Jollibee: A viral love story in the Philippines

Jollibee, dubbed the McDonald’s of Asia, has been around for over 30 years and can contribute their steady growth to localizing their menu to suit the local palate. Anthony Bourdain calls Jollibee, ‘the wackiest, jolliest place on earth’.

The fast food chain’s brand campaigns really started gaining traction last year in 2016. From their first video ad released in 2011 Jollibee has started focusing heavily on digital marketing as opposed to traditional marketing, cutting advertising costs at the same time. As online ad spending and activity is increasing and only expected to rise from here, it is apparent that Jollibee places strong emphasis on its online following and sees continuous growth on their Facebook page.

Cat Triviño, Jollibee’s brand PR and engagement manager, understands what drives user engagement: “The #KwentongJollibee campaign is a series of online videos about the story of the Filipino, highlighting life’s challenges, victories, and joys—and their own unique love story with Jollibee.”


The Videos

Vow” is a tribute to unrequited love. The story pays homage to the people who continue to love without expecting to be loved in return. It tells the story of how love can take on different forms.

Date” explores the grim realities of life  and death, but showcases the beauty of lasting love. It shows the everlasting love, beyond death, between a couple and the love they have for their son.

Crush” resonates with the hopeless romantic in us. It follows the story of a love that prevails despite the odds, that life has a way of bringing people together.



These videos gathered a total of more than 1 million shares on Facebook, and a combined total of almost 5 million views on YouTube. It became hugely viral that even foreign YouTubers who have never even heard about Jollibee took the time to watch it, to the point that even their reactions became viral.

Each of these webisodes, despite being only two and a half minutes long, tells a compelling story and boasts artful cinematography. It was well thought of, easy to watch, and each had a heart-wrenching plot twist that got people talking. Most of all, it was relatable.

In this part of the world we enjoy touching drama. Despite being known as really hospitable people, typical Filipino TV consists of romantic portrayals of typical love story formulas. “Hugot”, a term that Filipinos coined that literally means “pulling out”, is really popular in the Philippines. When people say the word “hugot”, they usually pull out something emotional from the bag. Jollibee’s videos spiraled into memes that contained a lot of “hugot lines”, nudging more people to watch the video and share their own feelings about the web series. It was a domino effect, and it did not matter that people were sharing a restaurant ad.

They felt they were sharing the stories of their lives.

These videos were posted on Facebook right before Valentine’s day. It was the perfect content on the perfect platform during the perfect time. The whole campaign was planned to elicit reactions from netizens, and reactions they got indeed.



Typical content that make its rounds in the Filipino social media sphere are humorous memes, travel-related, relationship-related, or government-related posts. The United States has a strong influence on the Philippines, and western media is the local norm. The Philippines, dubbed as ‘the social media capital of the world‘, is exposed to a myriad of content. Filipinos spend a daily average of 4 hours and 17 minutes on social media.

Most of the interaction on Jollibee’s Facebook videos came from Filipino fans all around the world. The comments section of the videos were flooded with mixed emotions. However, one thing was certain – people were moved. Despite Jollibee being a fast food brand, the audience that the videos targeted were pretty broad. People from all walks of life were abuzz with the videos and they brought people together across social platforms.


Photographs on this page are being used for editorial purposes only



Anthony Bourdain

Cat Triviño, Jollibee