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The essence of ABS-CBN

Sa social media at mga website nakapagbabahagi ang mga Pilipino ng kanilang masayang alaalaSa social media at mga website nakapagbabahagi ang mga Pilipino ng kanilang masayang alaalaABS-CBN will be launching a new campaign that pays tribute to the loving nature and resilience of the Filipino people. It shows how the Kapamilya network continues to evolve while remaining one at heart with Filipinos, in every triumph and trial they go through in their lives, wherever in the world they may be.

Rolling out anytime soon, the campaign comes a year before the 65th anniversary of Philippine TV that will be led by the Kapamilya network.

As Villar and Labayen talk about the whats and whys of ABS-CBN as it fulfills its mission of service to Filipinos across the archipelago as well as around the world, a light bulb suddenly turns on: it’s a love letter!

A love letter to Filipinos, to be precise.

Villar, who moved to the Integrated Marketing (IM) department in 2016 after getting ABS-CBN mobile off the ground, describes this as a “very different” campaign vis-à-vis past ABS-CBN productions.

For weeks and even months prior, Pinoys have come to anticipate the Kapamilya network’s station IDs (SIDs) that celebrate Christmas, summer and even the rainy season. The SIDs have been considered by audiences not only as TV staples that mark the “official” start of significant holidays or occasions; with the currency of social media, the productions now also go on to become viral videos or trending topics online.

The new campaign stands out from the usual in that it lays out before viewers what ABS-CBN as a company is at the moment, which is “not just television but a lot of other services as well,” says Villar.

“The world has changed because of digital media disruption. People are dispersed not only geographically, but also in terms of media consumption and interests. If you look at it socioeconomically, people who live in rural areas are very different from those who live in the urban areas, the millennials are very different from the generations before them,” the IM head elaborates.

“But ABS-CBN, true to its mission of being in the service of the Filipino, wants to be able to reach our countrymen wherever they are. This campaign aims to communicate how we intend to do that.”

Villar’s IM team is taking care of the 360-degreecampaign, while the Creative Communication Management (CCM) group under Labayen led concept development and production.

According to Labayen, this is the first time that all ABSCBN services are showcased in one campaign, which will be anchored on a station ID.

“When we did SIDs before, it was mostly about ABSCBN’s content. This time, we want to cover everything, so far—from content, distribution, digital, mobile, radio and even consumer products,” Labayen notes.

More than that, ABSCBN’s emotional relationship with its audience takes center stage, “that we are one family,” he adds.

Aside from this campaign, Labayen cites their “Thank You” series as his favorites among the more recent CCM campaigns—including the “Thank You ang Babait Ninyo” Christmas SID in 2014; the “Pope, Thank You sa Malasakit” campaign in honor of Pope Francis’ visit and the “Thank You For the Love” Christmas SID in 2015; not to be overlooked is probably one of ABS-CBN’s biggest and most emotional campaigns ever, “Tulong Na, Tabang Na, Tayo Na,” which was put together and launched posthaste in the wake of typhoon Yolanda in 2013.

In a preview arranged by Labayen, one gets a glimpse of how ABS-CBN impacts the lives of ordinary Filipinos in a variety of ways. Whether they are catching up over the phone, watching TV with their families or sending balikbayan boxes to loved ones back home, the Kapamilya network is there with them.

As these scenes from the Pinoy everyman’s life flash on the screen, John Lloyd Cruz and Jodi Sta. Maria recite a love poem that serves as the soundtrack to the video.

Also for the first time, the production makes use of an allhomegrown cast in the major and minor roles.

Labayen confirms: “Yes, they are actual ABS-CBN employees.”

Under CCM’s “Kapamilya, Sisikat Ka” program (KSP), employees act as talents in plugs and other collateral materials— provided they pass the audition and are available (and given permission by their bosses) on scheduled shooting days.

While they do not receive a talent fee, the employees take part in KSP for fun and exposure, as well as the chance to become ABS-CBN ambassadors.

“I thought in the beginning that no one would be interested,” Labayen shares.

What does ABS-CBN hope to accomplish this time? For Villar, the goal is quite simple.

“We’d like this piece of communication to be able to add to the reasons people love ABSCBN. ABS-CBN has a special relationship with the Filipinos, and it’s one of the most loved and trusted brands in the country. We hope to be able to add to that love,” he says.

Creative Communication Management chief Robert Labayen leads a Leadership Storytelling session in 2015Creative Communication Management chief Robert Labayen leads a Leadership Storytelling session in 2015

With then Integrated Marketing head Cookie Bartolome at the eventWith then Integrated Marketing head Cookie Bartolome at the event

Receiving his award for 10 years of service during the Kapamilya Awards in 2015Receiving his award for 10 years of service during the Kapamilya Awards in 2015