Belo Medical Group knew what it was doing when it recruited the very de rigeur advertising agency Gigil Group to develop their latest campaign. Known for its viral attention-grabbing video ads that more closely resemble arthouse shorts, the leading aesthetic clinic knew that whatever Gigil came up with would elicit strong reactions. And elicit strong reactions they did—except of course, as we all know, for all the wrong reasons.
As soon as it was posted on Belo’s social media accounts on August 10, the #PandemicEffect commercial was universally panned online. Many felt the ad was in poor taste, as the real #PandemicEffect was less about failing to feel beautiful and more on losing jobs and loved ones. Others denounced the ad’s decision to uphold outdated beauty standards and portraying women with plus-sized bodies and body hair as ugly.
In response, Belo quickly deleted the video ad in less than 24 hours. Still, the damage has been done. The overwhelmingly revolted reaction to the commercial brings about a learning opportunity: not just for the creative team involved but for all of us marketing and advertising professionals. What does the #PandemicEffect snafu teach us about effective marketing strategy and how to carefully craft a campaign message?
The science backs it up: studies find that ads that evoke pleasant feelings consistently resonate with consumers more than negative, neutral, or information-based commercials do. In fact, positive-based messaging can strike a chord in consumers and is most likely to translate into positive beliefs and attitudes towards the brand. It may be tempting to go for scare-tacting messaging in order to elicit a strong reaction, but positive ads in the long term are still the best ploy for a brand to strengthen and maintain its relevance.
Times and cultural norms have changed, and the way people talk about beauty nowadays has become more inclusive and empowering as opposed to the oppressive standards of yore. The Belo ad might have benefitted from lengthy focus group discussions or even social listening, at least just to get a handle on how their desired customers discuss beauty online.
A great example of a campaign that had a perfect handle on how women feel about beauty is Dove’s 2013 “Real Beauty Sketches” digital ad. The company ran with an empowering message on how women are more beautiful than they perceive themselves, and the results speak for themselves: the ad won the Titanium Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and achieved 4.6 billion media impressions. But more important is the campaign’s lasting impact on the brand: nowadays, when people think of Dove the brand, they equate it to inclusive beauty that empowers and encourages.
How would you have improved Belo’s #PandemicEffect video ad? Chime in the comments below!
Your very first internship doesn’t have to just be a college requirement—it can also serve as an exciting avenue to learn and (if you play your cards right) even land your first job! We spoke to two former Brevo interns (now happily employed at the agency) on how their first internship opened their eyes and impacted their career paths.
And just in case you missed it, catch PART 1 of our Brevo ex-intern testimonials here!
I’ll be honest: when I applied for an internship, Brevo was the only company who responded to my application LOL! I was hoping to intern for a small promising company that wasn’t too far from my college dorm. I didn’t want to intern for a really big agency because I heard about how cutthroat they could be.
Second: I hate a lengthy commute. I will absolutely get lost in Manila’s streets if I interned for a company that’s far away! Finally, Brevo’s Jobstreet profile said that most of their employees were young—inside, I was like “YES, MY PEOPLE!”
Brevo replied to my application really quickly. I remember getting a response three days later, and going through my interview on Friday. The following week, I started my internship.
It was a really new experience to me, having to work with people I don't know in a place I'm not familiar with. Thankfully, Brevo welcomed me and helped me get settled quickly and comfortably. It was also super chill—I never had to work overtime, and everyone was really helpful whenever I needed guidance.
Looking back, I didn’t really face any big challenges in my internship! Oh, except for one thing: THE ELEVATOR. Our old office building had extremely long lines in the morning, so I had to leave for work like an hour earlier. Queuing for the elevator sometimes took me more than 20 minutes (!!!), so I learned to pack my own lunch with me or have it delivered so I didn’t have to deal with the insane lines.
After my internship ended, Imran said he’d keep a seat warm for me, so I started working as a full-time graphic designer a month after graduating. I liked how, pretty quickly, I’ve established good friendships with my Brevo co-workers. I liked that I didn’t have to start all over again when I started working for realz. Most of all, I’m glad that Brevo cultivated a work space for me where I can truly be myself.
Brevo has grown in a lot of ways since I joined three years ago. We moved to a bigger office space that fits us all, we won more clients, welcomed more team members, and drank more booze! But one thing that hasn’t changed is Brevo’s strength—still thriving despite the pandemic. We always manage to make things work out.
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Back in my college days, I was looking for an advertising agency where I can apply as an intern. I asked my friends if they know any agencies with art intern openings, and Carissa told me about Brevo. So I submitted my portfolio and sent it out.
I soon saw how Brevo prioritized a proper work-life balance and how it fostered a chill work environment. My co-workers helped me grow as a designer, but we still managed to have a lot of fun. We watched movies after office hours, went drinking at the end of the day, and even raced around in office chairs! It was nice, and I loved every part of it.
Before, I used to struggle with my own creative process. I sometimes got stuck at the beginning. Thankfully, my co-designers shared their own creative processes and what they’d do to overcome their creative block. They’d guide me with the things I get stuck at, giving me a new insight of how I can come up with better ideas.
I really did like my Brevo internship experience. I learned so much from the other designers, so I wanted to stay here in Brevo and continue growing. On the last day of my internship, Imran asked me if I wanted to be a full-time graphic designer after my graduation. I gladly accepted. It’s been three years and I still continue to grow in Brevo as a designer and enjoy the fun!
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Newsflash: an internship is so much more than just a university requirement! For many, it’s your first taste of how the real world works. Out you go under the comfortable confines of school and org work, and in you venture into the hustle and bustle of real-life work. It’s an exciting opportunity to put the concepts and ideas you’ve learned in class into practice, as well as to network and make meaningful professional connections along the way.
Also up for grabs in the internship sweepstakes: your first post-college job? If you play your cards right, then you’ve got it! Need convincing? We speak with four Brevo interns-turned-employees about their first internships and how it has enriched their current flourishing careers.
The following interviews have been edited and condensed for clarity.
Back in June 2019, I was looking for an internship to fulfill my college requirements. Thankfully, my brother used to be co-workers with Brevo’s senior designer Gab, who shared an open call for graphic design and copy interns. This caught my brother’s attention, and not so long after, I applied.
I consider Brevo to be my introduction into the world of advertising. Before my internship, I had zero knowledge about writing copy. Most of my experience with writing had to do with making thought pieces for Young STAR or feature articles for The GUIDON. I wanted to expand my horizons and try something new.
Previously, I heard a lot of bad things about agency life, especially regarding the workload, the hours, and the horrible clients. I’m happy to say these were things I never experienced in Brevo! I saw it for myself how this agency valued proper work hours as much as they valued having fun.
This is what I loved most about my internship experience: it changed my perception of agency life and taught me a lot about what an ideal agency can be. Moreover, I loved being exposed to a group of hardworking, extremely creative, and crazy fun people!
I did face a few challenges in my internship, especially when it came to getting into the copywriter mindset. Coming in, I barely had any idea on how to write proper copy. This made me feel incompetent and a bit like an impostor at times, but I kept reminding myself that I chose to intern in Brevo to learn and hone this specific skill.
What really helped me overcome these feelings were Brevo’s Bootcamps, a series of short-but-fun tasks that really challenged me to think outside the box. Apart from that, everyone in the office was so accommodating and inspirational, and all this really helped me become the copywriter I am today.
I remember Bettina, one of my supervisors, told me that Brevo wanted to recruit me as part of the team as soon as I graduate, and I kept that in mind. After grieving my last few days of school (and my youth), I shot my shot and DM’d Carissa on Instagram to ask if there were any job openings.
A month later, I had my interview with (Brevo’s CEO) Imran, which honestly felt more like a catch-up than a job interview. Lo and behold, by August I spent my days on my desk writing copy for a leading cake company. The rest was history!
If we’re talking numbers, quite a lot has changed in Brevo since I’ve joined as an intern. I’m happy to see new faces and new talents in the team, even if it’s just through my computer screen. I’m very proud of the agency’s efforts to expand and still maintain the same warm company culture from my intern. Most especially, years later, I still love seeing my concepts and copy come to life once our artists apply their magic.
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During my junior year as a Computer Science undergrad, I was looking for a company to intern in for my practicum semester. My best friend, a previous Brevo intern, recommended the agency to me and said many nice things about their work culture. Although they didn’t really have any openings for tech-related positions, I took a chance and sent in my resume.
After my first interview with Imran, I could tell that Brevo was different from the other companies I interviewed for. During our meeting, we talked about not just the value I could bring to the Brevo team, but also what value this internship would bring me.
Thanks to the pandemic, I had to complete my internship from home. Admittedly, I was pretty disappointed at first. But after getting to know the Brevo team through my laptop screen and countless Skype messages, I felt right at home. I loved how everyone was very welcoming and fun, proving that the warm work culture I heard so much about existed beyond the four walls of a physical office.
I did face a few challenges as an intern. As I haven’t met any of my coworkers in person, I found it challenging to coordinate with everyone for my daily tasks. At the time, Brevo didn’t have a resident web developer, so I was hesitant in asking anyone for help for the longest time. Eventually though, I fell in love with learning on my own pace and terms, which made me comfortable enough to talk to my co-workers and ask how I could help them too.
Towards the end of my internship, I saw that my load for the next semester was pretty light and that I’d have an ample amount of free time. So I took my chance and asked Imran if they were open to hiring me as a part-time web developer for the next few months. Although they generally didn't hire part-timers, he told me it was something he and my other supervisors were already considering! And that’s how I got my first real job.
It didn’t take much convincing for me to believe each Brevo team member had their own unique and charming quirks. The cherry on top is really how easily we seem to work together even during the new normal. I fell in love with the company’s innate system of collaboration during the lockdown, and how they provided clients with well-thought-out, top-tier creative work. I was stuck in a technical mindset care of my course, so being surrounded with all this creativity while I practiced web dev is incredibly refreshing.
This Valentine’s Month, we’re talking romance and relationships. Let’s begin by tackling an age-old question: can you work at the same company with your significant other? Is it possible to maintain both romantic and professional relationships with your lover-slash-colleague? To find out, Jeremiah Capacillo spoke with Brevo graphic designers Carissa Lucasia and Tim Leachon, aka the agency’s resident creative power couple.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Jeremiah: Hey guys! Okay, let’s start with the basics—how did the two of you meet and fall in love?
Tim: Carissa and I were actually both batchmates and coursemates at the College of Saint Benilde, we were both then taking up Multimedia Arts.
Carissa: We weren’t close for the first few years. We just knew each other from mutual friends and classes.
T: Later on, I followed Carissa on Twitter and we started chatting online.
C: A few pizza dates later and, well, here we are.
J: Carissa, you’ve been working as a graphic designer for Brevo since 2018. Tim, you joined the team as a designer in 2020. Did the two of you have any anxieties or worries about working together?
T: Nope, no anxieties for me so far. We’re used to working with each other since college, and we bring out the best in each other. I think if anything changed, [it’s] all in a positive way.
C: I’m gonna be honest, yes I was a bit anxious. I know myself, and I know that I’m a different person when I'm in a relationship, versus when I’m at work as a creative. I was also a bit worried that our personal life might overlap with my professional life, and I might not be able to handle it well. I was also thinking, what if there was a conflict of interest? Because Tim's my boyfriend, and suddenly he joined our agency. Will there be bias, or something? So we try to keep things as professional as possible now.
J: Did you guys put any boundaries in place to clearly delineate your work life and love life? Like just to make sure that there's no overlap?
C: I told Tim before he started to minimize the PDA in our work group chat. [laughs] I know some people don't like that, and personally I also don't like PDA that much. So when we do PDA, we make it a point to keep it between ourselves.
J: So, how has your relationship changed ever since you both started working together?
T: I got to see a new side of Carissa. It’s nice to see her hard at work at an office setting, so my respect for her as a creative really grew.
C: For me, the time we spend together each day has increased significantly. I like it because for example, I no longer have to check up on Tim to see if he’s eaten lunch, stuff like that. I also love seeing the ways Tim grows, like in terms of skills and time management, etc.
J: Okay! So next question: has working together made you see your SO in a new light?
C: For me, yes. I saw how much more creative Tim could be, and I saw how easily he gets along with people. Before we worked together, I didn’t really see how he worked with his former officemates. But even back then, he already got along really well with the Brevo team. So when he joined our agency, I fully saw just how well he can get along with new people.
J: Tim, how about you?
T: Well, I saw how different Carissa’s work environment was from where I used to work, and it made me appreciate how much hard work goes into producing actual design studio work. She inspired me to work even harder, seeing that she works way better than...
C: [laughs] Than who?
T: No I mean….as compared to my previous work environment, which was super chill.
C: Ahhh, okay.
T: So comparing that to how hard Carissa has to work daily, it inspired me to be more creative and work even harder.
J: Have you guys learned anything from each other since you started working together?
C: Hmm, what have I learned from Tim? [laughs] I guess I learned some technical stuff from him. At his previous job, he used to work on animation and video editing. So now, when I work on animation, I ask him for help. He helps me with exporting stuff, hotkeys, and other technical things.
J: So, time for the million-dollar question: do you think you can work in the same office as your SO?
T: Big yes.
C: As long as you both set clear boundaries, and you’re both okay with working together.
J: Do you have any advice for couples who find themselves with the opportunity to work together in the same office?
T: Just don't mix up personal issues and work. It really affects your work process, and most likely you’ll end up not being able to focus on your tasks.
C: Very true. I'm not really the best at giving advice, but I agree with Tim—you really have to be able to separate your personal issues from your professional life. Like, you don't always have to be all work work work, or all love love love. There has to be a balance between the two. Also, enjoy the time that you have together!
Have you been resisting the urge to leave home and head to a cafe and catch up with your friends? If so, kudos for helping flatten the curve! Of course, steering clear of restaurants and pubs may be the wise choice, but it can also affect your social life. What other socially distant option do we have to see our friends but the dreaded Zoom call?
Thankfully, there are a few things we can do to spice up our con-call catch-ups without triggering workplace Zoom PTSD. Below, we list down a few activities to make video-call night with friends something to look forward to!
Missing weekend movie marathons with the gang? Or maybe you all just want to rewatch Game of Thrones together to remember what the point was? Here’s something to tide you over: Teleparty is a free Google Chrome extension that allows you to stream shows and films in sync with your friends. Available for Netflix, Disney Plus, Hulu, and HBO, it even comes with a little group chat box so you can all comment on the plot in real time.
Check out Netflix Party here.
Following in the footsteps of Monopoly (aka the ultimate friendship wrecker), Among Us is essentially a game based on deceit: the better you are at lying, the more likely you are to win. Set in a spaceship setting, the goal is to return back home to Earth with your space crew alive. The twist? There’s an alien imposter aboard your ship determined to kill off the crew—and it’s up to you and your friends to find out who among you is the traitor.
Check out Among Us here.
If Pictionary is your friend group’s go-to for game night, you might just enjoy an online game of Skribbl. Unleash your inner Picasso as you attempt to doodle a variety of words and concepts, and have your friends guess what you’re drawing. The person with the most correct guesses wins! Sounds like a piece of cake? Think again: have you ever wondered how to draw the word “forgiveness?”
Check out Skribbl here.
If you’ve been looking for a fun twist to your humdrum group trivia night, and/or have been wanting to channel your inner Alex Trebek, here’s your chance! JeopardyLabs gives you free access to a wide database of over two million Jeopardy games, with topics ranging from history, pop culture, to world capitals. The best part? You can even create your own personalized Jeopardy game—perfect for when you want to test your buddies on how well they remember your group’s inside jokes.
Check out JeopardyLabs here.
An ingenious twist to your typical drinking game: a drunk PowerPoint party. Created by four engineering students from the University of Waterloo, Drink Talk Learn’s rules are simple: Create and present a three-minute PowerPoint presentation about, well, anything. If you go over the time limit, you have to finish your drink and resume your lecture. The viral game is more than an excuse to break out the alcohol—it’s also a great way to learn new things and share your passions. And let’s face it, we might as well put those months of Zoom presentation skills to use, right?
Learn more about Drink Talk Learn here.
Despite the pandemic, your friendships can still stay strong. With these online games, enjoy quality time with your buds the fun-filled (and most importantly, socially-distant) way!
Who knew that the silver screen can sub in for your trusted career counselor? Long a favorite trope of Hollywood, office-based comedies are not only hilarious and entertaining—if you pay close enough attention, you’ll find that they’re filled with incredibly insightful lessons about surviving and thriving in the workplace.
Below, we list down a few of our favorite office movies and the career truths we’ve learned from them. Let us know your favorite picks in the comments!
Synopsis: Fresh out of university, the young and naive Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway) enters the fast-paced world of fashion magazines as an assistant to the high-powered Runway editor-in-chief Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep). As she learns how to meet Miranda’s increasingly demanding standards, Andy is forced to confront just how far she’s willing to go and what she’s willing to sacrifice to climb the career ladder.
Takeaway: You are not your job.
Underneath the chic costumes and the hilariously bitchy quips, The Devil Wears Prada is at its core a film about work-life balance. In a world where we tend to get carried away in the hustle of the rat race, sometimes it’s good to remind yourself of your personal values and the things that truly matter. Remember: your job doesn’t define your worth.
Synopsis: Aspiring television producer Becky (Rachel McAdams) finally gets her big break as the head producer of DayBreak, a struggling morning talk show. Armed with guts and a fresh perspective, she soon breathes new life into the show with millennial-forward talking points and out-of-the-box viral segments.
Takeaway: Think outside the box.
Don’t be afraid to bring new ideas to the table! To achieve true success, sometimes you have to work beyond the limits of how things are done and explore how it can be done. Feeling stuck in a career slump? Try approaching your workload from a totally different point-of-view.
Synopsis: When ambitious secretary Tess (Melanie Griffith) finds out that her boss Katherine (Sigourney Weaver) has been stealing her ingenious business ideas, she decides to take matters into her own hands. With a new business-ready makeover, she sets out to impersonate the out-of-town Katherine and land a merger that could fast-track her career.
Takeaway: Take initiative.
You know what they say: a rolling stone gathers no moss. It won’t bode well for anyone to just sit back and wait for success to come to your feet—instead, actively find ways to achieve your career goals. Of course, breaking into your boss’ apartment and helping yourself to her closet of designer clothes is totally illegal, but you get our drift.
Synopsis: Fed up with the constant stream of abuse they’re forced to put up with, financial executive Nick (Jason Bateman), dental assistant Dale (Charlie Day), and account manager Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) hire a hitman to assassinate their bosses. Hilarious hijinks ensue.
Takeaway: Find a strong support system.
We’re obviously not suggesting you attempt to murder your misbehaving boss—felonies are always an absolute no-no. But when the going gets tough, it helps to have a few friends in the office to commiserate with. Surround yourself with positive-minded coworkers who support and uplift you. They’ll come in handy the next time you flunk a presentation or miss a deadline.
Synopsis: Feeling bored and restless during retirement, 70-year-old Ben (Robert de Niro) applies as a “senior” intern to Jules (Anne Hathaway), the 30-year-old CEO of a fast-growing e-commerce company. The two soon forge a strong friendship, bonding over how they both find themselves in unexpected positions of success career-wise.
Takeaway: Don’t limit yourself.
Think you’re too young to establish your own company, or too inexperienced to land your dream job? Think again. Remember: you’re only as good as you believe you are. Start taking more chances and open yourself to opportunities you never would have considered for yourself. Sometimes, the best career boost you can get is to start believing in yourself.
As far as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to write. In my cringey pubescent years I filled countless journals with hastily scribbled fan fiction and angst-ridden recollections of the day. In the confusing turbulence of adolescence, there was one thing I was certain of: I loved telling stories.
This love for storytelling stuck when it came to picking a career path in university. Seduced by the sexy fast-paced world of Mad Men (then one of primetime TV’s hottest shows), I decided to enter advertising as a copywriter. I was enthralled by the way Don Draper would write a tight pitch, command a boardroom, and make a bunch of macho executives wimper with a tagline so filled with pathos and emotion — even if it was just to sell a line of disposable cameras. In my mind, I was confident that my destiny was to follow in Don’s footsteps.
That is, until I took my first university copywriting class. Now I never scored a bad grade in any of the class requirements, but I didn’t exactly excel either. When my works would merit a few appreciative nods and constructive criticism from my professor, he would shower others with heaps of praise and proclamations of their genius. Seeds of doubt began to take root in my head — maybe I was pursuing something I just wasn’t very good at?
So I settled for the next best thing. As an obnoxious stickler for organization, I decided I wanted to stay in advertising and become an accounts man. After all, I was notorious for planning over-detailed itineraries for family vacations. I convinced myself it was a perfect fit — pretty soon, as a student I landed an accounts internship at a big multinational ad agency. A year later, just two weeks after graduating I accepted a job offer as a junior accounts executive at another rising local ad agency.
Four months in, I knew something was off. On the surface, I had a great job: the office culture was warm and inviting, and my pay grade was more than sufficient for a fresh grad. Still, for some reason I found myself dreading coming into work every morning. I slowly began to realize that the accounts realm of client coordination and filing endless amounts of paperwork was maybe not for me.
Even then, there was one aspect of that job that I loved. On days before a client presentation, the team would reconvene and creatives would share their concepts with us accounts people. Watching them present incredibly ingenious ideas, I was spellbound — it was like seeing Don Draper work his magic in the flesh. More importantly, seeds of hope began to bloom inside me. Maybe, just maybe, I also had what it takes to become a creative?
A month later, I took a leap of faith and chose fulfillment over certainty. I quit my accounts job and found a gig as an editorial assistant for an online lifestyle publication. A year later, equipped with the publishing industry’s rigorous writing standards, I got a job at Brevo as a copywriter.
As cheesy as it sounds, often when it comes to major career decisions it pays to listen to your heart. Over the years I’ve learned that it is crucial to heed the call where you are needed, and where you feel needed. And hey, carpe diem — we only have one life to live, might as well do it happily!
This isn’t to say that upon getting the job of my dreams, I lived happily ever after. You know that saying that goes if you find a job you’ll love, you’ll never work a day in your life? Huge crock of rubbish. As with any other discipline, there was a steep learning curve that I worked hard to overcome. The big difference is now, when I come home after a long tiring day at work, I always feel proud of myself and each day’s little victories.
Landing the job of my dreams wasn’t a walk in the park, but it is where I feel truly fulfilled. I have no regrets. Through this journey, I learned the two most valuable lessons of my career to trust in your instincts, and to never let fear govern you.
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