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Philippines: An Internet-Savvy Grandmother

“Lola Techie” is very popular in the Philippines these days. “Lola” means grandmother in the Filipino language. “Techie,” on the other hand, needs no further explanation.

“Lola Techie” is the central figure in a Philippine telecommunication company’s marketing campaign which plays on the concept of an internet-savvy grandmother.

The Geeky-Guide tries to gauge the success of “Lola Techie”:

Viral marketing isn't all that new even in the Philippines, but this is probably one of the most successful and most interactive campaigns ever. While I can't determine if this advertising campaign has actually resulted in significant sign-ups for Bayantel's residential DSL service, I can talk about just how popular “Lola Techie” has become and what a great branding campaign this has become for Bayantel.

She's not only active on YouTube in order to release her new videos, but she's also on other social networking services like Twitter, Plurk, Multiply and naturally Facebook. Yes, she will add you as a friend and you can play games like Mafia Wars together. Of course she has her own website at http://www.lolatechie.com/ (which is really just a redirect URL), which acts as the central hub of the marketing efforts and naturally where you can sign up for their services as well.

Bloggers who’ve seen the Lola Techie on TV or the Internet love the video ad for many reasons. For down the rabbit hole, for instance,

The message was clear, showing us that hooking up with the Internet can bridge the gap between people, whether they’re a thousand miles away, or just like in the lola’s case—young and old.

Technograph gives us a glimpse of the new craze by sharing some of Lola Techie’s Plurks:

LolaTechie says the faster internet gets the worm :-))

LolaTechie thinks that we do not stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing! Kaya maglalaro muna ako ng Plants Vs. Zombies. :-))

LolaTechie will now start adding you young people as Plurk friends before I go to sleep.

LolaTechie greets my pinakamamahal na Domingo a happy father’s day. We did good…

LolaTechie bids all my new Plurk friends good night! Bukas naman ulit!

The Citadel lauds the idea of computer-literate grandmothers:

Its nice for them to finally feature the elderly in these commercials rather than just young adults. For a change, they brought somewhat a good message that even the elderly can still learn how to use the computer. And like I really would like to have a DOTA match with Lola Techie LOL The commercial gave us quite a lot of laughs every time it gets played on TV.

Crisboy wishes that his own grandmother is like the figure in the popular ad while Maruism is reminded by Lola Techie of her own mother:

Halos kasing-edad lang ng techie lola sa tv commercial ang nanay ko nung namatay. Sabi ko nga, siguro kung buhay pa si Nanay ko…malamang nagpa-install na rin yun computer na may internet connection para maka-chat kami at malamang nagtatampo na rin yun sa mga apo nya pag hindi sya nai-poke back sa Facebook!

My mother died when she was almost the same age as the techie lola on the tv commercial. I even thought that if mother was alive, she would would have installed that computer with internet connection so we can chat and she would have been sullen if her grandchildren don't poke back on Facebook!

Not everyone, however, are taken in by the craze. Jonas, for example, chose to unfollow Lola Techie on Plurk for the following reasons:

I’m getting tired of muting her plurks when her new grandsons and granddaughters are still on the hype. Lola Techie is receiving 50 replies at average.

She’s taking Facebook quizzes and applications and posting it on plurk! I’m keeping those type of statuses away from my news feed. And there you go! She’s now spamming my Plurk.

The trend is that she might have her own blogger event! Knowing her followers are mostly Pinoy bloggers.

And since Lola Techie is an imagination, I hope her creator should have been packaging her into more techie person. The reason I enjoyed Inday, ang Sosyal na Katulong, is that she and her manager are successful in leaving the audience with their nose bleeding. It should have been more Lola Techie if she had plurked that she’s able to secure a wireless router, to remove a virus from a computer, to use the Konami code and some other geeks stuff. Sana nilubos-lubos na nila.

Meanwhile, The P4TAL thinks that not all grandparents can be like Lola Techie:

…hindi ko magagawang hatakin ang nanay ko sa harap ng PC. Masyadong abala yun sa bahay, at mas gugustuhin pa niyang manood na lang ng sine sa SM kaysa magYouTube at magdownload ng torrent… Hindi na rin kasi niya gusto na matuto pa ng ibang mga kumplikado na bagay. Yun nga lang pagtetext e sapilitan pa naming itinuro sa kanya. Siguro dahil nga naman sa sobrang abala niya bilang ina, hindi na niya magagawa pang matuto nang bagong kaalaman na sa tingin naman niya e hindi niya mapapakinabangan sa pang-araw-araw naming buhay

I can't bring my mother in front of the PC. She's too busy taking care of the house, and she still prefers going to the movies in SM than watching YouTube and downloading torrents. Also, she doesn't like to learn complicated things. We even had a hard time teaching her how to use text messages (in the cellphone). Maybe it's because she's too busy with being a mother that she couldn't find the time to learn new skills that she perceives are not useful for our day-to-day living.

Lastly, Mong, youth parliamentarian and GV’s very own Southeast Asia editor, draws attention to the ad’s bleak implication that we tend to overlook:

Through the ad, young and middle-aged Filipinos are given a glimpse of the kind of life they will have in the future. The ad is also a gloomy reminder that the future has already arrived. We are all like the Bayantel lola now: inevitably connected to the cyberworld but ultimately alone in the real world.

6 comments

  • Thanks for the ping :D You have a really nice post here. A compilation of blog posts about Lola Techie from bloggers. <3

    Its nice to have grandmothers to at least know how to use gadgets even at least telephones and cellphones so that we could reach them when we can. Though, computer literate ones are better but we all love them as they are <3 Just hopping to get to contact them more often or something.

  • Thanks for the ping. :D This is the first time that I experienced being quoted in a blog. Cool.

  • Thanks for the ping! I really believe that lola techie is the new step towards combining traditional media and the new social media into one platform. Long live Lola Techie! :)

  • CharityGE

    Anybody interested to translate this to Tagalog for GV in Filipino? :)

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