Gabey Goh
Jul 5, 2016

Philippines Smart Communications breaks barriers with LGBT community

Smart Communications' coming-out tale, by Dentsu JaymeSyfu, earns raves.

PHILIPPINES - A new ad in the Philippines is getting a lot of buzz for what is considered an unusual and brave move for a major telco brand in a conservative and mostly Catholic country.

The 1-minute video tells the story of a man named Kevin receiving a friend request on Facebook from his father. A request he is reluctant to accept because his account is filled with photos of him and his boyfriend.

During a family lunch, the father reminds him, “Kevin, bakit hindi mo pa inaaccept ang friend request ko?” [Kevin, why haven’t you accepted my friend request?]

After much deliberation and worry while browsing his Facebook account, he finally sends a message saying: “Dad, inaccept na kita.” [Dad, accepted you.]

His father’s reply: “Anak ako din.” [Son, so have I.]

Since being posted on Facebook on 2 July, the video has garnered more than 1.26 million views and nearly 28,000 shares.

Comments from netizens have been overwhelmingly positive, with many lauding the brand for its “brave” decision to so openly feature an issue that resonated with the LGBT community.

Campaign Asia-Pacific’s view: This campaign reminds me of a similar effort by McDonalds in Taiwan as both address the issue of LGBT people coming out to parents and family. It is never easy, and for many, not a process that comes with the automatic acceptance that it should. (Also, both made me tear up at my desk).

What I like about this particular ad is how it was able to encapsulate it all in one minute flat, with the premise and storytelling vehicle incorporating the use of social-media platforms and mobile messaging that speaks to the quintessential Filipino experience. The brevity and simplicity of the exchange between father and son is also as compelling as it is powerful.

That it is resonating strongly with its intended target audience is without doubt, with the friend that shared the video with me stating: “I cried ya.”

Smart Communications should rightly be applauded for giving its agency the green light for this campaign. I’m certainly looking forward to what comes next from the telco brand and its marketing team.

Client: Smart Communications
Agency: Dentsu Jayme Syfu
Chief creative officer: Merlee Jayme
Executive creative director/copywriter: Louie Sotto
Creative director: Miko Quiogue
Copywriter: Therese Liboro
Art director: Benci Vidanes
Managing partner & chief client officer: Alex Syfu
Account director: Gabbie Santiago
Strategic planning director: Diday Alcudia
Director: Henry Frejas
Producer: Butch Tayao
Executive producer: Concon Limbo-Deray
Production House: Filmex
Composer: Jasper Perez
Audio production house: Soundesign Manila 

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