Sunday, April 7, 2019

Damn the onions: Okay, Those Commercials Make Me Cry

“Oh no, I will not cry, I will not break down”, that’s what I told myself before I sat down to view the latest Jollibee commercial titled Choice. And then I proceeded to bawl. What an ugly cry it was.

Team Paul or Team Jay?

I cannot blame the onions. I cannot even use my hormones as an excuse. I lay the full responsibility to the Filipinos’ penchant for love and drama, for knowing how to tug on the heartstrings, all these with not-so-subtle product placement. I guess I am a sucker for a good love story. I admit I am an incurable romantic, despite everything else that happened in my life.

Jollibee has just released its latest Valentine Day commercial. The omnipresent fast food giant, (the Philippines' answer to McDonalds) does not just offer yummy burgers, crispy Chicken Joy, sweet spaghetti, the scrumptious halo-halo, and the finger-lickingly delicious peach mango pie. Jollibee has embarked on a cultural tradition when it released a trio of videos that were beautifully-written and cleverly-produced. I hope that Jollibee continues with their annual Valentine tradition, just like the John Lewis ads for Christmas and the much-hyped, super-expensive SuperBowl commercials.

The Jollibee kwentos (stories) were launched last Valentine Day in 2017. Filipinos and foreigners alike have reacted phenomenally and rendered Vow, Crush and Date to viral status within days of their showing. Just look at how many video reactors swooned, sobbed, and giggled with “kilig” (a feeling of exhilaration or elation caused by an exciting or romantic experience). Some video reactors have now joined the "Try not to cry" challenge, presumably to prove to themselves that they still look good on camera as they try to hold back the tears.

The stories are not all sad. Some are cute and romantic that leaves one smiling and uttering "Awwws". All are feel-good stories because the characters triumph over whatever adversities they are put through, with some help (magic maybe?) from the bumbling jolly bee. I think the Choice is the longest so far, but all the other videos run for just about less than 3 minutes. All are inspired by a true story, powerful mini-films with shocking twists that take less time than to finish a bucket of Chicken Joy.

In 2018, the advertising genius proved the first-year success was not a fluke and gifted us with a kilig-inducing and feel-good videos (albeit with some tear-jerking scenes) with Homecoming, Signs, and Parangal (Tribute).

To all those who found joy in loving unconditionally

To those who never gave up on love.

For love that never ends

John Lewis’ Christmas ads and the Thai masters

Thai masters

Thailand is not just known for its temples, beaches, and cuisine. It has produced a long list of commercials that are tear-jerkers and heart-wrenching even as they peddled phones, insurance, and restaurants. Just like the Philippines, love for family is of paramount importance in Thailand.

So if you’re a glutton for punishment and do not mind coming to work with puffy eyes, just sit down and watch these videos but prepare a box of tissues and a bottle of water to rehydrate. And if you're a masochist, you can binge-watch all these Thai commercials. I promise you, it is a catharsis.

Thailand 🇹🇭 Commercial - Teacher and Mother

“The Waiters’ Mom (warning: this will remind you of your mom, so prepare a whole box of tissues).

The British department store chain John Lewis & Partners started in 2007 an advertising campaign that turned out to be an annual tradition of Christmas ads. The commercials featured an assortment of characters from a trampolining dog, a forlorn penguin, and Moz the monster. The iconic ads heralded the beginning of the yuletide season, a time of great joy for the Brits.

John Lewis Christmas Advert 2018 - Elton John