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McCann: Filipinos trust brands to help as much as UN, Red Cross

Majority of Filipinos are expecting brands to play a key role in helping millions recover from Typhoon Yolanda in the coming years as much as international high-profile aid groups, a new survey from McCann Worldgroup revealed.

A whopping 96% of Filipinos aged 21 years and older said they are trusting companies to support ongoing relief efforts, putting brands alongside organizations like the Red Cross, the United Nations and the World Health Organization (97), as well as the international community (97%)

No longer do brands stand for just quality products and services, says Gino Borromeo, vice president and chief strategy officer at McCann Worldgroup Philippines, but now also as catalysts for positive change.

“The onus therefore is on brands to make themselves visible, relevant and reliable during these times. Brands should position themselves as partners not just in good times, but also in challenging times,” he adds.

A very fine line

Tragic news has a way of engaging people but Borromeo reminds brands that there is a fine line between appearing empathetic to them and appearing opportunistic.

He explains that respect and sensitivity is paramount during these tense times, prompting marketers to evaluate whether their messages will take the edge off their grief or sharpen the blade.

“Brands have to be visible and be seen as relevant but should be very cautious such that they are not seen as opportunistic.  Consumers know the stark difference between a heartfelt desire to help and an opportunistic desire to push one’s agenda during these challenging times.”

Aside from sincerity, Filipinos expect brands to offer more than just packed goods and donations.

Brands should also “inspire others to continue helping,” says, 75% of respondents, while while 73% said brands should also “actively cooperate in the Philippines’ recovery”

The devastation caused by the world’s strongest storm in recorded history also spurred interest among Filipinos to be more environmentally aware and critical of companies who fail to do so.

Brands should “be more environmentally-friendly”, according to 75% of the surveyed respondents, as well as be supportive of climate change initiatives in the Philippines and globally (70%).

“Brands are no longer just symbols of quality, of prestige, or of differentiation.  They have evolved to become catalysts of and engines for positive change. Filipinos now expect brands to play a more active role in the betterment of the lives, not just of the survivors of the typhoon but of society at large,” Raul Castro, McCann Worldgroup Philippines chairman and chief creative officer, concludes.

Below are other A majority of the Filipinos (71%) surveyed expect that the full recovery from the ill-effects of Typhoon Yolanda to last somewhere between one to five years. However, optimism abounds among the surveyed Filipinos.

84% expect that the Philippines will be better off in the next six months, with only 8% saying that the country will be worse.  Forty-nine percent (49%) of the survey respondents also said that the Philippines will be better off after it fully recovers from the effects of Typhoon Yolanda.

  • Sixty-six percent (66%) said that they have become more grateful and appreciative of the things that they now have and more ‘aware of my blessings’ (63%).
  • Sixty-four percent (64%) also said that they are more positive about life in general, with another 61% finding recourse in prayers.
  • Seven in 10 (71%) respondents expect that the full recovery from the ill-effects of Typhoon Yolanda to last somewhere between one to five years.
  • However, 84% expect that the Philippines will be better off in the next six months, with only 8% saying that the country will be worse.
  • Forty-nine percent (49%) said that the Philippines will be better off after it fully recovers from the effects of Typhoon Yolanda.

(PHOTO: UNDP)

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