The human clockwork behind beloved brands

What are gears that wound an agency? McCann Philippines with Jollibee and IdeasXMachina with Scotch Brite share their

Illustration by Alberto Cinco Jr

Advertising agencies are the unsung heroes behind our favorite brands. They are the creative ninjas that juggle multiple marketing initiatives for several brands, and still tirelessly work campaign after campaign. Any successful business enterprise would know that one of the most crucial elements to their success would be getting known; that’s where ad agencies come in. Through tireless networking and unique social media campaigning, an agency’s job is never done.

A bridge between the client and the agency is built once a client tasks the advertising agency for making an ad. This relationship permeates throughout their entire journey together. Something as abstract as a brand, ideas and judgments are largely subjective—this kind of relationship is bound to be emotionally-charged. A client-agency relationship will firmly rely on a substantial level of collaboration between both parties to not only make it effective, but sustainable, especially during times where patience is thin and loyalty can weaken over time.

In general, sustaining any successful relationship is a two-way street. Neither the client nor the agency should exert all the effort; all lines of communication should be open and honest and there must be effort to meet the expectations of both. A strong partnership will always produce the best work, which then leads to better business results.

The marketing environment has become more vast and complex than it was before. There aren’t enough agencies that offer the entire spectrum of marketing services that a client needs, and this makes them hire multiple agencies. This however, has posed a problem as it is difficult to bring all these fragmented agencies under one integrated marketing communications umbrella. With social media, there is also a greater blurring of functions. This makes both the client and the agency to work harder than ever before in order to foster a thriving connection.

In the Philippines, two ad agencies and their clients stand out from the rest to tell us just how a client and agency relationship should be:

IXM x Scotch-brite

IdeasXMachina has created ripples into the advertising industry with their award-winning campaigns, and their infamous love-life benefits for their workers. Recently, the agency has bagged another award for their campaign Monsters which was done in coordination with 3M’s Scotch Brite. The agency started their partnership with 3M on August 2014, and like most client-agency partnerships, their relationship sparked with a credential presentation. According to the agency, they bedazzled 3M with their charm and their creative portfolio.

Photo c/o of IXM

Despite not having brought a projector when they mistook an exec meeting for a simple credential presentation, 3M was very impressed with their creative portfolio. According to 3M, IXM’s passion created a halo effect that amplified the agency despite being young and small. Like all competent advertising agencies, IXM is creative and strategic, but IXM was uniquely fun, award-winning, and vigorous. Passion is what drove 3M into a three-year partnership with IXM.

3M admits that they find the charm of IXM simply irresistible as they are go-getters, and risk-takers. 3M admits that their team simply “clicked” with IXM.

3M admits that they find the charm of IXM simply irresistible as they are go-getters, and risk-takers. 3M admits that their team simply “clicked” with IXM. Aside from this, the agency puts client needs ahead of their own. The agency’s decision making is impeccable what with their excellent judgment that proves to be beneficial for the brand, and the consumers.The agency worked with 3M’s Scotch Brite in order to boost sales in Visayas and Mindanao where unconventional tools were used to clean dishes. The agencies’ prerogative was to create a disruptive idea that will market Scotch-Brite as brand, and create ripples across the Philippines.

Photo c/o of IXM

According to IXM, the homegrown brand offers honest products with claims that are well-supported and evidence-based. Marketing the product proved to be easy as scouring pad is synonymous to Scotch-Brite just how toothpaste is to Colgate. The creative process of the campaign positioned dirty dishes as “Monsters” where unclean utensils elicit fear. According to IXM, the rationale behind the campaign is that doing dishes is a dirty job, but one should not be afraid of conquering the task as long as you have a reliable cleaning tool. The agency believes that there is a Scotch-Brite for your every dishwashing need.

Photo c/o of IXM

 

Once the concept was presented to 3M, the brand believed that the campaign resonated with “discerning moms” who was the primary market of the brand. 3M was delighted to have their brand represented in such a creative yet strategic fashion that truly elevated their brand. The agency reaped awards from this creative campaign as a result of good judgment and plus-A creativity skills. When asked if the award pressures them into creating campaigns that are at par with the Scotch-Brite Monsters campaign, the agency simply shrugged it off.  After all, the agency constantly challenges itself on a daily basis. Looking ahead, 3M is planning for exciting things for their diverse brands. As always, 3M will ecstatically collaborate with IXM in the future knowing that they are in good hands.

Jollibee x McCann

Another notable campaign that caused a metaphorical earthquake in 2017 was ‘Kwentong Jollibee’ which was the brainchild of the collaboration of McCann and Jollibee. Upon initially meeting with the client, Mitzie Lim-Nacianceno, the associate partner of McCann World Group, admits that she has foreseen the birth of ‘Kwentong Jollibee.’ Almost like a preordained phenomenon, that was launched roughly around three years ago.  According to McCann, there were no qualms when the idea was first presented to the client. It was just unadulterated excitement for a campaign that fits the image of the brand.

Jollibee was more than pleased to work with McCann in their vision of spreading love which is our primary virtue. In a survey that dated back in 2013, Filipinos topped the poll as the most emotional people. Thus taking this into consideration, McCann celebrated our Filipino instinct of emotional susceptibility through a brand that is Pinoy at its core. The agency also believed in timing the campaign with external elements. Aside from being a Valentine’s Day campaign, Jollibee wanted to counteract the on-going online frenzy stirred by hate.

When the project took off, the creative process took roughly about a year and most of the time was spent collating and sieving all the stories that reflected love. The three stories that were featured in “Kwentong Jollibee” were chosen unanimously by the agency and the Jollibee itself. Although the process was fluid, the agency and the brand were irked to feature stories that were too heavy to be processed emotionally. The decision makers of the campaign were also wary of the way the millennials would receive the campaign.

Although the internet is filled with everything about love, McCann believes that these love stories never tire out as they are universal. McCann believes that the reason why people relate to these heart-warming stories is because they are based on the truth. According to Raul Castro, the chairman and CEO of McCann Group, during his time, hugot was merely a sentiment, but in McCann it’s called truth. Castro also explained that they adhere to a hundred year old Philosophy: “A truth well told, an insight to human nature and their understanding of thoughts and motivations that drive a man or a woman” Although the predecessors of Kwentong Jollibee were successful, gaining roughly 8 million views, the numbers usually took time in multiplying. During the launch of Kwentong Jollibee this 2017, McCann says that it took only half an hour to reach a million.

“We were actually in an offline meeting the time they posted the video, so we just couldn’t concentrate. Our phones are always on. On Facebook, we always refresh. We couldn’t concentrate on our offline. The number, the way it was multiplying was something else. We couldn’t believe what was happening by the minute talagang hundreds of thousands ang na-aadd. That was really fantastic and we couldn’t concentrate anymore on our offline. We just couldn’t believe on how our numbers will grow,” shared Castro.

“We were actually in an offline meeting the time they posted the video, so we just couldn’t concentrate. Our phones are always on. On Facebook, we always refresh. We couldn’t concentrate on our offline. The number, the way it was multiplying was something else. We couldn’t believe what was happening by the minute talagang hundreds of thousands ang na-aadd. That was really fantastic and we couldn’t concentrate anymore on our offline. We just couldn’t believe on how our numbers will grow,” shared Castro.

Since the brand is almost 40 years old, the whole experience was humbling for the agency to say the least. Though the ingenuity of the agency brought out the flair in the campaign, the agency attributes its success to the collaborators and to the brand itself. As the campaign was smooth-sailing as it was in the works, McCann admits that the true challenge lies in the wake of the successful campaign. For the time being, McCann is currently gathering creative muscle in re-calibrating the 2018 leg of Kwentong Jollibee. Though the future is undoubtedly uncertain given the success of the current campaign McCann still remains in cloud nine.