THE TENDER emotional heart tug effected by Cebuana Lhuillier in its newly launched series of three TV commercials combines with Coco Martin’s celebrity pull. All together, the TV audience is treated with creative, memorable reality TV executions. The target market is left with a warm feeling for Cebuana Lhuillier, luring its patrons to continued loyalty or, even better, bringing in new clients for its myriad of remittances and other services.
Ad agency Ace Saatchi & Saatchi linked up with production house Filmex, and started casting and production design months before actual shooting. The complicated casting process, mind you, was not choosing celebrity Coco Martin, but rather choosing and casting real Cebuana Lhuillier customers. Nonetheless, Saatchi client service director Edg Samson added the interesting trivia that Martin was himself once upon a time an OFW in Canada.
The customers — who were to withdraw money ostensibly sent to them by relatives — were not informed beforehand that they were going to be in a TV commercial. All they were told was that a promo reward would be given to them if they transacted on a specific day and time.
Before the shooting day, the production crew built fake walls and posts around the Cebuana Lhuillier outlet to hide the cameramen and light men. Thus, any customer would not find anything out of the ordinary when they come in to transact business.
Director Henry Frejas’ shots were all “Take one,” thus capturing in real time the deepest emotions of father and son, of two sisters, of mother and son — each physically apart from one another due to the desire to earn a living to support loved ones. All three commercials feature actual footage of the customer going to the teller, who turns out to be Martin.
That first big surprise is only a buildup to yet a bigger surprise: the entry of the loved one whose presence they had missed for years. “Mar Diama, 25, had not seen his father, Nicanor, in Sultan Kudarat for eight years. Gemmalyn Albarido, 22, had not seen her sister, Suzette, in Leyte for three years. Angelina Abuyen, 62: Her son, Alexis Awing Abuyen, has been working in Dubai since 2011.” They were flown to Manila to be able to give their loved one the full dramatic effect of receiving their hard-earned money person to person.
I like the few seconds of awkward reactions and absolute shyness mirrored on their faces upon unexpectedly beholding a loved one in front of them.
The commercials aptly ends with the tag, “Cebuana Lhuiller, damang-dama ang perang padala. Parang ikaw mismo ang nagbigay. (Heartily feeling the money that was sent. Like you personally gave it).”
Congratulations to client, agency and production house for the courage and the tenacity to think of and actually implement this creative undertaking. As the saying goes, no guts, no glory. Gutsy and glorious, I must say!
Credits. Client-company, Cebuana Lhuillier: Jean Henri D. Lhuillier, president and CEO; Philippe Andre D. Lhuillier, VP for CL Pera Padala and CL Insurance Solutions; Marissa Ancog. Corporate planning group head; Michael Sena, marketing communications group head and OIC. Advertising agency, Ace Saatchi & Saatchi. Account management: Edg Samson, client service director; Lala de Leon, management supervisor; Ping Castillo, account manager. Creatives: Andrew Petch, executive creative director; Trixie Diyco, VP and creative director; Jordan Santos, associate creative director; Milton Ganelo, Janette de Veyra and Anna Zavalla, art directors; Maan Agsalud, copywriter. Production house, Filmex: Henry Frejas, director. Mikey Reyes, producer.
Source: Business World