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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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

hooters philippines - brand equity that can't make mountains out of mole hills

we don't know if it was a soft launch, but hooters launched its first restaurant in the philippines at the mall of asia in pasay city. didn't see any ad or anything in media, just by word of mouth, specifically the mouths of men.

the interesting part is that just a few days, probably within hours of it's opening, pictures of the waitresses of hooters philippines circulated in the internet. and that got me thinking about a pair of errrr brand images and brand equity.

restaurants have them too. any owner of a restaurant will tell you, to succeed in the restaurant business, you need to be known for something. the more specific you are known for, the better.

in marketing research, there is a tool called word association where the respondents are shown or told certain words and the respondents playback the word that comes to mind upon seeing the word stimulus. this tool allows researchers to determine what are the images consumers associate with certain thoughts or concepts. for restaurants, it is almost always the food they are known for.

here's a short exercise. there are some restaurants that are a no brainer. please say the names aloud and say them quickly.

pancake house = pancakes; chicken bacolod house = chicken bacolod; lapid's = chicharon.

there are some that's not in their names, but its a quick answer. again, say them aloud and say them quickly.

ferino's = bibingka; starbucks = coffee; max's = chicken; jollibee = spaghetti; digman = halo-halo; aristocrat = chicken barbecue.

hooters = boobs!

what? boobs? is that food? well, boobs aren't food (at least not edible) but let's be honest here, when you say hooters, the first thing or first pair that comes to mind are female boobs. i don't think anyone has ever said steak, ribs, soup or salad when you say the word hooters.

simply put, perhaps to annoy the feminists, big female boobs is what hooters is known for. and it is these pairs of reasons that hooter girls are famous for and most probably the most photographed waitresses in the whole world. just like the hooter girl on the picture, what she has in front of her, a pair that are proud and smart is what hooters is known for.

that's really very hard to explain to my 10 year old son - "son, let's have dinner at hooters, i want to look at some things." but that's a separate story all together.

don't blame me, the hooters logo says the same thing, too. ok, so an owl hoots and that explains the image of the animal being there. sure, the eyes of owls are huge but the shape of the eyes and the two dots are conveniently placed in the middle of each eye and that tells us exactly what we are supposed to look at, well ok and to hoot at.

perhaps, this hooters logo should have PG13 rating?

that takes care of clearly establishing what the hooters brand equity is.

like the hooter girl counterparts in the US, the pinay hooter girls were also photographed extensively. and by looking at the poses of the pinay hooter girls, aside from how to carry a tray of food and having an intimate knowledge of the hooters menu, it seems how to pose for pictures has been part and parcel of the hooter girl training program. the poses of the pinay hooter girls are exactly the same with those of the hooter girls in the US.

BUT, there is a big difference. based on the pictures of the pinay hooter girls, it appears hooters philippines have failed to deliver on the hooters brand equity. it's a deflated brand equity that even the best of the underwires failed to compensate for.

if i was the asia regional marketing director of hooters, i would definitely tell hooters philippines is off strategy and off brand equity. recommendation - hooters philippines need to uplift and upgrade it's brand equity, if you know what i mean.

hooters philippines brand equity - it's a WAWAM!

here are some pics of the pinay hooter girls. with profound apologies to the ladies in the pictures.


  1. Hi there, i wont pretend to be fluent or articulate, gusto ko lang mag comment and be heard. Have you been to Hooters of Taiwan and Singapore? Nagbukas sila long before the Philippines but their Hooter girls are no exception to what you are pointing out. You can mention na lahat ng mga theoreticals and basic concepts and anything that they teach you in college and post graduate blah blah. I have a 2008 calendar of Hooters girls of Singapore and Taiwan and 85% are flat tires. I also had the rare opportunity seeing the blondes here in the Philippines when they opened, and I am certain that most of the blondes have implant boobs!!!
    When I go to a restaurant or Hooters, I don't think of brand equity. and 99.9% will go to Hooters don't. It all boils down to service!
    It's odd, while foreigners have been very appreciative of Hooters here, Filipinos who pretend to be Americans yaks about , oh, I've been to Hooters how come its like this, it's like that.

  2. i don't think hooters as a restaurant is known for its "service". nor do customers go to hooters for it.

    customers go to mcdonald's for their burgers or fries. for jollibee, for their spaghetti and low priced burgers.

    but for hooters, people go there for the boobs. big boobs is THE attraction for hooters. it does not matter that they are implants, the point is big boobs! it's even in their logos.

    the fact that hooters in asia seem to have something common - small common ones can onloy meaan perhaps hooters should no longer stay in asia as asian women seem to be falling short on their hooters.

    big hooters is the brand equity of hooters. that can't be denied.

  3. and one more thing, the girls in hooters manila have one more thing in common - they have big tummies, too. looks like the bulge were in the wrong place. how we wish the bulge moved higher to the north of their bodies.

  4. Hi WAWAM, PLEASE ALSO SEND YOUR VIEW AND OPINION TO HOOTERS OF CHINA,TAIWAN,SOUTH KOREA,PHILIPPINES, SINGAPORE and reiterate to them the importance of "BRAND EQUITY". Maybe the American schooled franchise owners of these stores forgot brand equity during their college days. And also please check if JAPAN is now open. We should spread the word to these guys about 'BRAND EQUITY'. But wait..... I heard ..... cant be......wanna bet?INDONESIA, VIETNAM. Oh, come on..are we losing ground on our hard stance about "BRAND EQUITY"?
    Well if there's one thing that I've learned from this is that it's not nice to be a HATER. lIVE LIFE SIMPLE. Hooters was not made for critics. It was made for men who like to watch sports while drinking ice cold beer, people who had a bad day at the office, guys who had a fight with their girlfriend or wife, guys who pretend to be single, guys who wants to have a feel of an 60's, 70's, 80's atmosphere, men in uniform...
    Relax dude...Peace....Cheers!!!!

  5. anonymous: "It was made for men who like to watch sports while drinking ice cold beer, people who had a bad day at the office, guys who had a fight with their girlfriend or wife, guys who pretend to be single, guys who wants to have a feel of an 60's, 70's, 80's atmosphere, men in uniform..."

    that is the reason why men go to hooters? you have to be kidding! most men do not go to hooters for those reasons - they go there for the girls and their, ahem, boobs!

    hooters is synonymous with hooters girls and big boobs. big boobs is even in the logo of hooters.

    even you knew that the hooters girls and spcially big boobs is what men go to in hooters. you are asking me to write about hooters in other parts of asia because you are aware that most asian women do not have big boobs like caucasians. touche?


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