The Philippines and the Brightkey Jeepney

A few weeks after Brightkey’s introduction, we started looking at where our users were located.  One country, the Philippines, stood out as one of the more popular.  We searched for media or blog coverage that would explain the popularity, but found very little.  Since we are all the investigative type, our CEO was “immediately dispatched” to the Philippines and to spend time in metro Manila area including trips to our most popular place, Quezon City.  The below is in his own words.

Having Filipino friends my entire life (I actually prefer lumpia to egg rolls), it was wonderful to experience the culture first hand and also better appreciate the strong ties between the people of the United States and the Philippines.  But I needed to answer who was in Quezon City and how could I meet them.  After countless conversations with the Peninsula Hotel Concierge Joey (who was awesome), a plan was born.

First off, I found out Quezon City is the location of the University of the Philippines. Sensible that students and professors there would be Apple users. Next, finding a way to talk to them.  The Philippines has a very unique transportation vehicle called a Jeepney.  It’s the words Jeep and Jitney put together.  Functionally similar to the Tuk-Tuk’s of Thailand, but much larger because they were built on old army jeeps, decorated and painted Jeepney’s are a mainstay of daily commutes.  Concierge Joey and I decided to rent a Jeepney at the University of the Philippines for the day, decorate it with Brightkey logos, dub it the Brightkey Jeepney, and offer free rides to anyone getting on the Brightkey Jeepney for the University of the Philippines loop route (called the IKOT route).

Similar to our cards from iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launch day at the Apple stores, we had cards designed in both English and Tagalog to thank users for trying Brightkey. We were able to introduce the app to hundreds of people and thank our existing customers with free rides.  Everyone was fascinated with Brightkey – and also that I was using the iPhone 6 Plus for demo (it hadn’t yet launched there).  Here are some pictures of the Brightkey Jeepney.