Josh, Pablo, Stell, Ken, and Justin — collectively known as SB19 — can set social media on fire with just about anything. Be it an announcement for a new single, a performance on stage, a new endorsement or even just the most random tweet from one of the members, their mammoth fandom called A'Tin, will surely throw their support and in turn, make their latest endeavor trend online.
That's just the start. For the very same fervor fans throw online always translates to IRL, or in real life. Tickets to their recent concerts, albeit virtual, were sold out. In fact, "Back in the Zone," which was streamed via ktx.ph became one of the top-selling concerts on the platform.
And when they finally took the stage for their first major solo concert at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in April this year, fans who have long wanted to see SB19 after following them on their screens did not hold back and filled the venue to its capacity.
This effect on their fans did not go unnoticed to executives of PPI Holdings, Inc. the franchisee of Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and Dairy Queen in the Philippines. PPI falls under The Araneta Group and no less than its chairman, Jorge Araneta, eagerly asked his team to sign up SB19 as the newest endorser of Pizza Hut.
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"We were so impressed with how they were able to sell out their concerts. It started there. But Mr. Araneta was the one most impressed that he sent me a note saying, 'Get them'," recalled Chacha Juinio, PPI Holding's COO.
"Pizza Hut's strategy is to make the brand younger, and what better way to make the brand younger than by tying up with the number one P-Pop band," added Raymund Nobleza, head of marketing for Pizza Hut Philippines.
Speaking on behalf of the group, Pablo said of their latest partnership, "We're really thankful that Pizza Hut chose us. Before, when we were still trainees, we would end up really tired after an event, and our comfort food would always be Pizza Hut."
More than just pie
With this new endorsement, A'Tin can look forward to many SB19 related products and content from the chain.
First on the list is a P-Pop single titled after the resto chain's slogan, "Make it Great." The song is a bubbly and energetic track that has all the markings of SB19's top-tier vocals and youthful pop sensibilities.
Of course, it won't be a full P-Pop experience without SB19's visuals and dance moves hence a special TV commercial.
A'Tin and foodies alike can also expect branded meals, new pizza flavors, new side dishes, and limited-time deals.
While the details of branded meals are yet to be finalized, Juinio promised they are making sure fans will be delighted with the offerings.
"We want the branded meals to be individual because the boys each have their own personality and the way they talk to their fans is also different," Juinio teased.
This new milestone not only means a new endorsement for the group. Beneath the surface, it's also a recognition of their hard work that started as far back as their training in 2016.
What's admirable at this stage of their career is how, despite their meteoric rise in the music industry, SB19 members remain as humble and transparent as when they began.
At the media conference where they were officially welcomed as Pizza Hut ambassadors, the quintet unassumingly took the side path to the stage, perhaps in disbelief that the red carpet at the center of the huge ballroom was indeed for them.
Same thing happened when asked about their experience in working for the TVC.
Uncensored, Pablo shared while laughingly, "Nung nagsho-shoot kami ng commercial, kumakain kami ng pizza. Sabi nila, we'll get full daw kaya iluwa na namin pero di namin ginawa kasi masarap talaga siya."
But on a more serious note, the members are taking to heart the responsibility to present a time tested brand.
As one of the pioneering P-Pop groups in the country, SB19 has indeed become a role model for both local boy and girl groups.
"Ever since we started this, talagang kokonti and iilan lang yung naniwala sa amin. We had to work really hard para ma-achieve namin, maging accepted yung SB19, and P-pop in general," said member Josh.
"Pero ngayon nakakasama na namin yung mga groups, and ina-idolize kami ng iba, we are very happy kasi yun naman ang goal — para dumami ang P-pop groups in the Philippines para maiangat natin yung kultura natin at mapakita natin sa mundo na kaya natin," he furthered.
Member Stell agreed finally adding, "Sa mga bagong grupo na lalabas, we will support them, we will root for them. Hindi namin kaya mag-isa, kaya kailangan namin ng tulong nila at sabay sabay kaming aangat lahat."