Friday, May 10, 2013

Not-so-team Manila

I've been keeping this to myself for too long but I now think it's time I give my two cents' worth on this just because it's really starting to annoy me.

May not be such a big deal to most but I find Team Manila's new ad + branding campaign extremely annoying. What's up with the too blonde models??

I love Team Manila. You got to hand it to them, their designs are really really nice. I particularly love how it's so distinctly Filipino but modern at the same time. I follow them on instagram and the shirt that the male model is wearing is actually something I've been eyeing since they posted it. That is why I was so shocked when I saw it on this really white model.

Apparently, I was not the first one to be distracted with the caucasian models. People have actually been commenting on their back posts. I dug deeper and found out that hiring these caucasian models is actually part of their strategy, with the tagline, "Keeping it Local, Making it Global". WTH.

Sorry for the agitated reaction. It's just that their reasoning is so twisted and wrong! I'm actually offended! If I may just give my two cents' worth on this.

"Keeping it Local, Making it Global" -- who is your target market really? Tourists? Foreigners living in other countries? Hello! Do you really think they would buy these shirts when they do not even understand what it means? They won't get the jokes, they won't get the references, precisely because they're NOT Filipinos! Anong alam nila sa Sipa? Sa Tumbang Preso? 

Besides, if you want to get their attention, you should have learned by now that the best way is to go NATIVE. Go for the dark skinned people; the ones who are distinctly Pinoy and have them wear the shirts, that's how you get their attention! Exotic beauties! How could you have forgotten this inside joke??

Besides, coming from someone who market Filipino products for a living, believe me when I say they always go for the authentic feel. You're talking about the world market! You need something unique! Something that will stand out! The caucasian models just blend in the sea of whites. A better idea? Have a tribal group wear your shirts with a distinct tourist spot in the background. Think: Ifugao kids wearing the Sipa shirt, playing sipa, with the rice terraces in the background. That'll create more impact! --Or if you don't want to go down that route, how about having a local celebrity endorse it? Heck, even the Azkals could have done a better job! At least, they're still Pinoy!

The campaign is just so wrong! Instead of bringing in more customers, you'll just lose your customers because you've forgotten that your primary market is STILL those that are in the Philippines. This campaign doesn't feel like "Team" Manila anymore. Honestly when I saw it, I felt so annoyed and my first reaction was to boycott the brand. Not kidding about that.

The most annoying thing about it is the thought that maybe, the "keeping it local, going global" thing is not really for foreigners-- that it's actually for Pinoys-- because Team Manila recognizes the Filipinos' embarrassing colonial mentality and they thought they would sell more shirts if Filipinos see a white model wear them. Well that is just so low. So mean and low, especially for a brand that carries the "Team Manila" name as its flagship.

The campaign annoys and saddens me. Really. I'm not kidding when I say I am resolved to boycott the store for a while. It just sickens me. I used to be very proud of them and how they are able to promote Filipino culture by making it modern. They are also able to show the talent of the Filipinos which I am all for. But this campaign is just so wrong. I can't stand it. It's not the brand itself, it's the promotional strategy they utilized. Wrong marketing move. Really.

Again, it's just my two cents' worth. Most people won't even bother with this co'z it's just a shirt, and they're just models-- which is exactly my point! They could have hired Filipino models but they DID NOT. They could have explained that it's no big deal yada yada yada but they chose to argue using their twisted justifications. It's just so wrong to me.

Yeah, it's not big deal to some but I come from a culture that is proudly Pinoy and this campaign just don't fit in it. To each his own. Good luck Team Manila.

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