Monday, June 27, 2011


By Roger Pe
Philippine Daily Inquirer, June 15, 2011

“I am one who believes that one of the greatest dangers of advertising is not that of misleading people, but that of boring them to death.” - Leo Burnett

How many ads have bored us to death we immediately flipped the newspaper page to the next?

How many commercials made us snore because they looked and sounded like a strategy document?

“Our job as marketers is to provide a springboard for ideas to come to life and allow our audiences to experience a magical feeling,” McDonald’s Vice President for Marketing Margot B. Torres says in a lively discussion on how advertising can have intrinsic brand appeal.

The recent Tambuli Chief Marketing Officer of the Year awardee, is all agog about her “Brand Enchantment” watchword and she’s keeping it tightly guarded, letting no stone unturned in making McDonald’s as engaging as it gets every single day.

A great fan of Guy Kawasaki, author of best-seller “Enchantment”, Torres is one fine example of a marketing person, who, like wine, keeps getting better every time.

She refuses to become a marketing relic, even traveling the globe to learn what’s new in marketing biz (she’s currently in Cannes to spearhead PANA’s participation in the festival’s Young Marketers Academy, an intensive learning for companies keen to invest in their future brand leaders).

“It’s not even about the ad, nor about the tv spot. It’s all about changing hearts, minds and actions. It’s about brand connection. And it should hit home,” she says.

Leo Burnett Manila, McDonald’s sole above-the-line branding partner, couldn’t agree more. The agency has come up with another winner (“Memory”), a tv commercial that has become overwhelmingly popular the past few weeks.

Without a tranche of media money for frequency, Burnett’s latest tv spot has caught wildfire and has become talk of the town.

Talk about cost-efficiency and word-of-mouth, it’s getting to be everyone’s favorite, mirroring life as it unfolds entertainingly.

While other ad agency creatives are holed up in the posh comfort of their offices waiting for inspiration to come, “We conceptualize our ads right where it happens – where else, but in McDonald’s stores,” Leo Burnett’s dashing Executive Creative Director, Raoul Panes says.

Indeed, life is one big sitcom and it happens everyday at McDonald’s. Panes and his young team keenly observe that, what’s new for the day, and what people do.

Always a heartbeat away, they listen to the pulse and find out why people hang out at McDonald’s.

“It’s the only way to get precious insights and to be real,” Panes says, mentor of young talents at Burnett who is also the drill master, making sure all ideas coming from the agency are crafted well to the last detail.

Entertaining Commercial, Enchanting Brand
Ah, sweet bird of youth. We’ve been searching for that elusive fountain to make us stay forever young. Maybe we should stop a while and need not go far?
Three young-at-heart grand daddies, your local versions of Tony Curtis, Frankie Avalon and Ricky Nelson, are watching the world pass by at McDonald’s and reliving the memories of their fun days gone by.
Still very much in vogue, we see them in their straight-leg pants-checkered-polo-sweaters-cardigan-shirt days.
A now bald “kulot” (curly) enters frame with a Sundae treat for three. He notices buddy’s iPad on the table. Before he could even tinker it, he is told: “Konti na lang memory ko e, sino ka na nga?” (I don’t have much memory, double meaning referring to alzheimers and gadget’s memory, who are you again?).
“A lot of great campaigns have been done for McDonald’s. Many great minds have poured their thinking into this brand. I owe it to the McDonald’s to do my part in raising the game,” Torres continues to essay as she profusely mentions her love for the brand with the iconic golden yellow arch.

The research girl who began her marketing journey because of a “hair disaster” tells her job as a dream job. “I’m lovin’ it!”

10 jobs and 24 years later, Torres is now a full-blown expert in the country’s marketing firmament and considered one of the best and most active.

She’s also done a dream task: turning the brand around and hitting a record-high 23% market growth, unprecedented in the brand’s history.

The tireless dame of Filipina marketers is also the acknowledged brain behind several industry projects: BBDO's Project AHON for the 21st Philippine Advertising Congress to help victims of typhoon Ondoy, PANA Brand Camp showcasing talents of young Filipino marketers in Cannes Lions Festival that won Silver Lion, and PANA's ‘Narito Ako’ campaign to ignite national pride.

Early on, she also received McDonald’s Asia Pacific Middle East Africa Women’s Leadership Award, for consistent demonstration of McDonald’s brand values, leadership behaviors and collaborative approach in contributing to the entire McDonald’s system.

Owing her success to “love” and “luck”, the former PANA and Philippine Advertising Congress chairwoman is always proud to say: “I am lucky to have a boss who empowers me, and to be able to work with people who are great in every respect,” she beams with pride.

In her speech at Tambuli Marketing Effectiveness Awards, Torres made a meaningful message:

“Marketing has the ability to reflect who and where we are as individuals, as Filipinos, as a country. Long after we are gone, the campaigns that we aired would remain. This is what the next generation would see and remember us for- our time, our life, our culture.

With such a powerful tool, responsible marketing is incumbent upon us. It is our duty and our responsibility to help in shaping the values of the youth and take part in nation building.” Enchanting message.

Client: McDonald's Philippines, Agency: Leo Burnett Manila, Executive Creative Director: Raoul Panes, Creative Director: Dante Dizon, Art Director: Ryan Giron, Copywriter: NiƱo Gupana, Accounts: Sue Ann Nolido, Maik Alturas, Tria Sordan, Director: Henry Frejas