BAYO: What’s Your Mix – Another Advertising Disaster?
BAYO’s Company Overview that: Bayo started out as a made-to-measure dress shop in Makati. “Bayo,” an ilonggo term which means, “dress” in English was chosen by the owners of the company since they are from Bacolod. Bayo reflects a clean, classic image. Bayo caters to women who embody the laid-back, casual lifestyle who have preference for stylish yet classic apparel.
While the company may take pride in being a Filipino clothing brand, the Filipino netizens are now offended by its “What’s Your Mix” campaign. The campaign shows half-bred models with percentages of their citizenship which caused confusion to the netizens with some people accusing the company of reflecting racist message. What was aimed to be a fashion statement became the root of confusion, endless memes and some even considered it as an advertising disaster.
I thought that whoever was behind the ad campaign is very very pleased with themselves now. It may have been bad publicity but still, it counts as publicity. The campaign has mobilized the netizens to talk about the brand (though somehow it has put them into negative light), spread the message and while most of it are negative, I think they could turn the disaster into an opportunity just like how McDonald’s turns every PR disaster to work for them. You may want to read this article from eConsultancy: McDonald’s: How to rock and roll in rough social waters.
Controversy spurs conversation, crisis can drive traffic, and hand-wringing draws a lot of attention. In most cases, pundits are very good at it.
Below are just some of the thought of some people on my network about the “What’s Your Mix?” issue:
Comment 1: Bad publicity is still publicity. And it can turn into a PR Win for them if they can address the ensuing backlash.
Comment 2: That’s the problem; it seems they are in a wait and see situation rather than addressing the issue at hand, the soonest. i personally believe that they should the soonest or else suffer great backlash just like what happend to GAP when they changed their logo..anyway, let’s see what will happen next
Comment 3: “I think the person who thought of the Bayo campaign is half-Filipino/half-German… Shepherd.” – The Pickiest Eater blog LOL!
Comment 4: Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with it, the campaign I mean. (baka ako naman awayin). I didn’t see it as racism– I see it as a celebration of race. But that’s just me.
Comment 5: I don’t see anything wrong with the ad. I mean, if she’s actually a mix of both race, you can’t say she’s ONLY 100% Pinay. Why don’t give credit to the other half? –,)
BAYO Apologizes for “What’s Your Mix?” Campaign – Official Statement
Below is a statement to address the issue, from Bayo’s vice president, Lyn Agustin.
“We, at BAYO, deeply apologize for the message our campaign — “What’s Your Mix?” — has unintentionally conveyed. We would like to express our regrets to those who have been offended or felt discriminated against.
Our company and our partners have always taken pride in being pro-Filipino as we continue to celebrate our uniqueness and achievements. We believe that being a Filipino will always make you 100% beautiful. It is unfortunate that this message got lost along the way.
We thank everyone who has shown support for our thrust of promoting Filipino beauty, talent, and creativity.
Vice President, Bayo”
Now that the company has apologized about the misunderstood campaign message, I think they could use the publicity as an opportunity to promote Filipino beauty, talent and creativity – this time in a much clearer, unoffensive way.
UPDATE: I’ve got a note from BAYO that: It was meant to be a three-part series rolled out over the next few months with the intent of celebrating nationality, heritage and personality mix.
You may view the full campaign here.