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Jollibee vs McDonald’s: Fried chicken war spills over to noon show

Isagani de Castro Jr.

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Jollibee vs McDonald’s: Fried chicken war spills over to noon show

RIVALRY. The friend chicken war between fast-good giants Jollibee Foods Corporation and McDonald's Philippines took an amusing turn on January 20, 2023 on ABS-CBN noon show, It's Showtime.

The fried chicken war between fast-food giants Jollibee and McDonald's takes an amusing turn involving influencers Anne Curtis and Vice Ganda on the noon show 'It's Showtime' and on social media

MANILA, Philippines – The fried chicken war between fast-food titans Jollibee Foods Corporation and McDonald’s Philippines spilled over into a popular noontime show, with the hashtag #Jollibee trending on X (formerly Twitter) on Sunday, January 21. 

Fil-Australian actress Anne Curtis, a major Philippine influencer and a Jollibee endorser, had an embarassing moment on ABS-CBN’s It’s Showtime on Saturday, after comedian Vice Ganda, an endorser of McDonald’s, made her say the phrase “Nice, Ganda” which is used on McDonald’s Philippines’ recent fried chicken commercials.

On the show, Curtis apologized for her slip and said, “Bad ‘yun sa akin. Sorry po. Pasensiya na po kayo, ‘di ko po sinasadya ‘yun.” (That’s bad for me. Sorry. Excuse me, I didn’t mean it.)

When Vice then teased her by saying she said nothing wrong, Curtis replied: “Ito, kapag nawalan ako ng kontrata, pasensiya na po kayo ‘di ko po sinasadya, lapse of judgement, sorry. (Hey, if I lose my contract… Excuse me, I didn’t mean it, lapse of judgement, sorry.)

“Pasensiya na po. Ikaw talaga. ‘Pag ako nawalan, bayaran mo ‘yun…kasi ‘pag siningil ako roon… sitwasyon ang pinag-uusapan natin,” she added. 

(Excuse me. Oh, you. lf I lose something, you have to pay me…if I get charged for that, that’s a possible situation we’re discussing.)

The exchange went viral and the hashtag #Jollibee, and other related hashtags, trended on Sunday. 

Curtis, with 20 million followers on Instagram, made up for her slip by posting a video of her eating Jollibee Chicken Joy, the Philippines’ leading chicken brand that is popular among children.

 “#Chickenjoyer forever! Even when I was in London shooting @theperfect magazine, this is what we chose to eat for lunch,” she said in her post. “#BidaAngSaya talaga sa @jollibee.”

On X, Curtis also appealed to netizens to “calm down,” adding that she’s still the best of friends with her Kapamilya colleague. Vice and Curtis are both handled by the same talent company, Viva Artists Agency

“Morning everyone. Guys, kalma. No need for such negative energy. Vice and I are fine. It was a lapse of judgment on both sides. At least we can move forward and be keyrfuul. Ganyan ang biriun backstage but syempre dapat iba pag on air. Kaya kalma. It’s a beautiful day. Gawin na lang #BidaAngSaya every day! HAHAHAHA!”

(Morning everyone. Guys, stay calm. No need for such negative energy. Vice and I are fine. It was a lapse of judgment on both sides. At least, we can move forward and be careful. That’s the joking backstage but it should be different on air. So, stay calm. It’s a beautiful day. Let’s just make it #BidaAngSaya every day! HAHAHA!)

Jollibee’s official X account then thanked Curtis for her move, saying “We love you Anne! We’re still best friends!”

On Sunday, Vice apologized for making Curtis say “Nice, Ganda” on the show. 

“….yes it was lapse of judgement. It was our usual ‘brandagulan’ moment na late nya narealize so nasabi nya ung tagline ng di nya namalayan. I apologized to her And pinagtawanan n lng namin. Our sisterhood will always be Nice Ganda!” Vice said. 

(…Yes it was a lapse of judgement. It was our usual ‘brandagulan’ moment and she realized belatedly so she said the tagline [Nice, Ganda] unconsciously. I apologized to her and we just laughed about it. Our sisterhood will always be Nice Ganda!)

Replying to a netizen, Vice said making such mistakes comes with the territory of being a comedian.

“At times I don’t think enough. Sa kagustuhan kong magpatawa bira ako ng bira kaya minsan sablay. Sometimes i hate myself.  Pero ganun talaga sa comedy man o sa real life talagang hit and miss. And we’ll just have to try again,” he said.

(At times, I don’t think enough. In my desire to make people laugh, I just shoot and shoot, sometimes, I miss. Sometimes, I hate myself, but that’s the reality in comedy or in real life, it’s really hit or miss. And we’ll just have to try again.)

On Monday, January 22, Vice again tried to pull a fast one on Curtis on the show, but the actress didn’t fall for it. 

When other hosts teased them about their similar hair color and beauty-contest-like gowns and urged them to do a catwalk, Vice said to Curtis, “Rampang normal lang o gusto mo may dala tayong manok?” (Do you want to do a a normal catwalk or do you want us to do it carrying [fried] chicken?)

“Careful, careful” said Curtis. “Dapat careful na tayo. (We should be careful now.)” 

Fried chicken war

McDonald’s Philippines has upped the fried chicken war with Jollibee in recent months when it tapped Vice, also a major social media influencer like Anne, and another LGBTQIA+ celebrity, Paolo Ballesteros, in an ad campaign that seeks to hit Jollibee’s popular Chicken Joy. 

Jollibee vs McDonald’s: Fried chicken war spills over to noon show

In the 1:15-minute ad time released in October 2023 for the holiday season, Vice brings out a box of Chicken McDo and shares it with Ballesteros in a McDonald’s outlet. He opens it, takes a photo of the fried chicken and says, “Nice, Ganda!”

The commercial then says that Chicken McDo is now “much bigger, much tastier, much juicier, and much crispier.”

In the history of Philippine advertising, it’s a major Philippine food commercial involving two high-profile LGBTQIA+ celebrities shown on free television. Many Philippine companies prefer to be conservative about tapping LGBTQIA+ personalities in the pre-dominantly Roman Catholic country, and it took a US brand to try this tack in a bid to shake up the competition in the fast-food industry.

Jollibee is the Philippines’ largest food chain with more than 1,200 stores nationwide and over 370 stores abroad as of December 2022. Its target segment is a family with children aged 16 and below. It had a “store network market share” of 49% with McDonald’s coming in second at 29%, and KFC at third with 14%. 

The Philippines is one of the few countries in the world where a local food company is trumping McDonald’s.

Established in 1978, publicly listed Jollibee Foods Corporation is seeking to be among the top 5 food companies in the world. – Rappler.com

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Isagani de Castro Jr.

Before he joined Rappler as senior desk editor, Isagani de Castro Jr. was longest-serving editor in chief of ABS-CBN News online. He had reported for the investigative magazine Newsbreak, Asahi Shimbun Manila, and Business Day. He has written chapters for books on politics, international relations, and civil society.