How do you create relevance for a search-based brand in a social-crazy country like the Philippines? Google Philippines and its partners taught us several things about creating impactful – and meaningful – relevance with its #GoogleMissKoNa campaign.
Google Philippines is highly attuned to one of the most critical issues in the country: the large percentage of the workforce who ply their trade abroad, Philippine citizens who have come to be known as “OFWs” (overseas Filipino workers). I am, in fact, a child of an OFW, and the OFW phenomena is something quite unique to this market.
How then could Google make a difference to this demographic, a difference that must not only be impactful, but meaningful as well?
Celebrate them as heroes. Associating the country’s National Heroes Day with OFWs is nothing new; this is a trend that occurs virtually every year, and rightly so. Google’s campaign, however, celebrates the feelings and sentiments the OFW’s family members and loved ones who are in the country – not outside.
Give their loved ones a channel for expression. It’s easy enough to get OFWs to express what they miss about the country. It’s another to get their family members and loved ones to express what THEY miss doing with their loved ones who are now abroad. The #GoogleMissKoNa campaign connected these family members together by getting them to reminisce experiences, habits, and other things they used to do as family or friends.
Partner with the most relevant brand ambassadors. Google could have done what every other major brand would: hire the most expensive celebrity endorses.
The tech giant did the opposite instead, and partnered with musicians who could personally relate with the message of the campaign. Having musicians and a YouTube star was a no-brainer choice; music is one of the most effective storytelling medium, especially in the Philippines.
Write content together. Rather than just have the official partners whip up a song, Google ensured that everyone had a chance to contribute to it. The musicians spread the word on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – and received thousands of lyrics submissions, in the form of what these Filipinos miss experiencing most with their loved ones who are now abroad. The song is virtually completely made up of crowdsourced contributions!
Have a clear purpose why. The campaign wasn’t created for the frills and thrills of it. Google Philippines, in its on-going support of the Blas Ople Policy Centre and Training Institute, donated PHP 1 million (a little over USD 21,000), for the participation the #GoogleMissKoNa campaign received. The money will be used to assist the Blas Ople Centre’s efforts to build halfway houses for OFWs in need. As Filipinos were made aware of this cause, the spirits of giving and kindness kicked in.
Present the results in a fun, interactive way. With thousands of possible lyrics to sift through, the partner musicians and Google completed the song, and its accompanying music video. Taking advantage of YouTube’s 360 Video format, the #GoogleMissKoNa Song is the first 360-degree interactive video to be made in the Philippines