...Nowadays, advertisements on television have an impact on almost every Filipino individual. Televisions are probably the most essential part of a common Filipino family. According to Kantar Media, one of the Philippines' leading television audience measurement providers, 92% of urban homes and 70% of rural homes own at least one TV unit. Because of this, it makes television as the most suitable medium for advertisements of different fast foods here in the Philippines.
On the other note, different advertisements from different fast foods have been viral these days including the most viral advertisement video of McDonald's about 'the breaking up story of you and me'. For just a few hours after posting the video, it already went viral in the internet and already gathered different reactions and comments from the netizens.
The story went like this: The girl went back their usual spot. After picking up her order, she found that all of the tables were already taken ' except the one where they (her ex-boyfriend) had their last conversation. She smiled, but then remembered their conversation that broke her heart. A sharp pang of pain went through straight to her heart as she remembered how much he avoided her gaze, how he rejected her when she asked him to stay, how she cried as she tries talking to him. The thought of sitting into that same spot was so heartbreaking and the memories of her past are still daunting her. Nonetheless, she continued walking there, smiling. She realized that she'll eventually move on, leave all of the sad memories that has happened, and change for the better. The video lasted for 60 seconds and was launched by Leo Burnett Manila and Golden Arches Development. A 30-second version of the video was aired on television on the same day. The advertisement was for promoting the new burger McDo.
According to Christina Lao, the video was viewed 3.1M times and was shared for almost 40K times. The video was said to be uploaded simultaneously on Facebook and Youtube at 11 A.M last June 5, and it hit 1 million views within just 12 hours of posting. This video got intense, passionate feedbacks from the audiences, especially the ones who can truly relate to the story of 'moving on from the heartache'.
'We knew that it had great potential in doing that. You get that gut feeling at storyboard stage and if all goes well, at offline stage. People spontaneously share their stories if you strike a chord with your campaign,' Lao said. We can't deny the fact that many Filipinos have already experienced this kind of painful situation in different variety of love stories. 'That's the pleasant surprise for us. Now we know 'na maraming Pinoy pala ang nasawi na sa pag-ibig' ' and many have bounced back,' Lao added. McDonald's knew that the story would be relatable with everyone, whether you're a young teenager or people who are young at heart. And the fact that they use 'Tuloy Pa Rin', a throwback song way back in 90's, as their choice of music brings back the nostalgic vibes and kind of bittersweet feels. Lao mentioned that there were a lot of love and non-love stories developed for the campaign, but the story of somebody going back to where her relationship ended felt very compelling and relatable.
'It felt right for the 'change' message that the strategy laid out,' she said. Lots of people described Elisse Joson, the girl on the advertisement, as their 'every girl's spirit animal' and also received great feedbacks. 'Making a McDonald's store a setting for a teary breakup was not a difficult sell to the clients. Other brands would see that as heresy. That's how brave McDonald's is and we're glad we're being given the freedom to go beyond the usual,' Raoul Panes, Chief Creative Officer of Leo Burnett Manila commented.
After releasing the video advertisement, there's not a single day wherein you can't hear 'Tuloy Pa Rin' on the radio, or even people who walks pass by singing it. The next thing you'll know, you'll be singing with them and will be persuaded to eat at McDo just to feel the 'moving on' feels. This is where Leon Festinger's Cognitive Dissonance Theory comes in.
Cognitive Dissonance Theory: Assumptions, Explanation and Application
This essay is anchored on Leon Festinger's Cognitive Dissonance Theory (1962). The theory explains that 'the human beings often have conflicting beliefs which actions they take, or other beliefs they have. The dissonance creates a tension and tension reduction is automatically sought by changing our evaluations by some degree. Cognitive Dissonance is when you have two good choices and you make your decision then you find yourself unsure or in doubt about the choice you made. You have to downplay the other choice in order to reassure yourself'. To make it simpler, anything that we could see in or out of the television might change our perception towards one thing.
Festinger's (1957) cognitive dissonance theory suggests that we have an inner drive to hold all our attitudes and beliefs in harmony and avoid disharmony (or dissonance). There is an important factor here in this theory, which is the principle of cognitive consistency. This is the focus of Festinger's cognitive dissonance.
According to Festinger's cognitive dissonance theory, there are three ways in which we can reduce the dissonance. First, individuals can change one or more attitudes, behaviors, beliefs and etc. Although, this dissonance frequently presents problems for people who has difficulty in changing their well-behavioral responses. Example, after you watched McDonald's new video advertisement, you want to try to go eat there but you can't just give up fast food X, the one wherein you have been eating ever since you were a child. You can't just give it up easily and try McDonald's because you were used to it. Second method of reducing dissonance is to acquire new information that outweighs the dissonant beliefs. Example, after you watched McDonald's new video advertisement, thinking that eating at McDonald's will help you move on from a heartbreak. However, new information after hearing people say that even if they ate at McDonald's in hopes of moving on didn't work, it may reduce the dissonance. And third one is to reduce the importance of the cognitions (e.g. beliefs, attitudes). The person could convince themselves that it is better to 'live for today' than to 'save for tomorrow'. Example, eating at fast food X is better than eating at McDonald's even after watching the video advertisement.
Notice that dissonance theory does not state that these modes of dissonance reduction will actually work, only that individuals who are in a state of cognitive dissonance will take steps to reduce the extent of their dissonance.
In relation to the theory, the marketing strategy of McDonald's video advertisement can persuade people to eat at McDonald's because of their convincing and really relatable advertisement. If their good actions didn't match this action, they must persuade in changing the people's beliefs.
With all the information above, it is safe to say that out of all the available communication theories, this makes Festinger's Cognitive Dissonance theory the most applicable one regarding the topic of McDonald's video advertisement in the Philippines. Most of the Filipinos, millenials or young at heart, can relate to the storyline made by the marketing department of McDonald's. After the release of the video, it went viral and many Facebook memes and netizens said that, 'tara sa McDo, para makamove on na ako,' and for me, what McDo did is a really great marketing stategy. I can even relate myself too in that video advertisement, just like what the majority were.
The way the television presented this advertisement had a 'cognitive dissonance' effect on me and my mind. I was persuaded that maybe eating in McDonald's can help me move on and I know for the fact that I am not the only one who is thinking about the same thing. Now, as what most people say nowadays, 'tara, McDo. Move on na tayo'.
...(download the rest of the essay above)