February 10, 2017

#KwentongJollibee Valentine Series: A Brief Analysis

It's been barely 36 hours since the release of the first installment of this year's Kwentong Jollibee Valentine series and it continues to be the viral phenomenon that broke Philippine internet. 

How did it become such a big hit? Why did it gain so much traction? 

Read on for my thoughts and initial analysis.


Let me get this out of the way early: the story and the story telling was fantastic. A piece of content does not go viral organically unless these two elements are present. Much has been said about the story being very similar to another material made by another fast food chain, and I think Carlo Ople hit it right on the head when he explained it to Adobo Magazine

I'm not a director, copywriter or videographer but as a regular person, I thought the short film was executed well. So let's all agree that the story and execution was great okay?

Now, moving on, great execution of a great story is often not enough to create the kind of virality that this series was able to achieve. 

So what else was working in Jollibee's favor?


The first video was released February 9, five days before Valentine's Day. Not too early as to be too far away from the annual day of love but early enough to avoid the likely flood of other possible content pieces being released for Valentine's.

The timing of releases was also fantastic. The first video was released only a few hours before the second video. People got hooked and got an almost immediate second fix. 

In between the wait for what many assumed would be the last episode of a trilogy (I mean everything comes in three's right?), people started rediscovering older Jollibee short films. The hype just continued to build and everyone had Jollibee on their news feeds for at least 24 hours.


Marketers know that organic reach on Facebook is practically dead and that boosting branded content is the only way to get the reach we desire. The downside is that users know when something is boosted. It makes it look like a piece of advertising and it makes it less likely for people to share it on their feed.

Jollibee left this piece of content unboosted, at least for the first 12-18 hours. This was a risk that paid off wildly for Jollibee. It was discovered, shared, re-shared and the rest is, as they say, history.

Brand Love

Filipinos love Jollibee. It's a brand that we all associate with. Not just because we grew up on it, but because Jollibee is a brand that is quintessentially Filipino.

It makes is easier for us to share what was effectively a piece of advertising. Very few brands can get away with this and Jollibee is probably one of the few that can.  

A Little Bit of Luck?

Even with all of the above, maybe a little bit of luck also played a part. Social media cannot be controlled or manipulated. A brief lull between people talking about local politics, foreign politics (more Trump anyone?) and Miss Universe created a small vacuum that was filled very aptly by Jollibee.

Call it luck, call it extreme planning and preparation. I think very few people could have predicted that this would become the phenomenon that it became. A round of congratulations to everyone who worked on this campaign to make it a success!

The success of this short film series is a lesson we marketers can all learn from. 

The confluence of having a great story, great execution, great timing, brand love, hard work and a little bit of luck.

Now, let's all get back to work to create the next big thing shall we?