today's AMAZING TV AD : honda's "cog" 2 minute tv spot

for more on this, go to this post :; april 14 post.
the inspiration is mount pinatubo when some years ago, all of a sudden, after decades of being dormant, it decided to erupt, spewing debris and ash several kilometers high, blowing ashes to float everywhere, far and wide, turning the skies gloomy gray as far away as metro manila, hundreds of kilometers away, covering metro manila streets and rooftops with thick ash. the pinatubo eruption was so powerful that its ashes changed the color of sunsets not only in the philippines but also worldwide.

that's what happens when clients and advertising agencies decide to run ads not worthy to be called advertising. its dark, its huge and very irritating and unfortunately, everywhere!

all they are doing is wawam! what a waste of advertising money!

here is a first row view of Philippine Advertising and Philippine Marketing.

mount pinatubo erupts shooting ashes several kilometers high, then floating to blanket many other towns hundreds of kilometers away

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

who put a sad face on jollibee? part 1

Went to Jollibee Ortigas Avenue and all over the place were large posters featuring the Jollibee image in several materials. The wait for the food was long and that gave me time to survey the posters.

The sad and listless Jollibee

My reaction was – they changed the face of Jollibee, that’s not the same Jollibee I was familiar with! That surprised me as I know that together with a total make-over of their logos and store design, they also did a major graphics design change of Jollibee and his face some years ago. I thought changing it again now is too soon.

I remember they did the graphics change at the same time Aga Muhlach became the Jollibee endorser and I thought Jollibee then looked like Aga, a significant improvement from the previous Jollibee.

At first, I could not pin down the changes but I was very sure some changes were made. This Jollibee face looked sad and listless to me. The lips had a smile on it but it didn’t help. I was missing the spark on Jollibee’s face, made it look insincere, not at all friendly and certainly not jolly. At times I felt this Jollibee was blind.

Jollibee had the saddest face in this family picture of Aga Muhlach

The sad and listless Jollibee was made even more obvious in this large banner that had Jollibee together with Aga Muhlach and his family. Aga and everyone in the family were happy – all had these huge smiles, almost laughing faces and even the girl who didn’t smile as much as the others had eyes that were smiling and very happy.

Then it occurred to me what was wrong!

This is the Jollibee we all know - happy and engaging!

This is the Jollibee I know - an engaging, sparkly happy Jollibee. And I realize the sad and listless Jollibee face that was all over the restaurant was that of the Jollibee mascot!

It looks like the mascot’s face graphics is not an exact copy of the flat graphics of the Jollibee face that is in their logo and in all signages. And unfortunately, it appears Jollibee has embarked on a merchandising campaign that uses the Jollibee mascot very extensively.

The happy Jollibee - sparkles in the eyes and big happy smile!

The sad and listless Jollibee, looking like a dry ornament

There are two very major differences between the two: (a) the white “sparkles” in the eyes of the Jollibee logo are not on the mascot’s face and (b) the smile on the Jollibee logo is wider and bigger almost laughing, showing a red tongue while the mascot’s smile had its lips closed. There is a third difference, the shape of the chef’s hat but that compared to the smile and the sparkle in the eyes is a minor difference.

The absence of the white sparkles on the mascot’s eyes made the face look listless and the demure smile both contributed to making the mascot’s face look sad and much less engaging than that of the face logo.

The Jollibee face is a very important brand property of Jollibee. In fact, given the target market of Jollibee, it makes the face slightly more important than the text graphics of the brand name. One of the most revered principles of logo design and application is consistency. Marketing companies obsess with perfection when it comes to the application of logos across different media. They obsess with it because it is literally their face to their target market. And in the case of Jollibee, it is the personification of the brand and an expression of the brand values it upholds.

Companies like Walt Disney whose products rely heavily on visuals like graphics, animation and mascots (Disneyland) are obsessed with consistency and perfection of looks and graphics. Their obsession on consistency is very much marketing legend and if you ask Disney, they will tell you it is a key success element in their business and one that they will not compromise on. It is not only their trademark, their graphics are actually their business.

In the Disney picture, the face of Mickey Mouse is duplicated to the exact feature from the flat graphics to the mascot - from the eyes to the mouth, including the smile that showed the red lips, which was probably used as inspiration in designing the Jollibee face. To make sure the face is an exact copy, Disney even used a hard material on the face of the mascot to so that the whole face and the very important components of the shape of the ears and nose do not get distorted and stay in shape even when the mascot moves.

The differences are more obvious in the pictures below, where the Jollibee statue in the middle is an exact copy of the Jollibee flat graphics, the picture below it. The same happy and engaging character comes out, but not with the Jollibee mascot on the first picture. The Jollibee statue in the middle picture looks happier and friendlier. My 11 year old son describes the Jollibee mascot on the first picture as “Someone who is not happy in his job.”.

The sad and listless Jollibee mascot

The happy and engaging Jollibee statue, exact copy of the logo

The happy Jollibee logo we all love

For me, Jollibee is much better than Ronald McDonald. I won’t even be surprised if McDonald’s found out many Filipino children find Ronald McDonald as scary. I think Jollibee is definitely an asset and an advantage versus Ronald McDonald. It’s a shame that Jollibee has been careless, incompetent even in applying the Jollibee image to their mascot.

First and foremost, I think it is unforgivable that the design graphics of the Jollibee face is not faithfully duplicated on the mascot. There should not have been any compromise on this one, it is after all a logo. They should have not launched the Jollibee mascot unless it was a perfect duplication of the logo. If it was a question of material, then they should have not stopped looking for the material that guaranteed an exact duplication.

The other part is – why the insistence in using the Jollibee mascot in merchandising materials that is pure graphics and did not include real people in the layout? The use of the Jollibee mascot in the Aga Muhlach and family poster is understandable, to some degree necessary even, but I see no value in using the mascot in the Wi-Fi poster that was pure graphics. Rendering Jollibee in graphics in these types of posters would have resulted to a much better poster as the graphics artist has full control on the rendering of Jollibee.

The reason the Jollibee mascot is used in materials that include real people in the poster is that a graphics rendition of Jollibee would have been too obvious and can look weird in that poster. It might look too staged and fake. People will have a point of comparison – a flat, one dimensional Jollibee graphics versus people who are real and obviously in 3D.

The argument for the use of the mascot in posters that don’t include real people in the layout is the desire to make the Jollibee character more “real”. The mascot is 3D and can look better or more realistic. But that objective is not at all delivered in the posters. The photography in the posters is so bad that the Jollibee mascot actually looks flat, not 3D or a bad graphics rendition of the Jollibee logo. (The flat Jollibee mascot is the result of an over-exposed photo shooting of the mascot.)

I mentioned the difference in the shape of the chef hat in the flat logo and mascot is not as critical in as far as projecting an attitude and character of Jollibee, but it is nevertheless a grave violation in terms of consistency in the application of logos across media. The Jollibee face is not just a character like the other mascots they have, first it is Jollibee himself, the name of the restaurant and secondly, it is also a logo. And being a logo, you want to make sure it is faithfully applied across all materials.
That makes me wonder – is Jollibee management aware the Jollibee mascot is not an exact copy of Jollibee flat graphics? Another question – who put the sad face on Jollibee? Final question – who wants a sad Jollibee?


  1. There is one answer to your three questions: Who cares?

  2. marketing people should care. and most specially jollibee management. and on both counts they actually did as they read this blog.

  3. well... who cares... i like the logo now simply because it can easily be remembered rather than have the whole of Jollibee's body as a logo. and besides simplicity is in nowadays.

  4. poopoo - what logo are you talking about? jollibee's logo has not changed. it's the face of the jollibee mascot that is different from the jollibee logo.

  5. I understand what you are trying to say, But if you will look closely to a live mascot, The eyes are blinking and the lips are moving making it alive not like the mickey mouse that is smiling all the time (and eyes not blinking)and not closing it's mouth making it lifeless unlike the Jollibee mascot that is very much alive in it's facial feature. Please don't judge the Jollibee mascot in it's posters but the moving mascot itself. I understand your sentiments and your care about it but i think your wrong in some ways.

  6. the point i raised is on the jollibee mascot being inconsistent in design versus the jollibee logo. the jollibee mascot is not just a mascot, it is their brand logo. brand logos are supposed to look exactly thhe same across all applications.

  7. i really love the face of jollibee because eventhough his not talking you will notice that there something on that mascot, just look at his lips and eyes, it says that: hey dont be sad coz i can make you smile hahaha.. i love you jollibee

  8. very good observations. jollibee does not have marketing people? its surprising how they can miss this.

  9. getting the application of your logo to other materials wrong is a huge error for any marketing and advertising person. logos just like brand names is one of the most precious property of a brand or business. these things have their own valuations. anyone who does not appreciate that is not in advertising or marketing.

    i don't get the fuzz at PEX. this point of view is totally good and in fact well done!

  10. one more thing - i think the example of what they do at Disneyland and mickey mouse is an excellent example. for disney, all characters look the same in whatever application they are made in. that is the kind of respect and effort one should give to logos and brand images.

  11. In their desire to offer fast delivery service, Jollibee (as well as other food delivery services) pressure their delivery riders to commit reckless riding practices on public roads presenting a danger to the general public.

    How bad do you think would this affect Jollibee's image to the public?

    The injured third party agreed to the Jollibee branch settlement of P5,000 barely covering his medical expenses and damage to his own motorcyle.

    I think its high time for Jollibee to realize that they have a responsibility to the general public to PRACTICE safe and responsible riding by their delivery riders.

  12. with what's been happenin to the world... even jollibee can't afford to be truly happy. hence the mascot's face. :(

  13. i totally disagree. no one notices that "sad" face. and even with that "sad" face, jollibee still continues to be number 1.

    the face is just simpler, not "sadder". but still, no one cares! it is still jollibee and everyone loves jollibee. thats the best marketing strategy you can get. make a symbol that everyone will love. even if i remove jollibee's chef hat and put a "salakot", we will still love it.

  14. Don't worry about the make face of jollibee he's not a clown at all, give your comment to ronald he's the clown and jollibee is a clone.......... i'm an ex-store marketing asst. of jollibee sixteen years ago, and jollibee is really sub-standard, imitator - but an excellent "gaya-gaya" that's why their business are successful. hayaan nanatin sya jollibee is not a real filipino, pretending to be filipino actually he's chinese his surname is Tan Caktiong....... may be he's filipino citizen but still not a natural born filipino. Nevertheless; you're good, you observed other faces hope you observe yours first.


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