Two precious promo ads that should not be missed

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Ads & Ends
Nanette Franco-Diyco

AMID THE PROLIFERATION of all sorts of commercials during Christmas, there were two beautiful digital ads that touched many a heart during the holidays.

One was a very thoughtful and realistically produced Christmas goodwill promotions advertisement of Philippine Air Lines. And the other was a globally stunning promotion ad for Star Wars by Globe. Both are tear jerkers, even among the so-called hard-hearted among us.

There were precious insights that the Philippine Airlines material cleverly used to the advantage of both PAL and Max Chicken. One leaves a country on Christmas Eve with sadness. One instinctively longs to share Christmas Eve with someone. And when, for whatever reason, you find yourself alone, there will inevitably be some tinge of sadness that you would feel.

The creative team made sure it chose different emotions to display — sadness as a common denominator in varying degrees. The decision to catch the people during those few minutes at the airport as they solemnly waited for the departure announcement was brilliant. The director worked his cameras with feeling. Thus, the viewers were one with those feelings enacted between panning and close-ups. Good pacing.

Alone time. These were moments of introspection. And one felt and expressed appreciation for the thoughtfulness of PAL and Max in its gift bag of chicken. For a sales promotions and public relations activity, this digital ad elevated it to even a higher level of effectiveness.

The global stunner of a digital commercial was the Globe tie-up with Star Wars produced by Publicis Jimenez Basic. I was amazed at the number of e-mails and texts I personally received, all lauding this Globe Star Wars commercial.

I was only able to catch director Joel Limchoc an hour before my deadline, but it was well worth the wait.

Director Limchoc analysed that at the heart of every Star Wars saga is a relationship story. More than jedis, lightsabers, spaceships, and other far away galaxy ideas, the moving force has always been the story of Luke and Vader, or Han and Leia, or Chewie and Han, or C3po and R2D2, etc.

“That’s why, for the Globe #createcourage ad, we decided to focus more on the relationship of siblings and how they help each other get through difficulties instead of relying on the usual Star Wars troops.”

He categorized the ad as a story of courage: “courage for the brother who supports his sibling, courage for the sister who goes through life battling sickness. And the support of the community in this courageous journey.”

He explained, “We decided to show this by using a three-part structure. Part 1 makes use of vignettes, showing the kid wearing a Stormtrooper mask. Which leads to the question: Why is she wearing a mask? Part 2 of the structure shows the kid with different “Star Wars moments” thereby answering the why question of part 1. Part 3, which is the last part of the structure, then destroys every conclusion you have made so far and reveals the real reason for the mask, i.e. that she is recovering from sickness and she is shy of her appearance.”

Director Limchoc’s concluding analyses is spot on: “This being a Star Wars ad, and us being a developing Third World country, we knew that we couldn’t compete with the Hollywood effects that has come to be associated with the brand. But we also knew that we could compete with the best of them when it comes to relationship stories which is the core of Star Wars.

“Knowing that, we stripped the ad of any fancy camera work and just used classic simple frames that enhanced storytelling. No fancy production design that screamed Star Wars, but just enough to relate to die hard fans. No flashy cuts to distract from the story of the siblings, and just the right music to pull at the heart’s strings. And, lastly, casting the right actors to show the right emotion for the story.”

Call both Philippine Air Lines and Globe ads absolutely great value ads to herald a blessed, booming, bright 2017!

Nanette Franco-Diyco ended her 15th year advertising career as Vice-President of JWT, segueing into the world of academe, currently teaching communications at the Ateneo de Manila University.