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  2004 May Issue
   
Cover Story
The future of payment in Asia-Pacific
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Other Stories
POP culture - From visual displays to visual identity
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The future of payment in Asia-Pacific
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Refreshing discoveries off the beaten asiles at IHA 2004
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Going organic in Malaysia


 




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POP culture - From visual displays to visual identity

“POP culture” has gained popularity in the Philippines. Point-of-purchase (POP) solutions have spilled over from the malls to the streets. Tina Arceo-Dumlao gets some details from a provider of POP visuals on how the use of visuals and non-traditional advertising could help retail stores and food companies shore up their business.

Developing a quality product that consumers will be willing to buy is just one part of the retail equation. The other, equally tricky, Dpart is catching the buyers’ interest, considering the myriad choices in the marketplace.

Mass-media advertising goes a long way in developing recall, in putting the brand at the top of people’s minds.

But when it comes right down to the actual purchasing of the product, installing the right kind of POP (point-ofpurchase) visuals often tells the difference between getting the customers’ money and watching them walk away.

Companies selling consumer products, thus, are hard-pressed to look at the latest trends in this kind of A&P to get their share of the Filipinos’ hardearned budget.

Russ Alfonso, managing director of RS Concepts, a provider of POP visuals or non-traditional advertising, said that more local companies are getting hooked on the idea of investing in POP visuals, and the quality of the visuals are at par or even exceed others in
Asia.

“ Existing digital printing equipment used by the print suppliers has come down tremendously in price and has now become a commodity item with the
availability of inexpensive media, ink and the equipment from China,” Alfonso said.

“ The only difference may lie in the uniformity of the structures and the regulation on the
placement of the structures,” he added.

Companies such as Unilever and Procter & Gamble, Alfonso said, have usually been the first to embrace new trends in visuals, particularly in the personalcare category. “This is brought about by the large selection of goods available to the consumer as well as the need for the companies to maintain their brand image, particularly on the shop floor.”

Consumers, thus, will see
many of the supermarket

 

floors with pop-out ads along the shelves drawing attention to a particular company’s products.

With shelves full of products from different companies under the same category, having that extra advertising push at the shelf, such as 3D and moving displays,will usually get consumers to put that product into their shopping carts. The Robinsons supermarket and Unilever, for example, have earlier invested in gondolas and lighted displays to house
their personal-care products.

The Robinsons supermarket and Unilever, for example, have earlier invested in gondolas and lighted displays to house their personal-care products.

These innovative ads are also not limited to the shop floor. Faced with heavy rushhour
traffic that leaves many Filipinos on the road for more than three hours a day, the battlefield has widened to include the streets.

As a result, the metropolis is saturated with big and bold billboards stretching 40ft by 60ft. A variant is the use of train wraps, where whole trains are covered with photographic images of consumer products.

“An emerging practice [overseas] is also the building wrap, where whole faces of the buildings are covered with digital images. This has not been utilised in the Philippines
yet due to the high production cost,” said Alfonso.

What the Philippines does have is a range of transit ads strategically deployed in buses and trains by advertisers such as Fuji-YKL and Unilever.There are also bus handle ads, mall light boxes and coffee-sleeve ads.


The key, said Alfonso, is to get the product out into the market ahead of the competitor or where others have been unsuccessful.

Getting a retail store to stand out among similar stores lining the country’s many malls is an equally daunting challenge, so visuals play a significant differentiating role.

Having the right look and investing in eye-catching visuals helped Bayo become one of the country’s leading clothing stores. The Philippine Franchising Association has even named it the Outstanding Filipino Franchise in Retail at a recent awards night.

Passing it along the mall, one is immediately struck by its clean look and display of clothes that entice a customer to walk in.

Bayo visual merchandiser Jo-Ann Tuason explained that Bayo believes in creating the proper first impression — and that is formed when one looks at the store.

“We believe that our window display and the overall concept of the store should always reflect our line. We do extensive research on that,” said Tuason. Bayo has today become a byword for clean and classic clothes for the modern Filipina.

It is owned by Lyncor Inc, an all-Filipino firm engaged in the retail of women’s apparel and accessories. The company builds Bayo to become a testament of what a Filipino firm can do in today’s competitive retail environment.

Its goal is to penetrate the global market and promote it as a Filipino brand. Bayo is well on its way, having established 30 branches in all key shopping malls nationwide, seven of which are owned by franchisees. The company aims to continue expanding and tap the international market in the near future. Tuason said Bayo changes the look of the store, along with the major fashion seasons, which are summer, back-to-school and Christmas. These concepts are formed as early as the start of the year. A consumer is also struck by large images of Filipino icon and Broadway artist Lea Salonga in the store. Tuason said having Salonga as a celebrity endorser has truly helped the company become as big as it is today.

“Lea Salonga is an icon, so her style also reflects our belief and our style. I would describe the clothes as basic but fresh, dainty and caters to the young and people of all ages,” she said.

Food companies are not spared from the challenge of developing a fresh look for their target markets.

Local pizza-chain Greenwich Pizza Corp is one of these companies that spent millions of pesos to change its look to complement the change in its visual identity

.“Just like a good brand, our Greenwich stores had to be appropriately packaged and they must protect the image of the brand — that of youth and vitality. As we promised good food in a fun dining atmosphere, our store look, colours, fixtures and elements had to communicate all that,” Greenwich marketing director
 

Ma Rosario C Caluya explained

Greenwich used to look traditional with dark greens, white, black and shades of red, which was inviting and got customers going into its stores.

When the Jollibee group decided on the rebranding, it modified the look
but kept the green and red.

“These were colours which were only beginning to get picked up in the retail arena abroad and, in the Philippines, we were one of the first to venture into their use. In terms of lines and other graphical elements, we adopted newer forms which were not traditionally ‘fastfood’— we took what was ‘pleasing to the eye’, for example, and made it a particular ‘treatment’ for our stores’ interiors and facade,” said Caluya.

Customers are greeted by a Greenwich fascia signage with its friendly logotype and “g” box. There are portals at the doorway lined with brick blocks made from natural-stone material. These two elements say “welcome”.

Through the doorway and glass panels is the Greenwich counter with menu board of its yummy products, from pizza to some Mexican-inspired dishes such as burrito.

The lighting is just right, and the chairs are light and have sleek, clean lines. The pendant lamps have also become a favourite among Greenwich customers. These lamps, along with the murals, give a restaurant feel to a fastfood outlet.

“I think the market’s response to all this is most evident whenever we open a new Greenwich store or, for that matter, whenever we reopen a Greenwich store that has been renovated. Our customers have embraced the new look and keep coming back for more,” said Caluya.


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