MANILA, PHILIPPINES — SM Supermalls has enlisted the services of creative shop Octopus&Whale to work on its ‘Safe Malling’ campaign, with the intention of bringing returning mallgoers up to speed before reopening after the lockdown.

“Because of SM’s central role in a Filipino’s life, we took it upon ourselves to keep everyone safe and healthy [with Safe Malling],” said SM Vice President for Corporate Marketing Grace Magno.

“We asked O&W to come up with an optimistic message, but reminding the public of what the new mall world will ask of them upon their visits.”

O&W’s contribution is part of SM Supermalls’ overall initiative to ensure their customers’ safety across their 74 malls nationwide, including regular sanitizing of common areas, limited operating hours, temperature checks, and disinfecting foot mats at every entrance. 


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“We were concerned about how effective an online video would be in keeping people safe from COVID19. The real tension, we felt, was the difficulty Filipinos would experience in having to follow safety guidelines when they finally flocked to the malls after the lockdown,” said O&W Founder and Chief Creative Joey Tiempo.

Octopus&Whale crafted bold visual markers to be placed throughout the interiors of SM’s various malls, including directional floor arrows to encourage one-way customer traffic, and other forms of distinct, colorful signage to guide mallgoers for maximum safety.

“We put them in elevators, escalators, restrooms, parking lots… places where there is usually no one to physically remind people to follow the guidelines. They are colorful and fun for a reason: we still want people to feel optimistic despite all the strict safety guidelines they have to observe.”

O&W Co-Founder Nolan Fabular also said the agency prioritized the mental health of everyone involved while working remotely: “More than finishing the campaign, it was the difficulty of being productive while in quarantine that we had to face. Good thing we talk about it regularly and remind each other that it’s ok, not to be ok.”

For more information on Octopus&Whale, visit


Joey David Tiempo
Nolan Fabular
Clyde Narte
Pauline Ty
Melody Santos
Joy Garcia
Romar Quiros
Abi Capa
Bea Ocampo

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