A meaty tribute to parents

CONSUMERLINE - Ching M. Alano (The Philippine Star) - February 1, 2016 - 9:00am

In its latest TV commercial, McDonald’s gives us something to chew on ... and I don’t mean its burgers and other meaty offerings. It’s McDonald’s meaty tribute (Handog) to parents, our everyday unsung heroes.

I must confess I don’t really watch commercials, but this one’s got me glued to the tube, tearing up and reaching out for a box of tissue paper.

One riveting scene after another could turn your heart into a putty (or is it a burger patty?). There’s Mommy wrapping her daughter in a towel and the warmth of her embrace after a shower.  There’s Daddy taking time out to braid his daughter’s hair as he gets her ready for school. (Where’s Mommy? Is she having a bad hair day?)  There’s Daddy giving comfort to his fidgety son as the boy gets a haircut in what could be a hair-raising trip to the barber. There’s Daddy lifting his daughter to reach the goal (and maybe other goals in life) as they play basketball. There’s Mommy getting off a jeepney while carrying her sleeping child gingerly wrapped in a blanket. There’s Mommy sharing an umbrella with her little daughter who clutches on to her as they walk in the rain. (For sure, there’s Mommy to reassure her little girl she’ll never walk alone as she grows up and weathers the storms in her life.) There’s Mommy snuggling in bed with her little boy as they sleep, assuring him of her unconditional love and that she’ll always be by his side. There’s a young dad giving his little boy a piggyback ride as they enjoy a day of father-son bonding. There’s one child who’s got his daddy’s back (literally) as he walks on him for a one-of-a-kind therapeutic back massage. There’s a mommy quietly sitting beside her son, his injured right arm in a bandage with “I heart Mom” scribbled on it. There’s a little daughter cuddling up to her daddy whose face is smothered with shaving cream. Talk about shaving grace!

With the start of the new year, McDonald’s Philippines launched a timely tribute to parents — especially parents who work overseas, our hardworking OFWs, who come home for the holidays to spend precious time with their families.

 The TVC, created by the brilliant minds at Leo Burnett Manila, showcases the bittersweet everyday moments between children and parents that leave priceless memories to last a lifetime (and to think the commercial is barely five minutes long).  The soundtrack brings back a local hit song Handog (Offering) by Filipino music icon Florante that made a splash on the airwaves in the ’70s.  It was originally written by the singer as a tribute to his fans for their love and devotion, with the wish that they could be together longer, despite the certainty of time passing by. The McDonald’s film gives the song a poignant twist by having children singing the song to their parents in the soundtrack.

“McDonald’s has grown with Filipino families through the years.  The brand has been their consistent partner through various life stages.  And there is nothing more important to us than helping parents bond with their children in a family-centric society like the Philippines,” says Margot Torres, deputy managing director and executive vice president.

Just a few days after it first aired, the film  garnered over eight million views on social channels.  It’s also currently airing in major TV networks. Thousands have responded with their own little tributes to their parents through online comments.  Samples:

• “It reflects great Pinoy values — love and respect for parents,” says one mom.

• “Our parents are the greatest heroes of our lives,” comments one daughter.

• “It made me cry a lot,” says one daughter. “I remember when I was young, Dad would bring me McDo nuggets if I didn’t like the food at home. Now that I have my own condo, I will visit my parents and bring them McDo pasalubong.”

• “I remember my dad, an OFW who died in a car accident in Saudi,” says a tearful daughter. “I regret not being able to pay back for all his sacrifices and hard work.”

• “I draw strength and inspiration from that commercial,” says a single mom.

• “I wish my kids would never grow old,” says one wistful young mom.

• “Parents should spend more time with their kids,” a mom suggests.

• “Everytime my three-year-old would watch it, he’d hug me and say, ‘Mama, I love you,’” shares a mom.

• “My seven-year-old son wiped my tears while I was watching it,” says an emotional mom.

• “It touches the heart, may kurot sa puso,” says a mom who admits she cries everytime she sees the film.

• “Love ko ’to,” says one die-hard McDo fan.

A young boy tagged his mommy to go watch the McDo film. And the feedback just keeps pouring in.

“It’s gratifying to see how meaningful this has become for Filipino families with the overwhelming positive response from consumers.  This inspires us to do greater things for them with the brand,” remarks Christina Lao, marketing director.

McDonald’s has always been known for its memorable family-oriented advertising in the Philippines. In 2010, it was awarded Ad of the Decade by the Creative Guild of the Philippines for its thematic “Lolo (Grandfather)” TVC which depicted a tender moment between a grandfather with feeble memory and his teenage granddaughter inside a McDonald’s store.

Leo Burnett Manila, for its part, has consistently gained multiple local and international recognition for its work for McDonald’s and other clients. In 2015, the agency was named Boomerang Awards’ Digital Marketer of the Year by the Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines (IMMAP) and Philippine Creative Agency of the Year by Campaign Asia-Pacific.

Excuse me while I wipe a tear or two.

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