“Walang magkalaban, basta para sa bayan.”
MANILA, PHILIPPINES– Jollibee and McDonalds have always butted heads in the fast food sphere. Yet in the midst of unprecedented times, these giants held hands in a unified front from the private sector to revive the country’s economy that had been battered by the COVID-19 crisis.
Released on local channels and online platforms, the sighting of the fast food rivals together in the “Ingat Angat Tayong Lahat” film was one of iconic moments in this historic campaign by TBWA\Santiago Mangada Puno that saw some of the country’s largest brands come together for a united cause.
The Ingat Angat Tayong Lahat campaign is part of the private sector’s support for Taskforce T3 (Test, Trace, Treat), the multi-sector initiative founded in April that aims to work alongside the Department of Health (DOH), the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19, and the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to manage the outbreak of the pandemic in the country.
adobo magazine’s editor-in-chief Angel Guerrero spoke with Francis Flores, JFC Philippines Country/Regional Marketing Head and Jollibee Philippines Marketing Head and Margot Torres, McDonalds Philippines’ Managing Director and the Ingat Angat Tayong Lahat’s communications advocacy co-lead for an adoboTalks exclusive on how these competing giants came together in their first-ever collaboration– a rare opportunity to advocate for safety and solidarity as we strive to progress in the new normal.
According to McDonalds’ Torres, her involvement with the Ingat Angat Tayong Lahat campaign began when Angkas’ George Royeca called and asked for her help to lead the campaign. Drawing from the public atmosphere amid the COVID-19 crisis, as well as her own experiences as part of the badly-hit food sector, Torres and her team came up with a brief, with the following insight: “When all seems lost, hope drives to look for the happiness we deserve”–a message of hope and the Filipino resilience.
Torres and her team approached Jollibee and 30 other brands for the campaign that sought to inspire hope, security, and consumer confidence– all of whom responded positively and went above and beyond to support the initiative, such as on-ground merchandising and the promotion of “Ingat, Angat” in their stores.
For Jollibee’s Flores, the decision to give their full support towards the campaign was a no-brainer and appreciated Torres’ invite to work together, saying that the initiative went beyond their brands’ competition, adding that “Pagdating sa campaign na ‘to, wala munang magkalaban para sa bayan.”
Both Torres and Flores described the experience of collaborating with each other as easy and smooth-sailing. Flores attributed this to sharing a common purpose towards championing safety and progress. Meanwhile, the McDonalds managing director chalked it up to real and mutual respect for their teams and organizations.
Torres even shared that she initially offered to send somebody else in her place for the meeting, out of respect for her competitor. She shared, “I actually asked– ‘Would you like me to send somebody from the agency instead?’… I don’t want to make anybody uncomfortable because you might be discussing things that are privy to Jollibee and he said, ‘No, don’t be ridiculous! You’re the proponent, come join us!’… I felt really welcome and definitely felt the support of Jollibee.”
Flores also made accommodations, careful to be sensitive to the needs of his collaborator. He relayed, “Knowing that this campaign is being led by Margot and TBWA, we really wanted to make sure that we respected that. And we didn’t want to make it difficult for her because I can already imagine how difficult it is to not just coordinate with your direct competitor, but coordinate in 30 brands and put them all in one film.”
The Jollibee marketing honcho also added that it helped that he and Torres shared the same vision that the campaign should not be one of multiple brands with individual interests, quipping, “The message of the campaign should always be the most important part of this campaign.”
The culmination of this genuine collaboration was felt in the pivotal scene of two McDonalds and Jollibee crew members sitting beside each other in the jeepney– a visual proposed by Torres and her team. Although the scene was already included in the storyboard, Torres took the initiative to personally consult with Flores for feedback.
The Jollibee chief shared, “I really appreciated that aside from our teams already coordinating, Margot would reach out to me [for certain decisions] personally via Viber. And then she [asked], ‘Francis, is this OK?’ And I said, ‘Of course, actually, that’s my favorite part.’”
The rare glimpse of unity didn’t end there. Social media users went into a frenzy after both Jollibee’s and McDonalds’ social media pages featured and tagged each other in their social cards– an idea that was this time, contributed by Jollibee’s team.
In today’s extraordinary times, the coming together of Jollibee and McDonalds, among other brands, sends a strong message that transcends sales and competition– that when we set our differences aside and work together, we will rise.