The Secret of Magnum’s success

The secret of Magnum’s success in the Philippines doesn’t lie solely on the velvety, smooth and creamy ice cream coated with a thick layer of cracking real Belgian chocolate.
A lot of it has to do with its selection of Magnum ambassadors, who have 1.8 million Twitter followers among the six of them.
Though the total may be 2/3 of Anne Curtis Smith’s current following, the number is still significant. For as soon as the ambassadors got the go signal, they began a Twitter hashtag that immediately trended.
Soon, followers all over the country were rushing to their nearest convenience stores to buy one or all three flavors—Classic, Almond, and Chocolate Truffle.
Magnum Ice Cream - Classic - Almond - Chocolate Truffle

Eager tasters photographed their loot, tweeted it, and posted pictures of themselves on Facebook with the ice cream bar. While thousands joined in the bandwagon, some were annoyed with the trending of what they called “the social climber’s ice cream.”

Magnum

Led by main endorser Solenn Heussaff (a.k.a. the triple threat of singing, acting and painting), the ambassadors were composed of her brother, food blogger Erwan Heussaff (a.k.a. main squeeze of Manila’s darling Anne Curtis), celebrity stylist Liz Uy, socialite and hostess with the mostest Tessa Prieto Valdes, fashion designer Rajo Laurel, and creative consultant Raymond Gutierrez.

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L-R: Erwann Heussaff, Liz Uy, Raymond Gutierrez, Solenn Heusaff, Rajo Laurel, Tessa Valdes

Last March 14, 2012, all that tweeting and ice cream hoarding led to a huge VIP party staged by Robby Carmona and SAGA Events at Whitespace.
After a nice dinner at Mangetsu on Jupiter Street, my friends and I headed over to Pasong Tamo extension, which was unusually slowed down by traffic. After all the crowd that attended was estimated between 700-800 guests.
A massive letter M greeted us at the driveway, which had, on the left, the longest red carpet and step and repeat (photo wall) known to Manila.

Magnum launch

Magnum launch

To the right, tons of photographers, cameramen and lenses waiting for guests to arrive.

Magnum launch

The first guest I spotted was ABS-CBN President Charo Santos-Concio, whom I never see in product launches, so my impression was, woah, this is HUGE.

Charo Santos Concio

Not wishing to be photographed, my friends and I slipped behind the photographers and watched the people enter from the sideline. (We also turned down an opportunity to be photographed at the throne.)
On the red carpet: Magnum Global Team (L-R) Jessica O’Donell, Sophie Galvani, Mick Van Ettinger, May Suenikom, Vanessa Caralps

Magnum Global Team: Standing from L: Jessica O’Donell, Sophie Galvani, Vanessa Caralps; Seated: Mick Van Ettinger, May Suenikom

Divine Lee and Victor Basa

Divine Lee and Victor Basa

Meagan Young

Megan Young

Lauren Young

Lauren Young

Ces Olondriz, Nicole Andersson and Xeng Zulueta

Ces Olondriz, Nicole Andersson and Xeng Zulueta

Pia Magalona and Pia Guanio

Pia Magalona and Pia Guanio

Kim Chiu

Kim Chiu

Marco Lobregat

Marco Lobregat

Bianca Gonzalez and Magnum Brand Manager Jean Madrid

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Unilever-RFM CEO & Managing Director John Concepcion with Tessa Prieto-Valdes and Peachy Concepcion

Unilever-RFM Chairman and Managing Director John Concepcion, Tessa Prieto-Valdes and Peachy Concepcion

When the five brand ambassadors arrived in gray Jaguars, pandemonium ensued—among photographers, that is. That was our cue to enter the party venue, which was wrapped in video screens.
We watched as they projected Solenn Heussaff arriving in a hot red Ferrari driven by Autostrada Motore Inc.’s Executive Director, Marc Soong.

Magnum launch

Magnum launch

The Techy Romantics warmed up the party before TV commercials were screened and the ambassadors individually introduced onstage, Robby Carmona-style.

Rajo Laurel and models Olivia and Marie Ann Umali
Rajo Laurel with models Olivia and Marie Ann Umali

Models came out in black tie opening bars of Magnum

Lance Howard and models

Then a video featuring Solenn Heussaff

She finally emerged singing with backup dancers as trays of Magnum ice cream were served to guests.

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When German DJ Kid Fresh started to play his set, that was our cue to go home and leave the dancing to the youngsters. That was 10:30 PM.
Finally, this video by Rappler.com captures the mood.

Magnum Ice Cream is a collaboration between Unilever and RFM, mother company of local dairy giant Selecta. Through its many years in the Philippine market, Selecta Ica Cream has consistently been a major industry player—a position that will certainly be cemented with this major launch.

http://www.magnum.com.ph/

Meet my BlackBerry’s BFF

So I finally found out who gave me the MILI charger I love so much—it was a gift from Bridges PR.
So grateful I was for this useful present, I wrote about here.

MiLi + BlackBerry

After raving about it, the importer of MILI products sent me more swag: a PowerStar charger, a Native Union video memo pad, and another MILI, which my husband is now using :)

Swag

My favorite thing is the Power Star, which fully charges my BlackBerry when the battery is drained. It’s more powerful than the MILI, which only powers maybe a quarter of my phone’s battery.

power star_BB

It looks like a black iPhone (only smaller), has two built in adaptors—one to recharge through USB; the other a micro-USB to power your phone. At the moment, the Power Star is only a micro-USB charger, so it only works for Blackberry, HTC, Samsung.

power star

What I don’t like about it is it’s incredibly difficult to pull out the USB plug—it’s a bit tight. Other than that, I LOVE the gadget. It has gotten me out of many panic attacks when my BlackBerry becomes low batt.
Reasonably priced at Php 1,795 PowerStar is available at SM Department Store, Rustan’s Department Store and gadget stores such as Mobile 1, Gamestop, Planet Gadgets, Globotel, and more.
For online orders, go to gadgeteeronline.multiply.com
For product inquiries, email: mili.philippines@gmail.com or contact (0917) 575-4812.

http://miliphil.com/

Harvard Spring is on March 27, 2012

This March 27, 2012, the Harvard Club of the Philippines (HCP), an 800-member strong body, will be celebrating Harvard Spring, the club’s kick-off event for 2012.
Harvard Spring is meant to commemorate the role of Harvard men and women in effecting profound changes in Philippine society through governance, law, media, business and other disciplines. All Harvard Alumni are invited to join in a timely and insightful exchange of ideas on the past, present and future of the Philippines.
Guest speakers will include Mr. Oscar M. Lopez, Chairman Emeritus of Lopez Holdings Corp. and Hon. Florencio B. Abad, Secretary of the Philippine Department of Budget and Management.
Admission is FREE for all Harvard alumni. To confirm your attendance or for sponsorship opportunities, email the Executive Director of The Harvard Club of the Philippines, at dychiaolaw@gmail.com

Harvard Spring Poster (3_19_12)

Does Jimmy deserve persona non grata?

Persona non grata (Latinpluralpersonae non gratae), literally meaning “an unwelcome person”, is a legal term used in diplomacy that indicates a proscription against a person entering the country.
In non-diplomatic usage, referring to someone as persona non grata is to say that he or she is ostracized. Such a person is for all intents and purposes culturally banished, so as to be figuratively nonexistent. (Wiki)

Jimmy

After I blogged about Jimmy Sieczka’s 20 things he dislikes about the Philippines, I asked Teddyboy Locsin Jr. his thoughts on Twitter:

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So now the guy apparently is willing to apologize for his video, following a Cebu City councilor’s move to declare him persona non grata. Your thoughts?

Jimmy

Cebu-based American willing to apologize over ‘offensive’ viral video
By Jovan Cerda, Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – James Sieczka, the Cebu-based independent filmmaker behind the infamous video titled “20 Reasons Why I Dislike the Philippines,” said he is willing to apologize following a Cebu City councilor’s move to declare him persona non grata.
The video, uploaded two weeks ago at channelfix.com, made its way through video-sharing site Youtube and went viral in online social networks Facebook and Twitter.
It showed the American’s complaints about Cebu City, including, among others, filthy restrooms, loitering child beggars and a giant hole in the street covered by a metal drum.
Sieczka said in the video that he has been living in the Philippines for more than three years now.
In response, city councilor Sisinio Andales said he is filing a resolution to declare Sieczka persona non grata. Persona non grata is a term indicating that a person is no longer welcome in a particular area.
Read Sieczka’s statement below which he sent to philstar.com.

The following is my official statement regarding the “20 Reasons” video that I hosted:

I, James Sieczka, have considered the Philippines as my second country and Cebu as my second home.
The subject video that was aired was made in good faith and as a legitimate and reasonable exercise of my right, “freedom of expression.”
There was no intention to scrutinize the city nor the people that governs the same. It’s an honest observation and opinion that I myself think needs to be worked on not just specifically in Cebu. These are little things that we see around us as normal people and from the eyes of an ordinary man like me.
But from all that’s happening and me just trying to exercise my freedom of speech, I am very open and amenable for an apology, on the manner and means that I exercise my right, if the need presents itself.
As a sign of my compliance for the duly authorized authority and rule of law, I am not ashamed to apologize to people that I offended in the process with the hope that you would reconsider in declaring me “persona non grata.”

Sincerely,
James Sieczka