Ligo Sardines’ Latest Online Advert is the Not-So-Subtle Social Commentary We Never Knew We Needed

Brand & Marketing

The sense of uncertainty brought by the crippling effects of the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic and the cloud of inadequacy that seemingly shrouds the national government to enact concrete and comprehensive action plans in addressing the public’s needs have propelled many to express discontent and dismay on the way the crisis is being handled by those in power, particularly the commander-in-chief who appears to drive a rather tentative ship.

Close to a week following its initial declaration of a Metro Manila-wide community quarantine on March 15, which eventually elevated to a Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine, social media was then swept with comments of fears and unease after the Duterte administration, Sunday afternoon, called for a special session, for Congress the following day, asking to grant the President emergency powers to “finally act” on the crisis–provisions of which include granting authority to President Duterte to “temporarily take over or direct the operation of any privately-owned public utility or business on the account of public interest, including but not limited to hotels, public transportation, and telecommunications entities.”

Public ire, as is expected, followed suit, with many questioning this rather autocratic declaration, asking for clear, laid out plans for people to understand and follow rather than a call for more power, when smaller units of government have already used whatever resources and powers they already have to help those in need.

One brand, however, cleverly used up all their creative juices to make a biting commentary on this national issue. Homegrown sardine brand, Ligo, recently shared a minimalist but effective image that indirectly takes a swipe at this call for emergency power. The online ad banners the brand’s easy open can that does not require “special powers” to open and consume.

FUN FACT: Our products are made with easy open lids for your convenience!

Posted by Ligo Sardines (Philippines) on Sunday, March 22, 2020

Relating it to the current socio-political climate, the Internet quickly lauded the brand’s bold perspective. This came a day after the brand also announced via their social media channels that they will be reallocating the rest of their 2020 marketing and advertising budget to help those deeply affected by the crisis–which meant added points for the brand among the online community.

In 2019, Ligo commemorated its 65 years of strong presence in the Philippine market, where CEO and President Gregory Tung Jr. continues to take pride in the brand’s history and legacy from its humble beginnings in 1954, at the same time ushering in a new age of the brand with its new generation of leaders, Tung brothers (pictured below from left), Macky, Vice President for Advertising and Promotion; Mark, Vice President for Sales and Marketing; and Mikko, Vice President for Production.

Image taken at the Ligo 65th Anniversary event. July, 2019.

Related: Ligo Sardines Marks 65 Years of Industry Dominance as a Filipino ‘Klasik’

In his presentation, Macky Tung, VP for Advertising and Promotion, talked in great lengths about appealing to a wider scope of consumers, especially the younger sector with their new, out-of-the-box flavors and advertising campaigns.

Image taken at the Ligo 65th Anniversary event. July, 2019.