Business tycoon Manny Pangilinan plays "pick up" at the IMMAP 2012. Photo by Fernando Sepe Jr. for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines - Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company and Smart Communications, Inc. chair and CEO Manuel V Pangilinan debuted his Twitter account Friday morning in a keynote address for a digital marketing stakeholders’ conference in Makati.
He also spiced up what would have been a serious talk with a series of “pick up” lines, bringing the house down with laughter.
Pangilinan, also referred to as MVP, highlighted the morning plenary session of the 6th Internet and Mobile Marketing (IMMAP) Summit with a speech themed “Why My Heart is in Digital”.
His speech comes on the second day of the conference that gathered around 600 digital marketers, agencies, media and communication experts.
“Indeed the digital universe is something to behold… Even my humor has gone digital,” Pangilinan said.
He then gave several pick up lines during his speech, drawing laughter from the crowd.
His first pick up line was: “Google ka ba? Kase nasa iyo na lahat ng hinahanap ko.”
He followed it up with: “Twitter ka ba? RT mo eh,” and “Instagram ba kayo? Kuhang-kuha niyo eh.”
‘RT’ is a word play between “arte” and “retweet”, or one’s entry in popular microblogging site Twitter re-posted by another. Instagram is a phone application that allows one to overlay one’s phone camera-taken pictures with effects.
Near the end of his speech, Pangilinan said he has opened a Twitter account, @iammvp , just hours before his appearance at the IMMAP. He flashed this Twitter name on screen accompanied with a pun on a popular song, “Call Me, Maybe” : “@iammvp tweet me, maybe?”
Pangilinan’s Twitter account acquired at least 2,000 followers even before his speech ended. It continued to grow even with just a single tweet: “Just came from #IMMAPSummit2012 What a group. The new movers and shakers. Thank you for having me. I'm glad it's over, what a relief :)”
The references to Twitter and other popular digital properties underlined the main theme of Pangilinan’s IMMAP speech.
“Our response to this ‘digital tsunami’… is to embrace it,” he said of changes in communication, marketing and advertising that pushed digital and its kin, social media and mobile, at the forefront.
To demonstrate his point, Pangilinan related how his group of companies were utilized and cooperated with each other for a rescue attempt after a player from a basketball league tweeted about being trapped in the southwest monsoon floods earlier this month.
Asked if he intends to bring content from his television station and other media owned by his group of companies to mobile devices, Pangilinan said: “The answer is no.” He then clarified: “Maybe ‘yes’ and ‘no.’”
He said he thought “legacy media has some leagues to go.”
“People still watch television. It will stay for some time,” he said.
He said he is envisioning a “multi-screen” future, where devices would lend themselves naturally to connectivity, such that content is portable and available in any platform the user wishes to use.
“Content will follow you…You should be able to watch it… anywhere in the world.”
Pangilinan did not categorically say when he thought the likes of the ‘multi-screen future’ and other manifestations of digital convergence could happen in the Philippines, as he himself pointed out to the ‘digital divide’ that has excluded many Filipinos from the benefits of the digital experience.
“It (technology) should restructure and help the poor… We have so few farming applications here,” Pangilinan said in his speech.
In the question-and-answer, Pangilinan said he thought there is no restriction on the type of company that can cope with the challenges of digital convergence.
PLDT, he said, has been on a “continuous upgrade” and that its “capex (capital expenditures) requirements are never ending. “We should do this; otherwise we are not doing our jobs,” he said.
LQ with GMA
Finally asked about his plan to acquire GMA 7, Pangilinan replied in the same joking manner: “Para kaming LQ (lovers’ quarrel). Sometimes we’re on, sometimes we’re off. At the moment, we’re on.”