Apr 19
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The Jollibee gang hits television

Author: Dheza Marie Aguilar
Column: Life & Entertainment

Jollibee, the smiling red big bee mascot of the biggest fast-food chain in the country, is perhaps the only local icon that is most loved by Filipino children. In fact, every one of us might have one picture taken with Jollibee, had a Kiddie Party, became a Kids Club member or took home a Kids Meal. Whatever our memories are, Jolliibee has become part of the Filipino culture for 30 years now.

"In this part of the world, Jollibee is more popular than Mickey Mouse, loved by the young and the young at heart. He has been the national symbol of happiness for the Filipino child and the everlasting symbol of Pinoy warmth," said Ernesto Tanmantiong, president of Jollibee's business unit.

According to Tanmantiong, 2008 is an exciting time to be a part of The Company as they are moving to achieve three key commitments. These include showcasing Jollibee's heritage and honoring its tradition, continuing to be globally competitive to showcase the best of the Filipinos and bringing more engaging and exciting change.

As part of their anniversary celebration, Jollibee turned the Rockwell Tent into a magical mini town for the press launch of the Jollitown, a 30- minute television show soon to air on GMA-7.

Jollibee's house was placed at the stage while a large burger laboratory, ice cream cone theater, French fries gym and pink house were assembled around, with colorful flowers, bushes and trees, while an audio visual presentation teaser plays on the big projector reminding the audience of their childhood memories of waiting for a shooting star, watching clouds of different shapes, flipping coins in the wishing well, playmates and parties eating their favorite French fries, hamburger, spaghetti and chicken.

"Children should be shown with much love and care one could give, as magical and enjoyable as Jollitown," says Gold Tantoco, Jollibee's vice president for marketing.

Making a history as the first TV program produced by a leading fast- food chain, Jollitown features Jollibee and his four friends Hetty, Popo, Twirlie and Yum interacting with the kids living at their town. On its premiere airing, exclusively shown to the media, Jollitown welcomes its young viewers to its fairy tale land with a magical well, burger and ice cream shaped clouds, talking clock, eternal rainbow and the whole Jollibee gang. Jollitown is shot entirely on a studio and was designed to match similar foreign children's program like Blues Clues and Dora the Explorer, equally informative as it is entertaining. Jollitown promises to keep brothers and sisters closer again and the family to be together on Sunday mornings.

"We would like to help model children to individuals with the right values and bring back Filipino traits, allowing kids of today to better identify with others," added Tantoco. "Jollitown also hopes to bring happiness to all the kids nationwide."

To keep up with the changing times where children are more exposed to the digital world and rapid technological change, Jollibee also reinvents its resident mascots into more dynamic characters which children can relate to. Their personality was also made fit to the goal of Jollitown to become a bright, bubbly and educational TV show.

Yum, the burger mascot, is the young science expert living in his laboratory with a huge telescope, lots of chemistry flasks for inventing sauces for his next burger meal and discovering new stars.

The sweet sundae Twirlie became the charming young actress who lives in Twirlie Theatre with an auditorium for stage plays where she performs songs and dances for her friends. Cheerleader Hetty is still full of life with her cheer moves especially playing with Popo, the athletic French fries icon who always excel in sports as well as in his academics and of course, Jollibee, always the effervescent star, who never let a minute pass without having fun in his little hometown.

According to Tantoco, Jollitown is also part of their marketing strategy and is another marketing milestone which redefines the ways to touch their consumers. And as the 14-episode weekly program becomes a regular morning pastime, Jollibee hopes that more kids and adults will enjoy the experience of being part of Jollitown.

Jollitown started airing on April 13, at 9:30 in the morning in GMA Channel 7.

Source: Manila Standard Today