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Philippine agencies shine at Spikes Asia 2023, led by Leo Burnett Manila, Bates Chi & Partners, and Gigil

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — The Philippine advertising industry once again proved its excellence on the international stage as three creative agencies from the country received top honors at Spikes Asia 2023. Leo Burnett Manila led the pack by winning two Gold Spikes, followed by Bates Chi & Partners with a Silver Spike and GIGIL with a Bronze Spike. As a Gold Spikes winner, Leo Burnett Manila will now compete for the coveted Grand Prix.

Unbranded Menu,” conceptualized by Leo Burnett Manila for QSR giant McDonald’s, was the Philippine’s standout piece of work this year, earning the creative agency a total of two Gold Spikes under the “Brand Experience & Activation” and “Media” categories.

The campaign saw McDonald’s hijack the gaming multiverse with an open challenge to gamers to go hunt for the brand’s “food-alikes” and then swap their inedible discoveries for actual McDonald’s items.


It all started with the Philippines’ most popular gaming personality, Alodia Gosiengfiao, finding a Big Mac lookalike inside Grand Theft Auto V and posting a screenshot of it. She then challenged her eight million followers to search, too.

To fuel the hunt, McDonald’s food, gaming credits, consoles, and other gaming merchandise were given away in exchange for screenshots of food-alikes tagged #ThisIsMcDonalds.

Some of the Philippines’ top gamers and their legions of fans ended up sharing pictures of unbranded virtual food items that, despite being logo-free, bore an uncanny resemblance to the iconic French Fries, Big Mac, and Quarter Pounder sandwiches, Cheeseburgers, Hash Browns, Sundaes and other McDonald’s classics. These items were found everywhere from classic video games (The Sims, Resident Evil, Yakuza, Burger Time) to online multiplayer games (Fall Guys, Roblox, PUBG), role playing games (Genshin Impact, Final Fantasy, The Last of Us, Persona) and giant titles (Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, Cyberpunk 2077, Guardians of the Galaxy).

Meanwhile, Bates CHI & Partners’ work, “The Anthem of Financial Freedom,” for digital bank Maya was awarded a Silver Spike under the “Strategy & Effectiveness” category. The creative agency enlisted rap phenom Shanti Dope to create “Maya,” a powerful youth anthem aligned with the values of the brand.

Embodying Maya’s mantra “defiance with optimism,” the powerful anthem honored young Filipinos who fearlessly hustle to achieve their goals. With the intent to inspire others to dream and work hard amid adversity and barriers, the brand’s song took on a fresh meaning behind the iconic Filipino bird—the young, energetic generation who possess the spirit to soar high and forge their own paths.

Beyond a visual masterpiece, Bates CHI & Partners turned the music video into an exciting adventure as it hid PHP1,000,000 worth of cash prizes in plain sight.

GIGIL’s film, entitled “Family” for beverage brand RC Cola, was declared a bronze winner under the “Creative Effectiveness” category. After its release, the  ad quickly gained local and global recognition for its odd and quirky approach, as well as the wide spectrum of comedy the story provides.

In GIGIL’s creative process, it came out wanting to make the brand stand for something “cool” in the minds of the Gen Z audience, so much so that they’d want to be associated with it.” When the creative agency presented the idea to the powers that will at RC, it was clear to them that they had dissected the drinker (or the bottle?) and unearthed a unique insight that would separate RC from the rest.

The film has been studied in the Asian Institute of Management, and the De La Salle University. More importantly, “Family” increased RC Cola Mega’s sales by 67%.

Partner with adobo Magazine

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