Wednesday, December 2, 2009

ABS CBN using Jesus for their commercial purposes?

ABSCBN, the largest broadcast network station in the Philippines, recently launched "Parol ni Bro" or Bro's Christmas Lantern. The promo retails Christmas Lanterns, which should help raise funds for their charity, Sagip Kapamilya (a program which provides relief to Philippine communities affected by natural disasters). However, the veiled promo refers to the names of Jesus, who is called "Bro" in their primetime hit series, "May Bukas pa." (There's still (hope) tomorrow).

I know what they intend to do here but, as a Marketing person myself, I find this promo hypocritical and very dark for many reasons. People may not notice it immediately but as soon as you read their press release material on their website, you will immediately agree with me.

First, their press release details the promo and all their other network activities but is short of one essential factor - explain or show cause what is Sagip Kapamilya all about. Is Sagip Kapamilya that important? Show it. Second, how ignorant ABSCBN is to claim that the lantern they sell is about Jesus (Bro) when Jesus is all about the message of hope, truth, and salvation. Their reason for promoting the lantern is full of fluff and vague. Their PR says, "The light of Christ, symbolized by the Parol, will give warmth that heals all wounds and provide light that brings back hope. The light is passed on to us and, in turn, we kindle the heart of one another. So, we become one in picking up the pieces, rebuilding and moving on."

Huh? Light of Christ? Passed on to us? Kindle the heart? Picking up the pieces? Please. What light of Christ are we talking about? What does that light mean? Why not expound it since they already mention the lantern's symbolism. What light that would heal all wounds and provide light that brings back hope? Huh? It's vague.

So what is "Parol ni Bro" all about? It's about commercialism - dark commercialism and nothing more. It's even sadder that now, they use Jesus for their commercial gain. I abhor advertisers who play people's emotions to the lowest ebb of sensibilities. I dare say that, because of this, ABSCBN is bordering on portraying Jesus as an alternative character to Santa Claus? If ABSCBN wants to raise funds for their charity program, why can't it promote it on its own merit?

Jesus is not for sale people! Please take that campaign down and give us, the Filipinos, more respect and credit we deserve. The intention may be good but the execution and motive of the campaign is wrong.