the Mall of Asia that this latest service of its malls is a recognition of the new Filipino heroes, the OFWs.

Sy narrated that when he goes abroad to meet with their foreign investors, who are jittery about the domestic economy, he would always cite the huge OFW remittances to appease their apprehensions. ‘I always told our foreign investors that as long as the OFWs continue sending their money back home, there is nothing to worry about the local economy,’ he said.

– Global Pinoy Centers opened at SM malls

'OFW INFLOWS HIT NEW HIGH"

NINOY AQUINO PHILIPPINE PESOS

PLEASE QUEUE HERE

PINOY SUPERBRANDS: SM GLOBAL PINOY

THIS WAY TO SUCCESS

GLOBAL PINOYS IN ACTION

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GLORIA IN ACTION

PINOY SUPERBRANDS: PHILIPPINES AIRLINES TALE

RETAIL: PINOY SUPERBRANDS :: bench/

RETAIL: PINOY SUPERBRANDS :: JOLLIBEE

URBANISM: SM + THE MANY MALLS OF MANILA

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