Build consumer confidence in the Ingat Angat campaign

Are you confident in returning to your daily activities outside your homes while practicing health and safety protocols? More than 30 of the country’s biggest brands and corporations collaborated in the Ingat Angat Tayong Lahat or Ingat Angat to help restart the economy while ensuring consumers’ health and safety.

Ingat Angat is a private sector communication advocacy campaign developed to build consumer confidence and restart the economy safely while the country continues to battle the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic. It is part of the private sector’s support for Taskforce T3 (Test, Trace and Treat), the multisector initiative put together in April 2020 to work closely with the Department of Health, the National Task Force against Covid-19 and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to manage the outbreak of the disease in the country.

It is quite touching to look at various competing brands working together in this ad. Together in one frame are scenes of customers patronizing both Paymaya and GCash; Jollibee and McDonald’s; Coca-cola and Pepsi; and even Angkas and Food Panda.

But there are mixed reactions to the ad. Compared to those on Twitter, netizens on Facebook reacted more positively, with comments such as: “Big brands rising together for a common pursuit. Bayanihan spirit. Proudly Pinoy.”

The execution of the ad tugged at the emotion of some viewers, but I feel that the message of ingat (take care) is insensitive. I take care of myself and follow health protocols whenever I do my groceries or deposit cash inside the bank, wear a face mask! Practice physical distancing, and wash my hands. What happens when one gets sick with Covid-19?

Will it be my fault because I did not take precautions?

One netizen commented on Twitter that if Ingat Angat wanted to increase labor productivity, companies should have provided better transportation for workers and should have included free masks, face shields and sanitizers. In user Lianlaya’s tweet, she wrote that “the worst…are capitalists taking advantage of Filipino resiliency to gain more profit and the shifting accountability for the governments failures towards the people.”

Meanwhile, user Dear Deadly tweeted that the “ad is an offensive and vulgar display of capitalism, greed and neglect. This is not resilience; this is glorifying this government’s inability to provide for its people hence, pushing the capitalistic agenda at the expense of many.”

More tweets questioned when one searches for the keyword “ingat”:

“Can we at least have a well-organized and organized Covid-19 plan before we fix our economy?”

“What is Ingat Angat going to do without actual tangible reforms? Passing responsibility towards the people again while these companies’ profit?”

“We have been too resilient to the point of being left alone to fend for ourselves by this government. And then this? Are you kidding us?”

Not featured in the ad were farmers, fishermen, drivers, informal workers and other blue-collar workers.

“People who actually kept the country afloat during the pandemic weren’t given the time of day,” a user remarked.

Well, Ingat Angat targets the upper and middle classes. Margot Torres, one of the campaign’s proponents, said the executives of the country’s leading businesses hatched a plan to target the reclusive upper to middle-class Filipinos who hold the most purchasing power.

Ingat Angat believes the economy can’t be revived if people continue to stay at home due to fear of Covid-19. The message does not ring true in a country with rates of safety compliance such as ours. We are not anti-maskers. Just because we’re resilient, doesn’t mean being taken advantage of by the government and corporations. Steps in building consumer confidence in the Ingat Angat campaign need to be implemented. We demand to know government’s action plan if a second wave happens as it did in other countries.

Wearing a face mask and face shield together with physical distancing is already well communicated to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. To gain the confidence of the citizenry, people need to know that massive testing and contact tracing are being done by both the government and private sector.

First published at Sunday Business & IT, October 18, 2020.