A version of this article appeared in 2.O Magazine's May 2015 issue.
Discreetly, the campaign came up on my news feed.
I don’t remember who posted the Stylebible.ph article. A friend who works for the online magazine, maybe--but I can’t find it on their timeline, so I’m not so sure now. I was fleetingly scanning through Facebook then, so it could’ve been anyone.
What I remember seeing that day when it came out was that Bench released its new ad, in time for Valentine’s Day. Across four images depicting various relationships--grandmother Gloria Romero, hugged by her grandson Chris Gutierrez; actress and model Solenn Heussaff, being embraced by her fiancé Nico Bolzico; creative director Vince Uy, holding hands with events organizer Niño Gaddi; and makeup artist Ana Paredes, being squeezed from behind by her girlfriend interior designer Carla Peña--were the words “Love All Kinds of Love”.
Yes, it was a campaign meant to tug your heartstrings--the kind of ad that would infuriate my feminist friend, who I imagine would say, “They’re manipulating our emotions to sell us stuff.” Because manipulate our emotions the ad does. It is cute. It feels warm and good, like hot chocolate on a cold December day. It is meant to tell you that Bench is a brand that believes in human relationships. It wants to show us that Bench believes that true love has never been more fashionable.
Sometimes, it clouds your vision. A maniacal drive possesses you, and you do the shittiest things. You obsess over something so wrong, but you're so into it you refuse to listen to reason. You become so involved in something it feels like you're diving into the ocean blindly, swimming deeper and deeper until you're too lost to be saved.
But then, there are those times when it motivates you to do the best. To be the best.
It's during those times when it becomes truly magical.
HELLO, MY NAME IS EVAN TAN.
I'm a writer and communications professional based in Manila, Philippines. Outside of my regular job, I like to travel, work out, volunteer, watch movies and plays, go to art galleries/ fairs and museums, read books, and eat vegetarian food.
More about me here.