Elections: Best thing since sliced bread

WHEN customers of a bakeshop chain buy their daily bread, they also help create a picture of how the presidential elections may play out in Cebu.

As part of the “Election 2016: Let your voice be heard. Every bread counts” campaign by San Jose Bakeshop, each loaf of sliced bread is wrapped in a special packaging that flaunts the names and faces of this year’s five presidential candidates.

“People tend to buy our (election) bread instead of buying the ordinary bread,” San Jose Bakeshop president Jojo Tiongko told Sun.Star Cebu.

He said the company launched the promotional activity for both customers and staff to have fun, and in order to be an active brand that partakes of the issues society is digesting at the moment.

#Dough30

All 25 branches of the bakeshop are participating in this promo, which runs from April 9 to May 9.

Each branch sells their sliced bread in 6 packaging varieties: Binay, Duterte, Poe, Roxas, Santiago and the regular package for undecided customers. Each loaf costs P30 and is equivalent to one vote.

The daily tally results are submitted to each branch’s supervisor, who then forwards the results to the main office.

Last April 15, seven days into their activity, the bakeshop posted the results on its Facebook page.

In the lead was Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte of PDP-Laban (41 percent), followed by Mar Roxas of the Liberal Party (16 percent), Sen. Grace Poe (12 percent), Vice President Jejomar Binay (11 percent) and Sen. Miriam Santiago (10 percent).

Passionate

About 11 percent of their customers were undecided.

Tiongko estimated a 10 percent increase in sales as a result of the activity, adding that the campaign’s goals were met. The bakeshop may release results again after 10 days.

As of press time, the promo has reached an estimated 184,000 customers.

“Our users are very passionate about their choice. And then I learned that people are really kind even if they have their stand or point of view on things. They just want to have fun and they don’t want to fight,” said Tiongko.

He recalled seeing a Facebook post of their specially marked loaves, which had more than 1,000 likes and had been shared at least 200 times.

“It’s really a viral product. It’s a viral marketing activity,” he said.

Appetite

“Funny, there are people who take a picture of the product and tag us.”

Melzen Cresencio, a cashier in San Jose Bakeshop’s Colon outlet, said she noticed that their customers often smile and exchange their views when they notice the customized packaging with the presidential candidates’ faces.

Customer Irene Carzano, 29, bought a loaf wrapped in a bag marked with Mayor Duterte’s image.

Kung kadtong lain, di nako feel kan-on ang pan (If I had bought the other packs, I probably wouldn’t want to eat the bread,)” she said.

Tiongko plans that after May 9, the bakeshop will launch a new pack that contains all the colors associated with the different presidential candidates.

“We want everyone to be reminded that we are one Philippines—not just the Visayas, Mindanao and Luzon,” he said.

“Whoever the winner is in this coming elections, we should respect and abide by what s/he wants and still preserve our humanity,” he concluded. Lorraine Mitzi Ambrad, USJ-R Mass Comm Intern

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