Rahul Sachitanand
Jul 14, 2020

DAN paints grim picture for post-pandemic Philippines market

Network sees overhang from existing lull, with key Christmas season heavily impacted.

Cleaners wearing facemasks and face shield work at a mall in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines. (Getty Images)
Cleaners wearing facemasks and face shield work at a mall in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines. (Getty Images)

Even as the country struggles to contain surging infections and deaths from the  COVID-19 pandemic, Filipino consumers are coming to grips with a new set of realities in their lives. To build sustainable marketing strategies during and after this time, brands and marketers need to be cognizant of these shifting trends, as they seek to build a cogent plan for a market of 107 million people in flux, suggests Dentsu Aegis Network's “Looking Forward: Predictions Post-Lockdown and Beyond.”

According to the report, residents are currently experiencing a range of emotions and experiences that are influencing their spending and consumption. For instance, Filipinos are experiencing trust issues, as the virulent spread of this disease has made consumers uneasy over whom they can trust, resulting in COVID-cocooning, as people retreat to the safety of their homes and find ways to maximise productivity and efficiency while living in a limited space. 

Like in other markets, these confined consumers have fuelled a new order of schooling and learning online, putting pressure on families to cope. For brands, the need to stay at home has driven red-hot growth across ecommerce, eservices and efinance, all of which will likely stay post-pandemic too. With few signs of a cure or preventive medication, marketers also need to reckon with a muted Christmas season, or the Ber months, when consumer consumption normally spikes sharply

While brands and agencies dwell on the present, they also need to reckon with a difficult future, the report reckons. The network makes a series of predictions a post-pandemic future that gives marketers some pointers on what to expect. 

Post-pandemic predictions:

  • Collective PTSD: Filipinos will experience traces of sadness, loss and anxiety that will need to be acknowledged and treated in order to move on.
  • New Sense of value: Time well spent cocooning at home will lead people to discover what is essential to them.
  • Cautious exploration: While the desire to travel remains, more caution will be practiced in how, when and where people will travel.
  • Spotlight on local government units (LGUs): The role of LGUs proved to be crucial in how citizen experience and recover from the pandemic and how they plan to be more resilient in the future.  
  • Healthcare a priority: With trust issues and collective anxiety lingering, provisions for healthcare become increasingly important as people prepare themselves for similar situations.
  • The new work: New and unconventional work will show more prominence with Filipinos seeking various means to support themselves and their families.  
  • Support for the disenfranchised: There are segments that were affected more than others and will need more assistance over this protracted road to recovery.
  • Gen Z Leads Inclusive Progress: Gen Z continuously proves to be more ambitious, driven and active compared to other generations and are unafraid of initiating and carrying out significant change. 
The Christmas season stretches for four months in The Philippines

Bea Atienza, chief strategy officer of Dentsu Aegis Network says, “The groundwork for major shifts across different industries is being laid right now. We felt it was important to understand the mindsets forming while Filipinos go through the quarantine, as well as the challenges that our brands can help address.”

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