Smart’s ‘priceless investment’

Fourteen years after making Filipino fans swoon over his character in the hit series “Kim Sam Soon,” South Korean superstar Hyun Bin once again turned the entertainment world upside down with yet another romantic drama “Crash Landing on You.” The worldwide success of the latter landed him an endorsement deal with the Philippines’ Smart Communications Inc. (Smart).

“It’s a priceless investment,” said Jane Basas, group head, Prepaid Mobile Marketing at Smart, during the online launch.

Smart tapped Hyun Bin’s star power to launch its latest campaign Giga Life and a new tagline: “Simple. Smart Ako.” Giga Life includes Giga Games, Giga Music, Giga Stories, Giga Video, and Giga Work offerings.

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The current global health crisis prevented the star from making an appearance at the official launch but Smart assured the public that he will be coming to the country as soon as the situation allows. It was also revealed that Hyun Bin’s one-year commitment to the telco company includes three events.

“We still have to deal with COVID-19, but he is definitely coming (to the Philippines),” said Mon Isberto, public affairs head of PLDT and Smart. “When exactly, we’re going to have to work it out.”

Hyun Bin has endorsed well-known brands and a wide variety of products from clothing to hair care to beverages in South Korea. He established his brand power by adding several PR and promotional ambassadorships to his resume. Earlier this year, he was named by Forbes as one of the Top 40 Most Powerful Stars In Korea 2020.

In 2011, Filipinos also swooned over the actor’s character in “Secret Garden,” which earned him the Daesang (Grand Prize for TV) at the 47th Baeksang Arts Awards. For this year, his Captain Ri role earned him another nomination for Best Actor at Baeksang.

It was difficult for Smart to ignore the global success of “Crash Landing on You,” which was aired in Korea’s tvN. It is still streaming on Netflix constantly making it to the Top 10 most-watched series in the country. It is now the third highest-rated Korean drama in cable television history just behind “The World of Married” and “Sky Castle.”

“We felt we just had to do it,” Smart said.

As proof of Hyun Bin’s extreme popularity especially in the Philippines, the campaign video was leaked and Smart had to release it ahead of the launch. The company said it is still looking into the matter.

New tagline

And now, as the company wades through the pandemic that is affecting the global economy, it is now looking at developing products and services specially designed for what is now the “new reality.”

As Korean content — TV series, films, and K-pop — becoming a constant in many Filipinos’ lives, the telco company enhanced the Giga campaign with tailored services across all types of consumers.

“As we reinforce our commitment to provide quality service to customers, especially now as we move forward into this new normal, we are now in a position to help people live and thrive in this changing world,” said Alfredo Panlilio, Smart president and CEO and PLDT chief revenue officer. “It is clear that we need to continue to innovate, to make the lives of our customers simpler with the amazing technology available.”

The Giga promotions are meant to address the current needs of Filipinos from work to entertainment to social media.

“We will continue to make improvements in our promise of a better infrastructure which is the backbone of our innovations and leveraging the power of technology,” Basas said. “We will expand and deepen our offerings to further maximize our digital services and help our customers pursue their passions while keeping things as simple as possible.”

Smart offers Giga Video for subscribers who want to binge-watch the latest K-dramas, online shows and series, and Giga Stories for those who love sharing their experiences with friends and loved ones on social media.

Smart also offers Giga Games for avid mobile gamers, and Giga Music for those who want their daily dose of tunes and podcasts, and Giga Work for easy access to a wide range of productivity apps to make work and school life simpler and more convenient.

Smart customers can register to Giga promos by simply dialing *123#.

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