In any business, no matter how you slice it, the more effective your advertising is, the more successful you will be.
The fast food indsutry is no different, and the people at Jollibee Philippines (the division in the Philippines, as opposed to Jollibee International) definitely know what they’re doing when it comes to advertising. They know their target audience very well: the traditional Filipino family, and it caters very well towards the typical family in the Philippines.
Keep it in the Family
Focusing on the cultural tradition of the importance of family values, they have made a concerted effort to make sure that Filipinos associate Jollibee with a wholesome family meal. Not so much wholesome in the nutritional sense (it is fast food overall), but wholesome meaning that feeling you get inside your heart when you watch a “perfect” nuclear family with two parents, one boy and one girl enjoy the deliciousness of ChickenJoy on TV.
Jollibee is targeting two areas: both the pallete as well as the heart. As you watch the young boy excitedly bite into his Yumburger with his insatiable appetite and his mother looking on with a friendly smile as she has french fries in her hands, you’re transpoorted to this magical fantasyland. You want to be part of that family. You want your family to be like that family. And in addition to all this, you want to go to Jollibee and eat a Yumburger. It might be a stretch to say that people will think that by going to Jollibee, their family can somehow transform and conform to this social norm.
In the Real World
And yet, when you walk into a Jollibee, you look around and many times that’s what you see: Filipino families congregating and enjoying their meal together. So what’s this say about the advertising? Is it effective advertising? I would argue that it is, but let’s not confuse correllation with causation. But at the end of the day, Jollibee keeps selling Yumburgers and ChickenJoy, so they must be doing something right with their advertising.
I believe it’s that intangible factor that their targeting in a person’s heart which makes it so successful. Remember that one commercial when the boy takes his mother to the local Jollibee and then he says that one day he’ll take her to Jollibee Hong Kong? That commercial is an example of successful advertising in multiple levels. It demonstrates the family value of caring for one’s parents today. It also sends the message about taking care of them in the future. Yet, not only is the boy promising mere local fast food, but he takes it to the next level by saying he will take her to Jollibee Hong Kong which resonates with each person’s internal desire for upward mobility.
In the end, it’s clear that the advertisers at Jollibee have been doing their research and know the Filipino culture very well. In addition to knowing the culture, I would go so far as to say they are contributing to the culture and changing it at the same time, something not many companies can say. Now the trick will be to see how successful Jollibee International can be by learning how to cater to a country’s niche food desires the way Jollibee Philippines has.