My Controversial Bayo What's Your Mix Ad
When my Bayo ad came out, I was ecstatic. I was excited to see myself on yet another billboard. I also believed the campaign is really something and that people would take notice. And the people did take notice, but not how I intended. The ad earned the ire of the majority of the Filipino population to say the least. Actually, when my photo came out, I was shocked as well. They listed me as 80% Chinese and 20% Filipino. I’d like to think that they made a mistake and that they should have made me 20% Chinese instead, but it’s too late. It was out all over the metro. It even made national news and the ad was bashed by so many Filipinos. To think I’m not even Chinese. I do have a bit of Chinese blood in me and even Portuguese but I think it got diluted already.
My poor short-lived Bayo ad. I remember that about two days before I was leaving to model in Singapore, my ad came out. I saw it on C-5 which is very fortunate coz I live near the area. It was good that I was able to take a photo of my billboard before I left. Then about a day or two after arriving in Singapore, there was all this hullabaloo back home about my Bayo ad. Then I went online then BOOM! It was all over the news. Talk about bad publicity. In less than a week, all my ads were pulled out. Actually, when I went online to the Bayo website and read their statement about mixing and matching, I noticed something is not quite right. I think what really did it for them was the sentence, “Call it biased, but the mixing and matching of different nationalities with Filipino blood is almost a sure formula for someone beautiful and world-class.” When I read that part, I knew it would earn the ire of many Filipinos. And true enough, it did. For me, the photos are not really offensive but the explanation on their website can be. It is open for misunderstanding and miscommunication.
Just my two cents regarding my ad, I do not understand why people are so offended by it. I do not even understand why they call it as racism. I do agree that the concept was not executed properly especially coupled with their explanation at their website. However, there are always two sides to every story. It is just what you choose to believe.
Perspective 1: The ad is saying that whatever your nationality is, if you have Filipino blood, you’re beautiful. So whether you’re 90% American and 10% Filipino only, what the ad is saying is that even if you have a bit of Filipino blood, it’s saying something. You’re 100% Filipino to the rest of us.
Perspective 2: The ad is saying that mix race is beautiful.
So I would like to believe Perspective 1. Unfortunately, however, majority of the people see only Perspective 2. This is coming from a nation that idolize half-breed celebrities. Pardon me, but I am overwhelmed by the hypocrisy. Why are Anne Curtis, Georgina Wilson, Sam Milby, Bea Alonzo, Kim Chiu, Gerald Anderson and Xian Lim popular? The list is endless. I could go on and on. For the rest of us, these celebrities are 100% Filipino already even if we know that they are mixed-blood. What about all the rest of the actors/actresses in the Philippines? I am sure that majority of them are not 100% Filipino. Is it so wrong to capitalize on the Filipino nation and see it as a multicultural and diverse people?
If you analyze the ads closely, Bayo chose the “minority” races: Chinese, Indian and African. We have to admit it, these 3 races are not by any means “popular” races. But Bayo chose to showcase these ethnicities. They could always choose a Korean (due to the influx of Koreanovelas), American or French. For me, that’s at least saying something. Bayo is not by any means saying that being 100% Filipino is ugly. They are just matching it with their campaign of mixing and matching clothes.
It is so sad that a supposedly great concept was flushed down the drain. Now if you would take a second and click on the following link, you will see that the Bayo ad pales in comparison to these outright offensive ads: http://designyoutrust.com/2011/04/best-banned-advertisements/