ALDUB Plateau? Response to Mr. Josiah Go

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[ALDUB Plateau Featured Image from Eat Bulaga Facebook Page.] Writing a response to Mr. Josiah go’s ALDUB Plateau article is admittedly daunting. But I know that it would be tough to do so when you are trying to be objective about points that you would like to stress out. But in this day and age where marketing has become content-reliant. I should give what I deserve is worth by using Mr. Josiah Go’s own pointers in this ALDUB Plateau article. In short, an effort to balance the artistic need to create and the entrepreneurial need to cater to customer demands.

ALDUB Plateau
Source: Eat Bulaga Facebook Page

Before reading the ALDUB Plateau article on social media and on Mr. Josiah Go’s website. I have read the printed version on Philippine Daily Inquirer’s Business Friday section. Also I am familiar with his articles years ago with Entrepreneur Philippines magazine. In other words, I know that he meant well upon writing the ALDUB Plateau article. Hence the terms that stuck to my head are “market-driven strategy” and “market-driving strategy”.

I may not like it that the reference he used in his ALDUB Plateau article is from Kantar Media. Kantar Media is not the only agency out there handling data used for measuring ratings and viewership. No mention of AGB Nielsen. Then again, the obvious focal points are the above-mentioned strategies. I may not be a marketer or an agency person. But it’s worth my 2 cents worth to analyze what he wrote. Could there be points where we can agree with at the ALDUB Plateau article?

What does he mean by mentioning “market-driven strategy” at the ALDUB Plateau article? It refers to steps taken to keep the customer-base earned happy. He may not have mentioned in the ALDUB Plateau article what particular steps kept the “customer base” (ALDUB Nation, ALDENATICS, MAINENATICS, etc.) coming back for more. It is consistent with what Joe Polizzi of the Content Marketing Institute mentioned in his Marketo webinar dated 20 August 2015 (Manila time).

ALDUB Plateau
Screenshot from the Marketo Webinar featuring excerpts from Content Inc.

I made some screenshots knowing that Pulizzi’s Marketo webinar will only be available on a limited time. He talked about establishing a base first before learning to sell anything. It was consistent to what happened to Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza through her KalyeSerye character YayaDUB. Both talents are now flooded with endorsements either as a love team or individually. It was an effort to still distinguish them from each other.

Now what does Mr. Josiah Go mean by mentioning “market-driving strategy” at the ALDUB Plateau article? It refers to efforts to win new customers. It can be done on a daily basis anyway. But right now, the main angle that first comes to mind is the Jake angle. Mr. Josiah Go may not have asked if fans need another third wheel in the story. Personally how many third wheels does the KalyeSerye need to keep the interest going? Because right now, it has started to run its course. And it is becoming a lame excuse to extend this trope called “Tamang Panahon” (Right Time). 2 aborted weddings and the threat of emotional cheating and you’re still not in a relationship? You’re stretching yourselves too thin.

Mr. Josiah Go could have used data other than the Kantar Media-provided information to emphasize the inconvenient truth behind the ALDUB Plateau. Data mentioned in the ALDUB Plateau article refer to the months of November and December in the year 2015. In other words, post-Philippine Arena era. Some casual fans were like “Alden and Divina a.k.a. YayaDUB have finally been allowed to see each. Now I can move on with my life.” That is the quickest explanation behind the drop.

ALDUB Plateau
Screenshot from Inquirer Business

Ratings are not yet that low. But the ads keep on coming as Mr. Josiah Go’s article about the ALDUB Plateau are published in print and online through Philippine Daily Inquirer and his website affiliated with his agency. So the ALDUB Plateau is not that bad as he claims it to be. I disagree though that the mystique surrounding the character Divina Ursula Bocbocoba Smash has diminished simply because the Tuviera Empire through Eat Bulaga has started packaging Maine Mendoza as a celebrity. If fans viewed YayaDUB talking as a good thing, it meant progress in terms of character development. Cliche as it may seem, it was the literal equivalent of finding her voice in a crazy world.

Maine Mendoza finally being given hosting duties is part of her evolution as a talent in Eat Bulaga. It would be unfair for Mr. Josiah Go to blame the ALDUB Plateau on the loss of the cloud of mystery surrounding the actress playing YayaDUB. Fans are happy to see her develop new talents apart from the DUBsmashing skills that she has mastered on her own. Besides, to rephrase what Ms. Jenny Ferre once said, what good is trending if there are no ratings?

When Mr. Josiah Go then said “All these things simply please the existing fans”, so what? Several actors and actresses have come and go and they have never established a fan base as massive as that of ALDUB. Why worry about viewers that have moved on from being fans of ALDUB when there is already a loyal base that would keep the fire burning? The loyal fans that were mentioned at the ALDUB Plateau article were, without them realizing it, advocates of the ALDUB fandom. Then again, the ALDUB Plateau chose to focus on what Eat Bulaga should be doing instead.

ALDUB Plateau
Screenshot by @TheFilipinoSpec

The ALDUB Plateau article is more about business and less about the creativity involved in running a successful segment like the KalyeSerye. This is why he mentioned on another point at the ALDUB Plateau article. “The problem with that is that it may become a dissatisfier if you remove or change it”. This might slightly explain why sometimes the story tends to focus more on YayaDUB. How can the story move forward if Alden’s commitments outside Eat Bulaga cause him to be absent on several episodes? That is where Mr. Josiah Go’s dissatisfier claim sets in.

The other dissatisfier is the presence of Jake. [Yes. I can see that having 2 Jakes in the same class that Divina attends felt like an effort to appease the once livid fan base.] Alden is not around. And the angle gets shoved further into the audience before Alden leaves for Dubai. As much as fans didn’t want to over-analyze things that would further feed their collective neuroses, it really ended looking like the attempted change that ended up becoming a dissatisfier in the KalyeSerye. It is commendable for the writing team of Ms. Jenny Ferre to shake things up to further buffer the ALDUB Plateau. But it shook things up in the wrong direction.

Surely, some requests were granted to spice up the story. Like giving Alden Richards a fictional grandmother because it’s always YayaDUB having her folks interfere in the love story. Also, some fans suggested giving ALDUB a third wheel too after seeing how cute Alden looked like whenever he’s jealous. He got jealous of Dr. Tan-Ning, of Bossing Vic Sotto’s son Vico and of Jake before it was revealed that Divina had 2 classmates named Jake. But what went wrong in that angle that slightly worsened the ALDUB Plateau? Divina’s reaction every time Jake called as opposed to when Alden called at the ALDUB 25th Weeksary episode.

ALDUB Plateau
Screenshot from @TheFilipinoSpec

I understand Eat Bulaga’s need to defend Maine Mendoza by giving her some acting challenges through the Jake angle. But this is not the change that the ALDUB fan base needed. The market-driving strategy, if we are going to analyze this business-wise, is not working.

Not because a third wheel is the quickest way to get the fans riling up, it will work the way they envisioned it. No. It even alienated some fans that still believed in forever. And it struck a raw nerve among overseas Filipino workers too. Most of them have been working hard to earn for their family’s future only for their spouses to start looking around. Or so their paranoia tells them. Furthermore, it disrupted the character development of Divina. It fueled the ALDUB Plateau.

Before the ALDUB Plateau article was published. Lola Nidora delivered a sermon to the disillusioned fans. It may have turned her into Ms. Jenny Ferre’s mouthpiece. But the frustration with some fans is obvious. Is that an acceptable excuse for snapping at the fan base? Of course not. But it seems like Mr. Josiah Go has found the best answer against that sermon. “Innovation is about two elements – offering something new, but being commercially successful.”

ALDUB Plateau
Screenshot from Inquirer Business

In short, know how to fit your creativity with what the fans wanted and keep the consistency. The sitcom potential of ALDUB was already proven with episodes like the ALDUB Bagong Simula and the ALDUB Pagbangon episodes. The teleserye elements of a villain, a conflict and a breath-taking cliffhanger at the end of every episode is still essential to keep the market’s interest up. At the same time, it doesn’t have to imitate reality a little too closely. What does the market want? Escapist entertainment.

The ALDUB Plateau can still be thwarted as long as the crew behind the phenomenal KalyeSerye are reminded why people still watch Eat Bulaga. Despite the elitist view on Eat Bulaga as one of the reasons behind the “dumbing down” of the masses, people still watch it. They need a respite from the horrible reality called life. That if forever still existed, at least it should stay in the stories that unfold right before our eyes. And no other quote had ever been more appropriate now, than from Professor Snape himself, Alan Rickman. That interview he gave to IFC.com produced one of the best quotes behind the need for stories.

ALDUB Plateau
Quote taken from IFC.com’s Interview with Alan Rickman

I may not be a marketer like Mr. Josiah Go. But my interests are also on art and marketing. While Mr. Josiah Go’s article addressed more of the business side of the cause of the ALDUB Plateau. I had to try and balance the artistic need to create and the marketing need to keep the customer base happy. 41 million tweets are still 41 million tweets after all. 6.2 million vs. 2.6 million could have been more believable if Mr. Josiah Go did not rely on Kantar Media alone.

What innovations are in store for the phenomenal KalyeSerye after Mr. Josiah Go’s ALDUB Plateau article? Tune in to Eat Bulaga. Monday to Saturday at noontime. Like their official Facebook page to catch the Kalyeserye episode replays. And while you’re at it, check out Joe Pulizzi’s books “Content Inc: How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses” and “Epic Content Marketing: How To Tell A Different Story, Break Through The Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less” by clicking on the attached links.

Ever realized how difficult it can get to write stories? It’s still the selling point of various entertainment programs like Eat Bulaga after all. And the ALDUB Plateau won’t be long. How? The best way is by keeping tab of our episode recaps as posted on our Facebook and Twitter accounts. You should be following us on both accounts now. We’d be expecting you then.