by Aye P Ubaldo
It was an exciting few weeks for Filipino basketball aficionados (Who isn’t?) as Gilas Pilipinas gave a stellar performance at the recently held FIBA Basketball World Championships in Spain. The country managed to give its counterpart ball players from Croatia and Greece a bit of a scare, eventually winning over Senegal, before bowing out full of pride.
Gilas Pilipinas’ journey to the world court is without its supporters. Along champion Smart Communications, one of the country’s top mobile companies, owned by top sports fan Manuel V. Pangilinan, Max’s Restaurant is another Gilas Pilipinas flag-bearing outfit.
Addressing the audience at the recent PANA general membership meeting, Marc Gamboa, marketing director of Max’s Restaurant shared its sports marketing strategies.
“It’s the first time for us to use a hashtag,” said Gamboa of #PusoToTheMax. Launched on June 12 Independence Day, the hashtag was very successful in branding Max’s as a supporter of the country’s national basketball team. According to Gamboa, “We used puso (heart), and Pinoy to inspire the team, excite the market, and boost the restaurant.”
Made a household name by its own Filipino-style brand of fried chicken, Max’s embarked on a massive campaign for #PusoToTheMax, including a Yam Laranas-directed TVC, created by DM9 JaymeSyfu, and massive out-of-home media placements. Max’s also used social media, holding a fan competition that sent the lucky winner to watch the games in Spain.
‘Lumalaban para sa Pilipinas kasama ang Max’s’, and #PusoToTheMax, well, maximized love of country, and love of basketball. And, by the looks of it, successfully strengthened its connection with its customers. The numbers prove it too, showing a double-digit increase in sales by August.”
“That’s even before the start of the FIBA Championship. It’s simply amazing what all the 360 media (accomplished),” shared Gamboa. Not bad from a 70-year-old brand.