Hello, Billy (partially found Filipino TV commercial series, 2000-2001)

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Hello billy joey screenshot.png

A screenshot of Joey talking to the main character, Billy, by using a telephone.

Status: Partially Found

In 2000, the telecommunications company PLDT collaborated with Ace Saatchi & Saatchi, a marketing firm to help create Hello, Billy. The advertising campaign was conceived to increase the number of international direct dial (IDD) calls in the Phillippines. The series is about a mother who is concerned about her son, Billy, who lives somewhere far away and is lonely. However, Billy has a girlfriend. The name of Billy's girlfriend is Gracia.[1]

The advertising campaign was a success, prompting PLDT to produce more commercials. The commercials doubled how many times subscribers called overseas and increased the number of minutes by 50%.[2]

Controversies[edit | edit source]

During the campaign, Filipinos were speculating over what Gracia looks like and if Billy is gay. Multiple different discussions were archived during the advertising campaign and are still available today. [3] [4] However, it sparked controversy over its portrayal of gay people. In one commercial, "Rumors", Billy calls his gay friend Joey about the rumors surrounding his marriage to Gracia. The commercial then cuts to Joey acting clueless and it's implied that Joey was the one spreading the rumors. [5] In protest of this commercial, the Lesbian and Gay Legislative Advocacy Network (Lagablab), boycotted PLDT.[6]

Commercials[edit | edit source]

Due to the ad campaign being released before the Internet was mainstream, most commercials of Hello, Billy have not been archived and as such have become lost media. Only two commercials, "Rumors" and "Best Man" have been found as of now. The amount of commercials commissioned by PLDT is unknown.

"Disgraciada"[edit | edit source]

"Disgraciada" follows Billy and his mom talking about Gracia, Billy's girlfriend. A rough translation of the commercial taken from an archived PinoyExchange discussion [3] can be found here :

 Billy's Mom: Hello, Billy! Is Gracia's cooking good?
 Billy: Yes mom, she cooks like you!
 Billy's Mom: Hello, Billy! Does Gracia know how to take care of children?
 Billy: Yes Ma! Because she has a child now!
 Billy's Mom: Huh... yikes, "Disgraciada". 

Videos[edit | edit source]

This is the "Rumors" commercial.

Another commercial, this time titled "Best Man".

References[edit | edit source]