MyPhone Commercials from a Critical Lens

In the advent of new technology, the world becomes smaller each passing day – connecting each and every one of us through all means possible. Technologies from the big and progressive nations such as America, China, Japan and Korea lead the different advancements that continue to grow. But technology invented and developed by Filipinos joined the world market and proves that a Third World Country is capable of such advancement.

Dubbed as the phone that is ‘Gawang Pinoy’, MyPhone is “considered as a reputable name in the Philippine mobile phone market with its’ products customized ‘Pinoy content’ as its key differentiator’.”1 It is proud to showcase Filipino culture through including mobile features that is truly Pinoy – inserting apps for recipes, jokes and even prayers. Also from the logo itself, MyPhone promotes Filipino pride. The logo has the three stars and a sun icon enveloped in a heart which symbolizes love for nation and patriotism. It gives the consumers the feeling that if they buy their product, they become more ‘Pinoy’ and ‘maka-Pinoy’ when in fact this is only a technique in gaining profit from its target market.

Some commercials and online music videos say that MyPhone promotes nationalism and not patriotism. Nationalism and patriotism are two different concepts. Both are ideas evolved from the love for country but the latter is different such that it promotes love for nation through patronage of Filipino products and services whereas the former is the devotion to one’s own country beyond the patronage of its products and the like. Nationalism is more of the political advocacy of the nation to form a separate and independent nation of their own. It is the love for country that is associated with the desire to become the best it can be in all aspects – political, economic, cultural, etc.

Now let’s talk about the first broadcast text. The music video, which also serves as an ad for MyPhone, has all the ‘Pinoy’ elements that are part of the company’s branding. It used ethnic music with a modern twist. The song also has a rap in its second stanza. I see how the music video, despite the modern age, promote the traditional and cultural music we have in our country. But contrary to this, the lyrics of the song promotes the global mindset that Filipinos have now. “Kahit saan man magpunta, basta’t may MyPhone kang dala, ikaw ay laging online… sa MyPhone online.” It is ironic for the music to have a Pinoy approach while having the lyrics promote the ‘need’ to be online at all times. This, I think, appeals especially to those Filipinos who have relatives and loved ones overseas. Instead of tackling the problem of why Filipinos are in diaspora, MyPhone gives ‘temporary’ solutions to this. And we don’t hate them for it, we even love them for it because they help us connect and that is more important than treating the problem itself.

Moreover, the video showcases some Filipino values. In this example is the ‘panliligaw’. But there is no act of ‘harana’ featured here. In the scene, the guy then uses a MyPhone to get the girl’s mobile number. She responds positively about this and even gave her social media accounts to the guy. This shows how MyPhone helps in building relationships that even traditional Maria Clara women could not resist. Also this develops the image of MyPhone as a match-maker and love-finder for every Filipino.

Another scene in the video is the journey to different tourist sites in the country. Another is the scene where the Filipinos were able to land in the moon. Both of these, I think, contradict the idea of promoting true Filipino nationalism. It is not wrong to showcase the tourist spots in the Philippines but this tells the viewers how much we value foreign investments and tourism in our country. We give primary importance to our tourism because it is a big part of our economy. We rely so much to them that losing them will definitely lead to economic depression. This is contrary to promoting nationalism and patriotism because it still shows how we can’t be independent on ourselves as a nation. The other moon-landing scene on the other hand also supports this because we see our value as a nation by applying and appealing to the foreign standards. Our standard of greatness depends on their standards and not on our own which is I think wrong because we are a different nation thus having different standards from them.

Lastly, I would like to mention how the music video/ad features celebrities. It makes the ad more appealing to the masses especially the fandoms of these stars. I guess, it really is a part of the Philippine ads culture to use stars in promoting products whether local or foreign.

This music video/ad is very different from the second MyPhone ad I’ll be tackling. This ad entitled “MyPhone Rio: Live Life in Colors” has a different treatment from other MyPhone ads. It doesn’t include artists/celebrities and also it has no Filipino touch. It just shows the features of the phone. It also has an edgy and classic treatment from the use of classical music to the cinematic style. This, I think, is the company’s way of expanding their market to the middle and upperclasses in the society. They also try to appeal as the cheaper yet version of well-known cellular brands, iPhone and Samsung, which almost has the same features as the two. Another approach of this ad is their application of semiotics to the different colors of the phone (Rio). Red is for passion and love, White is for pure and clarity, aqua is for power and prestige, etc. This is an effective way of gaining market for it makes the consumers identify with the colors of the product.

However in a different commercial for Rio, a different treatment is used.it includes the same features – phone’s association with color and technical features of the phone but the music and video content is more lively and hip. This commercial may appeal more to the middle class and some of the lower class.

The existence of both these commercials widens the target market of MyPhone. It may say that MyPhone transcends the different social classes in the society making it more appealing to Filipinos. This might be a positive thing for MyPhone brings world-class quality phones to the masses and not only exclusive to those who could afford iPhones and Samsung smartphones.


Works Cited:

“MyPhone”. Facebook Page. Retrieved from: https://www.facebook.com/myphone/info?tab=page_info (17 November 2014).

“MyPhone Online Music Video (Full) w/ Sam Concepcion and Julie Ann San Jose”. MyPhone Offical Youtube. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afKI24gLsag (16 November 2014).

“MyPhone Rio: Live Life in Colors”. MyPhone Youtube. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTCKa-C1u70 (16 November 2014).

“MyPhone Rio: Make Your Everyday Life A Colorful One”. MyPhone Youtube.Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XP_XW49xYWE (16 November 2014).

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