From The Evangelists: Mike Villa-Real of Philippine Veterans Bank

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It goes without saying that people gravitate towards nostalgia. In fact, this attraction to the past is what marketing professionals bank on when creating campaigns for their brands, focusing on certain generations of customers they want to tap into. It’s this personal connection that Mike Villa-Real believes makes a marketing campaign successful.

Some of Villa-Real’s responsibilities as the Philippine Veterans Bank’s Vice President are overseeing product marketing support, facilitating media relations, and managing advertising and corporate reputation. In his 22 years of experience in the banking sector, spending much of it in PVB, one of the significant things he picked up on is the importance of establishing a deep connection between the brand and its target market. For him, it isn’t enough to just promote a product or service.

“For a communication campaign to be successful, it has to connect to the heart more than just selling the idea or convincing a person to buy your product,” he said.

One of the ways the Villa-Real is able to establish this connection between the bank and its target market—which mainly include Filipino war veterans, Armed Forces of the Philippines members, local government unit officials, and other government and military retirees—is through travelling exhibits. A few years back, he noticed that there’s very little known about Filipino war veterans and what they did to defend the Philippines during the second World War. History books already supply the necessary information that people need to learn about the war, but these existing materials still didn’t suffice as they still seemed a bit two-dimensional.

To resolve this matter, Villa-Real and his team gathered photos taken in the Philippines during the war and strategically exhibited them on every PVB branch’s history wall, which is intended to be a tribute to all Filipino veterans. The photos were localized in all of the PVB branches as well. For example, in Cebu, PVB exhibited photos taken in the island, featuring actual Cebuanos who participated in the war with brave faces on.

PVB also exhibited the pictures and other memorabilia in different malls around the country.

Additionally, the bank initiated programs such as the Mariveles-San Fernando-Capas Freedom Trail and the Bataan Freedom Run, both of which are done annually to commemorate the infamous Bataan Death March. By doing so, Villa-Real believes they can help the younger generation pay respect to the elderly who fought during the war, as well as highlight PVB as a bank that not only attends to money and business, but cares for veterans on a deeper level as well.

You can read the rest of the feature by pre-ordering The Evangelists here:

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