MANILA, PHILIPPINES — #flexPHridays, a new call to action campaign by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to encourage Filipinos to support local businesses through the power of social media, will be launched this November 26.
For the past six years, the Philippines has been at the top of global charts as to the number of social media users and internet usage. The country’s over 76 million unique social media users account for approximately 71% of its population. DTI sees this as an opportunity to tap the online community, encourage them to support local businesses, and help promote Filipino products in the global market.
The campaign leverages the rising “flex” culture online where social media users share and showcase their purchases on their personal accounts or different online communities spanning various industries. The term “flex” has evolved into an online jargon synonymous to showcase, feature, show off, or be proud of. The “PH” inside the hashtag serves as a campaign identifier to specify that what is being promoted is Philippine-made. With the amalgamation of “PH” with the word “Fridays” resulting in “PHridays,” the campaign aims to make it a weekly Friday habit to inspire the purchase of local goods and express pride in supporting Filipino products.
“Stimulating economic recovery is a monumental task, and we want to invite and involve the entire online Filipino community in this endeavor. The spirit of Bayanihan is alive and strong, and this digital #FlexPHridays campaign will help champion the beauty and quality of Filipino products in the digital space,” shared Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez.
While the pandemic has heavily impacted economies not just in the Philippines but around the world, the country’s economic performance has shown signs of a strong economic rebound, with GDP posing at 7.1% for the third quarter and is projected to hit 5.5% for the entire year, according to the trade chief.
“This campaign aims to drive awareness that in buying local products and supporting our micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), we are providing jobs to countless Filipinos and developing the entrepreneurial drive of our countrymen,” added Secretary Lopez.
The #FlexPHridays campaign welcomes all Filipino consumer goods industries including but not limited to fashion and apparel, textiles, gift items, furniture, food and beverages, accessories and décor, houseware and fixtures, and technology. Through this campaign, DTI hopes that it would also help the discoverability of brands and products online as consumers share photos or videos of Filipino products on various platforms. Global studies have shown that the majority of retail or commercial buyers search brands online before proceeding with their purchases. Participation of companies and personalities in this campaign allows the increase of brand visibility in the dynamic environment of the digital space.
This campaign was personally conceived by Secretary Ramon Lopez and is designed by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM). The program implementation will cut across all of DTI’s branches and attached agencies.
“We are proud to be part of this campaign and this fully utilizes not only the local Filipino community but our countrymen abroad to advocate for Filipino products. We envision that this campaign will not only develop our local economy but also position our country as a sourcing destination for a variety of export products,” explained CITEM Executive Director Pauline Suaco-Juan.
This campaign is not only for consumers but also encourages businesses to participate. DTI is inviting all entrepreneurs to participate by using the hashtag on their campaigns, engaging their endorsers to post, and also incentivizing loyal customers who use the hashtag and mention their brand.
“The campaign was designed so that it can be easily integrated in existing marketing campaigns of companies. We wanted to provide opportunities for the development of promotional and loyalty programs so companies can identify loyal customers and reward their patronage and support,” added Trade Promotions Group Undersecretary Abdulgani Macatoman.
To participate in the campaign, just simply snap a photo or take a video of a Filipino product that you’re wearing, in your closet, in your home, on your office desk, or on your dining table and use the hashtag #FlexPHridays. Participants are encouraged to share the story of how they discovered the brand, where they bought it, and why they find the product excellent.
“Tomorrow, we call on everyone to use the hashtag #FlexPHridays and wear something local during Fridays. We encourage you to post your locally-produced goods on your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Tiktok. Hopefully, this transforms into a habit or culture of patronizing locally-made products as this will help restimulate demand that will bring back more jobs needed in the recovery,” the Trade Secretary emphasized.