Tuesday, May 13, 2008


One of the most intriguing examples of how brand magic works was when Jollibee launched Jolly Bubbles.

I can still remember the reaction of the store managers when Toti Ferriols,our Promotions Officer, "unveiled" this novelty item that was supposed to bring in incremental sales for that quarter. It was more like a collective groan of disappointment, and if you could just read the minds of the managers they were probably saying:"What the @#!!! are these marketing guys thinking?"

Jolly Bubbles was really nothing but soap bubbles in a small plastic container decorated with pictures of the Jollibee mascots. If I recall correctly,there were 4 designs to choose from, and each one cost P20.00 for a minimum food purchase.

Hands were raised after Toti made his pitch on the promotion's sales objectives. The main concern of the managers was how could they expect to sell this thing when cheaper,"unbranded" versions (about P15 -P16) were being peddled by vendors on the sidewalks!

Needless to say,Toti had a bad day that day. But things got worse!

Within the first week of the promotion, the Jolly Bubbles were sold out, and the stores were now asking for replenishment of their stocks. However, since Marketing didn't expect the response to the promo to be this great,they had prepared only so much buffer stock of the item.

The consumers' irrational response to the promo surprised everyone..specially the doubting Thomases among the store managers who didn't believe Jolly Bubbles would sell at all! They had underestimated the power of Brand Jollibee. They did not imagine that just by printing the Jollibee Mascots on something and selling it with the name "Jollibee" would make it saleable.

Toti had the last laugh after all...but he had to first find a way to supply the stores with stocks of Jolly Bubbles.

Since then, Toti's mood became an indicator of whether a promotion was successful or not. If he was calm and cool,then the promo was a flop (i.e. sales were slow so novelty items were abundant in supply .) If he was cranky and hot-tempered,that meant the promotion was a success (i.e., sales were so good, stocks were short in supply.)

After this came the Jolly Flipwatch,where in customers really flipped...but that's another story.

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