The other night while I was up in the wee hours of the night surfing the net for current stories (not porn sites –honestly) that would be interesting enough to read before going to bed I stumbled upon a flurry of social media frenzy over an advertisement that was creating some bad publicity for a local / Filipino clothing company.
Now, I am not the person who would seriously mind such a story considering that it may be just another publicity stunt by the agency that handled it. Over the next few hours it had actually grown into a full-blown fiasco and I was particularly interested in the issue that involved the “perfect” Filipina was of mixed heritage. You see, this is what is common knowledge in the Philippines that if one is of mixed race, half something aside from Filipino they are probably 90% better than the pure blood Filipinos (male & female) and the other 10% are probably from a bad batch in the gene pool… Early subjects in Civics and Culture or Social Studies points to Filipinos of mixed races from other Asian neighbors who came to our land and sowed their seeds with mix and match therefore there is no pure Filipino as compared with other cultures. This is not something bad, it is something that makes Filipinos unique individuals.
Here comes Bayo, which is a Filipino clothing brand that specializes in women's apparel, recently unveiled its "What's your mix?" campaign. The ad series consists of images featuring mixed heritage models. What appears to be the idea behind the campaign is the celebration of diversity by the so-called "mixing and matching" of cultures, much like one would mix and match clothes. However, some netizens point out that something may have been "lost in misinterpretation" in the process of fleshing out the concept.
for starters, most people were confused over the "heritage" or "genealogy" taglines that ran with the "What's your mix?" images. For an image featuring Filipino-Australian actress Jasmine Curtis (sister of Anne Curtis) went: "50% Australian, 50% Filipino" (Aussie-Noy) Arguably, Curtis' tagline was easy enough to grasp. But then the taglines for the other models confused people. One went: "60% African, 40% Filipino" (Afro-Noy), another read: "70% Indian, 30% Filipino" (Bombay-Noy) that got people asking questions like, "How did they come up with these numbers? Did they actually have the models' genealogy examined by experts?"
Below is the word-for-word copy of the words from the said "manifesto," with the grammar and punctuation faux pas included as it appears in the print ad:
“This is all about MIXING and MATCHING. Nationalities, moods, personalities, and of course, your fashion pieces. Call it biased, but the mixing and matching of different nationalities with Filipino blood is almost a sure formula for someone beautiful and world class. We always have that fighting chance to make it to the world arena of almost all aspects. Be it Fashion. Music. Science and Sports. Having Filipino lineage is definitely something to be proud of.
This campaign is also just about having fun creating your own look in accordance to your mood or present state of mind. Bayo strongly encourages everyone to be bold, fearless, undaunted, and unrestricted in mixing and matching their clothes. Mix tops and bottoms, dresses with pants, plain on plain, print on print, and the list can go on and on. There are no conventions and do's and dont's. Fashion now can be anything and everything
Bayo's strength has always been it's (sic) classy, basic, and timeless pieces...only now, matched with key pieces with twists and turns, accessorized like there's no tomorrow. It really transforms to edgy and even dares to be sexy! Factor in the right mood and attitude, nothing can go wrong.
We at Bayo believe that the key to your fashion is to knowing what's your mix? (sic) And lastly BUY FILIPINO."
Based on the explanatory copy alone, it's clear that the brand wanted to say and champion a lot of good causes. Unfortunately, it's not successfully conveyed which is the case why it has received predominantly baffled comments from people online. A network for instance, came out with an article on netizens being aghast over the campaign. The title of the article says it all: "Is the 'racist' Bayo advert real?"
However, the network has observed that the "explanatory copy"/"manifesto" is now nowhere to be found on the Bayo website. (However, the Yahoo! SHE staff did manage to get a screengrab of a print ad with the "explanatory copy." The image has been shared on Facebook by various users.) As of this writing, Bayo has not yet issued an official statement about the ad series. They have not posted any statements to address the issue on their Facebook page either.
Mixed and mismatched reactions
The mark of a good ad is if it gets people talking. That's certainly been accomplished here. Then again, we have to ask, "What do people really think about it?" There are those who brush it off as "harmless" or praise it for being "creative," while there are others who say it has the effect of "examining dogs' pedigrees." One thing is for sure, Bayo is going to have to fire the advertising agency and get someone to correct the shit storm it has kicked up.
Source: Yahoo! OMG