#AlDub intensifies network wars, boosts brands’ sales

Chrisee Dela Paz
#AlDub intensifies network wars, boosts brands’ sales
Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza's budding romance on screen has posted through-the-roof ratings for 36-year-old show Eat Bulaga and has been a boon for McDonald's Philippines and TNT

MANILA, Philippines – At around 1:30 pm Mondays to Saturdays, the viral tandem of Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza (popularly known as #AlDub) begins to air, and many Filipinos leave everything they’re doing just to watch them on TV. This is awesome, particularly from a marketing standpoint. 

“It’s like my day is incomplete without watching AlDub. It has been part of my daily routine. I usually delay my lunch break at 1:30 pm to catch them on TV,” 24-year-old content writer Sarah Cañero said in an interview.

Cañero is one of the many avid followers of the AlDub tandem – which stars in noontime TV show Eat Bulaga’s KalyeSerye segment.

AlDub followers, like Cañero, do not stop by watching them on TV. Its millions of followers continue talking about the favorite power love team on social media platforms, mainly on Twitter. (READ: #AlDub: 10 celebrity fans

On Saturday, September 26, the KalyeSerye’s official hashtag #ALDubEBforLOVE, pulled in record 26 million tweets – only a couple of million short of the record of 28.4 million global tweets for Super Bowl XLIX on February 1, 2015.

With Twitter Asia-Pacific and Middle East Vice President Rishi Jaitly declaring “#AlDub as a “global phenomenon,” there is no better way to get a network’s ratings surge or a brand to boost its sales by involving the love team in advertising campaigns.

Ratings war intensifies

The magic of AlDub has even spilled over the network ratings war with broadcaster GMA Network, Incorporated citing a nationwide lead in September 2015 audience share.

The Felipe Gozon-led network claimed a second-straight month success of the AlDub segment of noontime show Eat Bulaga.

Its rival ABS-CBN Corporation, which uses data from a different firm, has debated GMA’s pronouncement and said it dominated nationwide viewership last month.

Historically strong in Mega Manila and Urban Luzon, GMA said in a statement on Friday, October 2 that it won a total day household audience share of 37.4%, quoting Nielsen TV Audience Measurement data.

The figure, according to the Gozon-led network, was higher than ABS-CBN’s 34.9% and TV5’s 9%.

ABS-CBN, citing Kantar Media, said it scored an average national audience share of 44% against GMA’s 36%.

GMA first attributed its surge in August ratings to AlDub, which started gaining popularity since its July launch.

Eat Bulaga – with the unstoppable success of its KalyeSerye segment featuring the phenomenal AlDub love team of Kapuso actor Alden Richards and dub smash queen Maine Mendoza aka Yaya Dub – ranked as the most-watched program in Urban Luzon and Mega Manila,” GMA said in its statement.

The KalyeSerye segment of Eat Bulaga is so fruitful that GMA Network has cried foul over what it sees as wrongful tactics by rival ABS-CBN’s pay TV subsidiary SkyCable Corporation.

GMA filed complaints with regulator National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) against SkyCable for alleged signal loss before the airing of Eat Bulaga and/or during its phenomenal KalyeSerye segment.

On Thursday, October 1, GMA filed with the NTC its third complaint of the same nature, supported by screenshots and video recordings of the signal discrepancies taken by the cable subscribers themselves.

GMA has two other pending complaints with the NTC dated August 25 and September 17, seeking immediate action regarding its signal loss on SkyCable either before or during the Kalyeserye segment of Eat Bulaga

 

Boosts sales for McDonald’s, TNT

The phenomenal AlDub love team has not just intensified network wars, but has also been godsend for a fastfood chain and a telecommunications giant that have tapped them as new endorsers.

The viral tandem has already secured two major endorsement contracts so far – one with the local unit of international fastfood chain McDonald’s Corporation and another with TNT (rebranded Talk ‘N Text) of dominant telecommunications firm, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT).

McDonald’s Philippines Senior Vice-President for Marketing Margot Torres said the fastfood chain chose Yaya Dub and Alden Richards as their new endorsers because of their “huge popularity and their incredible ability to cut across demographics and social classes.”

“[The] response to having AlDub as our new endorsers has been phenomenal. Within 24 hours of posting, their TV commercial was viewed more than 1.5 million times on our Facebook page,” Torres told Rappler in an interview.

“Our new product McDonald’s Chicken Fillet a la King exceeded its target upon launch in our stores, and then skyrocketed after we aired the AlDub TV commercial,” Torres added.

Torres was even quoted in a Tweet on October 1, saying “McDonald’s sales expanded by more than 470%” when the company released its #ALDUBkoto TV commercial.

 

For TNT, PLDT spokesperson Ramon Isberto said his company is “very happy with the tie-up [they] made with AlDub.”

“Although we don’t have figures yet, we’re expecting to exceed our target and for it to help boost our revenues,” Isberto said in a phone interview with Rappler.

“The initial feedback is very encouraging especially the record-setting number of tweets. It brought us a huge market attention,” the PLDT spokesperson said, adding that “the AlDub tandem fits the TNT brand, which serves a value market.”

 

FIT. AlDub tandem fits the TNT brand, which serves a value market, says PLDT Spokesperson Ramon Isberto.

Mixing traditional, new media

The unlikely duo’s budding romance on screen has posted through-the-roof ratings for the 36-year-old show Eat Bulaga and has been a boon for McDonald’s Philippines and TNT. The viral tandem is not purely accidental.

“For the longest time, Filipinos have been bombarded with talent shows during noontime. AlDub became a hit because of its modern Filipino concept of having an ordinary girl enchanting a prince charming. It’s like re-telling a classic fairy tale in a fresh way,” Jubert Alberto, country head of International Data Corporation (IDC) Philippines, a research firm that monitors telecommunications and media trends, told Rappler in an interview.

“But what sustained the virality of the tandem is the use of new media, wherein the conversation is being continued on social media, mainly Twitter and online videos,” Alberto added.

“Look at your workplace, I’m certain there is at least one group there that would rush into a TV set to watch AlDub. This is because its production team has spread the word effectively by embracing all media channels,” the IDC country head said.

This led to huge ratings success and significant online traffic. And of course, this additional traffic was thoughtfully monetized through sponsor integrations and advertisement campaigns.

“To sustain their (avid viewers) enthusiasm toward the show, the team behind #AlDub should offer something fresh; and for the producers to recoup their investments, they can partner with a telco to provide a mobile Web series of AlDub, since it has limited airing time on Eat Bulaga,” Alberto said.

Broadcasters, according to Alberto, need to be bold enough to modernize the way their content is produced. “But, a fresh content is still the prime key to virality – the way you produce it will follow suit.”

As the popularity of #AlDub continues, the viral tandem could receive more endorsements, and almost every company could bank on the current nationwide favorite to increase awareness and boost sales. – Rappler.com

 

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