Thursday, January 31, 2013


by Roger Pe

In the past, when marketers would like to advertise, ad agencies would readily say, “let’s make a tv commercial or a print ad or a radio ad” and that was it.

Media specialists were excluded from the picture from day one of the thought process. They only came in on implementation day.

They, too, were always in the last sequence of every imaginable presentation (brand campaign launches, pitches, reviews, etc). They only hugged the spotlight when ads were already in the can, ready to roll, be seen and heard by millions of audiences.

“If you think that is still the same today, you are in the wrong business,” says Lito “Boy” Pangilinan, organizer and chair of the first MSAP (Media Specialist Association of the Philippines) Media Congress that opened to a rousing start last Monday.

Pangilinan is also MSAP’s Vice-President and the congress, his brainchild - a lock, stock and barrel Philippine Ad Congress but single-minded in discussing solutions on the future of advertising media.

He is currently CEO of Carat Philippines, part of Carat Worldwide, the first and truly independent media in the world and under Aegis Media, the world’s largest independent group.

Formerly Managing Director of MediaCom and GM of Campaigns & Grey, Pangilinan was also media director for Dentsu, Young & Rubicam’s entire media operations in Asia-Pacific, Ad Standards Council and Adboard director, 4A’s and Agency of the Year Awards chair and wrote “Effective Media Planning” chapter of “The Science of Advertising”, a 2-volume book.

“The Media Congress seeks to be the answer to the industry’s need for revolutionary media ideas and focused perspectives shared on a frequent cycle,” he tells Business Friday.

The Congress is slated to take place every other year, its key function is to update media agencies, clients and suppliers on innovative media and other trends.

At Resorts World Hotel, all members of the association enjoyed a ‘media holiday’ as the theme, “Brave New World: Embracing the Media Revolution” unfolded.

The program was value-packed with learnings, as enriching as attending an overseas advertising festival. The price tag: far less than a fraction of what a regional conference of that sort would cost.

The Philippines’ first Media Congress covered talks from leaders in media and high profile clients on the latest trends and best practices in various touch points: OOH (out-of-home), print, digital and broadcast (radio and television).

A star-studded cast of speakers delivered relevant topics with experts covering traditional, new, innovative and future media.

Among them were Bunny Aguilar of Globe Telecom, Donald Lim, Managing Director of MRM (McCann Relationship Management) Manila, Santi Elizalde of Manila Broadcasting Company and former McCann-Erickson President and Chief Operating Officer Nandy Villar, now ABS-CBN Head of Customer Relationship Marketing.

The various forums focused on the noticeable shift in how media was being consumed – how consumers themselves are now having more control and how media agencies are keeping up with new challenges and demands.

The highlight of the congress was a discussion between heavyweight CEOs of media networks from Asia Pacific: Nick Waters, CEO of Aegis Media, Mark Patterson, CEO of GroupM and Ranganathan Somanathan, COO, Starcom Mediavest Group Southeast Asia.

Is death of traditional media forthcoming?

Every Pinoy Tom, Dick and Harry is talking digital nowadays. You’re not cool if you’re not. You’re a relic if your ad agency doesn’t have an adjacent room full of geeks existing in their webworld.

As the landscape continues to change, new broadband products emerge, smartphones double their figure usages, and consumer behavior supports the phenomenon, digital becomes a primary highway.

The growth of Philippine online advertising at 26% penetration level can be best described as rapid.

The figure is guaranteed to double in a short time, prompting observers to ask: will Digital cast its death knell on traditional media?

“Anyone in the field of media and communications, such as those in this group, are constantly pressured to “go digital and online,” almost suggesting that a bias for the more traditional media, like television, is a jurassic way of thinking,” Villar said in his “Beyond Television” speech.

Villar set the record straight. Using the Mayan calendar doomsday wildfire as an example, he said: “The world did not end on December 21, 2012 and it turned out, it was just good for a good laugh.”

In his speech, Villar mentioned about the supposed-to-be “death of tv”. On the contrary, he said “tv, that 32” screen in your living room, will be one of the surviving screens in the future.”

Villar noted that as smaller, ‘smarter’ screens are flooding the market, they get cheaper and cheaper to buy and becoming people’s default “screen” than the traditional tv, marketers would naturally get scared.

“But tv is not just about the screen, tv is what you watch. It is the teleserye that made you cry, the sitcom that made you laugh, the bit of gossip that made your jaw drop, the cute ‘artista’ that made you swoon,” Villar said.

He went on to say that today, “tv is accessible in every screen, big or small. The multi-screen phenomenon is not killing tv, it’s even making it more ubiquitous.”

Villar said that with “ubiquity comes a bigger appetite for content. Not only do we want more of tv, we want to do more with our tv, we want to interact with it, play with it and be a part of it.”

Largely single-tv households

In the Philippines, Villar said, traditional tv is still prevalent. Majority of people in fact, still flock to watch their favorite shows.

He cites “Be Careful With My Heart” breaking 30% ratings before noontime. “When that happens, you know that tv viewership is alive and well,” he said.

This tv-centeredness of Filipinos, according to Villar, actually helped shape ABS‐CBN’s version of “multi‐screen” that is largely focused on content.

“It’s the content that people converge around. Powerful content can lead to new and meaningful experiences for the audience,” he emphasized.

“When a show becomes a “hit”, it is because it has engaged various audiences in various ways. A “hit”, therefore becomes an ideal springboard for alternative executions where the same piece of content is re-¬engineered to create new experiences, to be enjoyed in new media,” he continued.

Re-engineering television

Villar shared ABS-CBN’s 3 initiatives wherein the network has created new experiences by re-¬engineering the medium via: Digital Terrestial TV (DTT), Imortal and Iwantv.

“Each of these offers different insights into how content compliments technology in shaping viewer behavior,” he said.

DTT is the digital black box, the platform by which content is transmitted over a digital signal giving significant improvement over the current analog technology.

The result is a clearer signal and better overall viewing experience. It is the evolution of tv towards meeting the needs of the Filipino family.

In many parts of the world, like Japan and Europe, “DTT is already the norm”, Villar said. “We hope that the Filipino audience will soon enjoy the same digital technology—sooner than later,” he said.

Villar also punctuated the further evolution of the medium through the network’s iWantTV, an online video platform that offers free access to video content owned and licensed by the same and its subsidiaries.

He stressed how iWantTV has made tv enjoyment on Filipino audience’s terms.

iWantTV is now the country’s most successful local video site, averaging 18 million page views per month, 1 million unique users per month, with1.2 million registered users and still growing.

In today’s digital environment, how do we deal with the changes of the tv medium, multi-¬screen, cord-¬cutting, and other doomsday scenarios?

Villar concluded: “They shouldn’t cause us to panic. As a matter of fact, we should embrace them, because rather than signal the death of tv, they should actually herald a new age of ubiquity for tv,” he said.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


by Roger Pe

If not for an adopted son and a college dropout, the world will not endure queueing in long lines just to own the brand he made famous.

It is also unthinkable talking about that brand without talking about the man who made it synonymous to technology.

Steve Jobs is one of this century’s most admired men, largely instrumental for making Apple the most valuable company in history. At 621 billion dollars as of 2011, Apple alone is now worth more than what 200 countries could produce in an entire year.

In his speech at Stanford University’s graduating students, Jobs inspired millions for his humble beginnings. He delivered many inspiring lines. “Stay hungry. Stay foolish” was among them, which countless people now often quote.

We also got to know that The Beatles was his business model.

“They were four guys that kept each other's negative tendencies in check, they balanced each other, and the total was greater than the sum of the parts. Great things in business are never done by one person, they are done by a team of people,” he said.

Jobs announced his resignation as Apple's CEO on August 24, 2011, naming Tim Cook as his successor. He continued working before he passed away a week later.

The demand for Apple gadgets even grew with Jobs’passing away as in the case of the iPhone 5, the world’s newest smartphone.

A smartphone or any item from Apple almost always turns into a spectacle. It’s not because of a massive, systematic PR blitzkrieg. The brand is becoming generic to technology and innovation.

What is smartphone?

A smartphone is a feature-packed device that lets you experience amazing applications beyond calls, texting, capturing photos and audio-video recording.

It allows you Internet browsing, email handling, and a host of other entertainment and amusement apps at blazing speed whose operating system is called android.

Nokia introduced the world’s first smartphone in 1996. Since then, the number of users for the category has grown significantly. For the third quarter of last year, users totaled 1.03 billion, a whopping 47% increase for the same quarter of 2011.

The smartphone market in 2011 was estimated to be worth $219 billion, according to Bloomberg Industries.
The research firm predicts that by 2015, the number will double to 2 billion.

Choosing the best smartphone can be overwhelming as the field is wide open, offering gadget freaks with dizzying choices - from the sleekiest to the most glamorous with a number of brands vying for attention.

Apple, Samsung and Blackberry are three brands enjoying top-of-mind awareness and sales volume in most markets. The first two are also presently imbroiled in copyright infringement suits since the former launched the iPhone.

Apple’s flagship has been the iPhone lines 3, 4, and of late, the iPhone 5. Samsung’s Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S3 are its bestsellers, which according to gadget bloggers: “smashed all-time sales records at retailers the world over.”

Recently Nokia bounced back with its Nokia Lumia and Asha series but still not enough to regain its once lofty standing in the category.

Blackberry on the other hand is reportedly coming up with it big equalizer: The BlackBerry 10, with softwares that according to gadget watchers can rival the best of iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S3.


Cuddling in sleeping bags and heavy coats, Apple-fanatics in New York camped outside of Apple’s 5th Avenue store as they waited for the doors to open.

Taller, faster, lighter and slimmer than the previous model, the iPhone 5 is the world’s newest conversation piece, undoubtedly the newest must-flaunt gadget.

It has a wider screen with a stunning new 4-inch Retina display, an Apple-designed A6 chip for blazing fast performance and ultrafast wireless technology - all with even better battery life.

The iPhone 5 has iOS 6, the most advanced mobile operating system in the world, and over 200 new features, including shared photo streams, Facebook integration, all new map apps and a passbook organizer.

Elsewhere, more than 700 applications for pre-order were immediately collected in Tokyo at one time before the product was launched. The same scene happened in major capitals of Asia, Europe and North America.

Tennis sister superstars Serena and Venus Williams starred in a iPhone 5 tv commercial and influential trade magazine Adweek called it “the most enjoyable iPhone tv ad yet.”

iPhone 5 in Manila

Last month, it was Manila’s turn to go crazy for of one of Jobs’ legacies.

iPhone diehards went wild and naturally,
crowds trooped to Globe Telecom’s event at the new Glorietta Activity Center in Makati where celebrities like Kris Aquino, Bamboo and Paulo Avelino greeted a massive audience.

Over at Bonifacio, Global City, excited customers lined up as early as 5:30 a.m. of Friday at Globe’s fulfillment store just to be the first to get their hands on the iPhone 5.

“Finally, the iPhone 5 has arrived in the Philippines and Globe is beaming with excitement to bring the much-anticipated iPhone 5 to Filipinos nationwide,”
Peter Bithos, Senior Advisor for Consumer Business at Globe Telecom, said.

The telcom company has a five-year history in launching the iPhone. “Globe is definitely the perfect partner of the iPhone 5 with offers going beyond just pricing,” Bithos said.

Bithos emphasized Globe’s strong partnership with Apple after it exclusively carried the iPhone 3 in 2008 all the way to the iPhone 4 in 2010.

In a public announcement, Bithos said Globe now has a stronger and more reliable network nationwide, with “best package” offerings across customizable postpaid plans, rewards and freebies, retail and store experience, value-added services and apps the customers deserve.

Perks and privileges

For as low as P1,799* monthly under Globe’s Unli Surf 999 with monthly cashout of P800, subscribers can maximize the features of the latest iPhone with unlimited mobile browsing and a call and text freebie.

It is also available at P1,999 monthly under Unli Surf P1799 with P200 monthly cashout complete with unlimited data, P800 monthly consumable for calls and texts, and three (3) call and text freebies.

Globe also offers light and easy payment terms for monthly cashouts, where subscribers can avail of the 0% installment at 3, 6, 12 or 24 months for partner credit cardholders1, making the iPhone 5 more affordable.

Existing postpaid subscribers can also enjoy the iPhone 5 with the innovative “Reset” program, which allows subscribers to renew or extend their existing account to get the device at a discount.

Subscribers also get free four (4) months of mobile phone protection under Globe Gadget Care, protecting devices from accidental damage, theft or robbery.

Under its most affordable and customizable postpaid plans offering subscribers a chance to customize their plans with over 21 million possible combinations, subscribers can also avail of the iPhone 5’s unlimited mobile browsing and a call and text freebie.

Globe iPhone 5 subscribers are also eligible to avail 1-year free subscription to GCASH American Express Virtual Card, 50% discount on iPhone 5 accessories, free and exclusive download of mobile apps, giving them access to movies, financial services, account management, and mobile messaging.

On top of these generous Globe subscribers can take advantage of the telco’s modernized network, an upgrade that is now 80% complete.

Aside from its superior plans, Globe offers light and easy payment terms for monthly cashouts, where subscribers can avail of the 0% installment at 3, 6, 12 or 24 months for partner credit cardholders1, making the iPhone 5 more affordable.

Existing postpaid subscribers can also enjoy the iPhone 5 with the innovative “Reset” program, another Globe-first, which allows subscribers to renew or extend their existing account to get the device at a discount.

This means that if a subscriber’s 24-month contract is still not up for renewal to get a new device, a corresponding “reset fee” can be settled to get the iPhone 5 under the same postpaid line.

On top of these genius offers, Globe subscribers can take advantage of the telco’s modernized network, which has already reached almost 80% completion to date, giving customers clearer calls, faster connections, on-time text messages, faster surfing and downloading, as well as more pervasive 3G network and expanded 4G network.

Globe holds a strong partnership with Apple after it exclusively carried the iPhone 3 in 2008 all the way to the iPhone 4 in 2010. This year, pre-orders for the iPhone 5 via the Globe website hit fever pitch, with thousands of subscribers eagerly anticipating to get their hands on the newest iPhone device.

With clearer calls, faster connections, on-time text messages, faster surfing and downloading, including a stronger and expanded 3G and 4G network, Globe just might be genius you’re looking for.

Thursday, January 17, 2013


by Roger Pe

Who doesn’t know Angry Birds?

It was one of 2012’s biggest buzzwords, a hugely successful smartphone video game that got millions of people worldwide, across all age groups playing like crazy.

This year, the Philippines is on the cusp of becoming a world leader in video-gaming as a proudly made Pinoy video game aims to surpass what Angry Birds has reached in terms of popularity and dollar payback.

But that’s getting ahead of the story.

From a 140 thousand dollar investment, Angry Birds returned with 70 million dollars in revenues. The blockbuster hysteria that it created is a great case study for the growing importance of video games as new media highway for forward-thinking advertisers.

A case in point is the rapidly evolving online, social, and mobile game markets. They all have captured the hearts of Asian and world gamers.

Huge market untapped

Video game is a $48 billion industry and is expected to grow to $68 billion this year. The two-year old online social gaming is worth $600 million and will jump to $1billion by 2013 alone.

Let’s focus our eyes on Asia.

There are more than 180 million online gamers in China and the industry outperforms the national GDP growth.

According to the 2011 China’s games industry annual and 5-year forecast report, published by Niko Partners, a leading research firm specializing in Asian games market, the 2011 growth rate reached 21.4% or a revenue of $5.8 billion.

The World Bank has projected a growth-rate of 9.3% for China’s gross domestic product for the same year. Southeast Asia follows China’s lead, predicted at $1.7 billion with 100 million gamers by 2014. To make the good news even better, paying gamers are now a majority.

A report declares the Asia-Pacific region as the largest gaming market in the world. It is expected to be the fastest growing region within the next five years.

By 2015, there will be more than 100 million gamers throughout the emerging markets of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Asia-Pacific also dominates the mobile games industry, accounting for over 60% of the $13.4 billion global market. This has been driven primarily by Japan and South Korea, and now China, the world’s biggest mobile market.


Nike, Nestle, McDonalds are some of biggest brands that have utilized video gaming to connect to its core target more intimately and in a fun way.

Called Advergaming it is fun marketing using a downloadable video game that advertises a product by weaving the brand as part of the game.

“The beauty of it is that it gives you not only online and offline consumer interaction but also results in real time with real metrics,” says Homer Nievera, the man at the helm of Bazinga, Inc., largely responsible for marketing Pinoy digital ingenuity to the world.

As cool as the video games he markets, and a social media expert down to e-commerce and e-wallet, Nievera, “Homerun” to many, prefers to call himself a serial global technopreneur.

Nievera’s prime advocacy is helping start-ups succeed through multiple streams of revenues.

As an expert business developer who has helped local and global tech companies achieve hypergrowth, Nievera is a sought-after consultant and speaker. He currently does the rounds of meetings and conferences for topics such as social entrepreneurship, gamification and hyper sales growth.

Endless possibilities

“In Advergaming, you might see a character having a soft drink, a car driving past a snack food billboard, teeners chatting on their tablets, a gang hanging out in a mall, a dad making a bank transaction, a housewife indulging in a beauty saloon, etc. The possibilities for branding and, most importantly, consumer engagements, are infinite,” Nievera says.

Along with his business and marketing director August Martinez III, Nievera is gungho about selling Pinoy video games to the world – even ‘crazy’ with a cool promo idea offering a brand new Audi for a soon-to-be launched online game on social media.

As for Martinez, “We are an enabling techno-Pinoy company whose main focus is to market world-class Pinoy digital work through innovative technologies and creative solutions,” he proudly says.

Martinez is proud of Bazinga being a digital entertainment company engaged in providing fun to the public through casual and social gaming.

“Starting with our flagship offering, Bazinga World is ready to help talented Pinoys in monetizing their digital ideas,” Martinez exclaims.

Bazinga World

Bazinga came from the word used by celebrity Sheldon Cooper in the sitcom “The Big Bang Theory,” meaning “gotcha” or “eureka”.

The dynamic company has immensely talented, young and innovative people, experts in their respective fields with proven track records. It has grown so fast that it now has offices in California and Texas which help market Pinoy video games and entertainment content worldwide.

“We support local game programmers and developers by providing the right ecosystem to realize their dreams of having their software programs and games see the light of day,” Martinez explains the company’s mission.

Bazinga is poised to be a major global player in digital entertainment. In fact, it is all set to launch a bunch of Philippine made video games globally: WordTrotter and about a dozen exciting more.

All of them created in partnership with undoubtedly, the Philippines’ top digital gaming developer, Palmagick Entertainment whose wizard is Gil de Palma, a UP graduate, writer, artist, filmmaker, and creator of WordTrotter, “the world’s coolest word game,” as described by online video game diehards.

In 2001, the University of the Philippines National Writers Workshop, one of the most prestigious writing fellowships in Asia, awarded de Palma its first fellowship for screenplay.

De Palma was also a finalist in 2007 Asian Television Forum SuperPitch (Singapore); 2003 Moondance International Film Festival (Hollywood); 2002 Cinemanila International Film Festival; Semi-finalist, 2001 Paramount Pictures-Chesterfield Film Company: The Writer's Film Project (Hollywood) and 1999 Big Australian International Screenplay Competition

Apart from WordTrotter, de Palma also was the creator of the superhero pack Taekwondoggs. He is currently co-developing a video game with an international brand of health and beauty products. The game allows players to build a business empire using product purchases built-in to enhance the total gaming experience.

Philippines: World capital for video games

Just like Pinoy world-class animators used by Hollywood and other filmmakers around the world (Hanna Barbera, Walt Disney, Pixar), the Philippines is slowly becoming one of Asia’s biggest sources of online video games to the world.

In WordTrotter, de Palma brings into play the technique of word retention by familiarization—multiplied a thousand fold by the thrill of casual gaming.

It is designed with the non-violent play-and-learn casual gaming model to reach practically all demographic sectors worldwide.

“WordTrotter is unlike any online word game you have played. Here, you’ll meet characters that are able to walk upside down and sideways,” de Palma says.

“The amazing thing about it is you get to build your English vocabulary in the process—whether you like it or not. And you’re going to have so much fun doing it,” he adds.

Want to share the game? Easy. One click and your friends will get it. Want the world to know your top score? Just click. Want to send a free game, power-up gifts, and other game freebies? WordTrotter on Facebook will handle it all for you.

With the continued gamification of media and humans getting wired for fun and games, the troika of Nievera, Martinez and de Palma is poised to put the country on centerstage of world advergaming.