Here in the Philippines, it’s not officially summer until the biggest television networks launch their summer station IDs.
Last Sunday, March 21, ABS-CBN marked the beginning of the sunny season with "Summer ang Simula," Kapamilya Network’s 2010 summer station ID. It’s the follow-up to the exceptionally crafted "Bro, Ikaw ang Star ng Pasko" Christmas station ID. The Yuletide station ID was so superbly done—from the music, to the visuals and the message—viewers wondered how ABS-CBN would ever top its impact.
And so "Summer ang Simula" is beamed amidst great expectations.
EVERYDAY SCENES. Like its predecessors since the "Saya Ng Summer" campaign of 2002, the station ID is filled with ABS-CBN personalities engaged in typical Pinoy summer activities—from the beaches to the streets, from large festivals to small family gatherings. Quite predictably, this montage of summer scenes dominate the video’s entire run.
What the 2010 version adds, however, is the collage of seemingly ordinary objects put together to form an artwork—some are clear, some are hard to decipher. It is not until the end of the 5-minute full-length video that the collages are put together and the entire picture is revealed.
It’s interesting that the "Star ng Pasko" spirit is still present in the video, through the highlighting of ABS-CBN’s advocacies and humanitarian efforts, which is something new for a summer campaign. What does "simula" (beginning) have to do with the whole thing? Year after year, we have been repeatedly told by station IDs from both the Kapamilya and Kapuso camps that summer is a time for endless merrymaking, carefree bonding and meaningless frolicking under the heat of the sun. Along with tropical-inspired music, we have been bombarded with scenes of celebrities in beach attire and overdone wordplays on the word "summer."
Clearly, this year’s version hinges on the ongoing "Ako Ang Simula" voter empowerment campaign of the Boto Mo Ipatrol Mo initiative (with some lines of the Ako Ang Simula theme included in the summer jingle). The national elections, after all,will take place on May 10.
TIME FOR CHANGE. "Summer ang Simula" tries to take a step higher by portraying summer not just as a trivial annual rite, but a time for us to gear up for change. More than togetherness, this season is about unity. More than another season, summer is another chance.
This message is relayed through the music sung by Pinoy Dream Academy grand winner Yeng Constantino and Callalily frontman Kean Cipriano. The song, brimming with lyrics of positivity and pop-rock influenced music, caters to an audience different from the one captured by the pop Christmas tune "Bro, Ikaw ang Star ng Pasko." The song "Summer ang Simula" is strong and catchy, but there might be a slight problem of the star power of all the celebrities on the video overpowering the message the song is trying to convey.
Still, the "Summer ang Simula" station ID does its main purpose of being an audio-visual treat that’s trying to spread a somewhat serious message in a fun manner. Will it be remembered? Definitely. Can the audience differentiate this particular ID from the previous ones? Maybe not so much, but those really observant and aware can.
Is it effective in conveying the summer message? Yes, in a light, non-preachy manner. Understandable, since too much of the message might tip off the balance and make the whole thing lose its sense of summer fun—which is still basically the point—summer should be fun.
And yet most people might just take it as it is—a station ID—spotting who’s who, comparing which artists got more seconds of exposure than the others, and confirming rumors of talents jumping ship with their absence in the whole clip as a solid proof. With this possibility, it must be very tempting for ABS-CBN’s Creative Communications Management Team to just pick out some random summer inspired music and put it together with videos of the network’s biggest and brightest. They can just re-use their time-tested template of Piolo Pascual-Everybody-Dolphy (or this time, Judy Ann Santos)-ABS-CBN logo-End. But we can really see that the creative team played around one of the most overused concepts in modern media: summer fun.
You know one is creative and innovative when it does basically the same thing year in and year out but still we look forward to see what will it come up with next.
And "Summer ang Simula" was certainly worth the anticipation.