Video: ‘Courage to break down barriers’ ad touches a lot of people with its strong message


  • Breaking Down Barriers, an advertisement about communication in the family, makes raves online
  • Smart Communications says it features the everyday lives of the Filipino subscribers and show how Smart helps them bridge gaps and break barriers
  • Smart redefines the meaning of communication today by connecting through new means, like Facebook, and using these new technologies and innovations to deepen or strengthen relationships.


There are days when local advertisements are pure hogwash, and there are days when they actually tell a story. And when ads go viral, it’s because people can clearly identify with them. Take Smart Communications’s “Breaking Down Barriers”; a story that spoke in symbols about communication in the family and which now makes raves online.

Breaking Down Barriers tells of the dilemma of Kevin, who hesitates to accept his father’s Facebook “friend request” over fear of making known to him his male-lover secret. The scene flashes back to a family gathering over lunch, where the father asks him why he is not accepting his request; a question that Kevin so awkwardly ignored.

Necessitated by fear of rejection due to gender-orientation and sex, it becomes apparent there’s an utter gap in communication between a father and a son who are growing apart.

After an arduous process from denial to acceptance, Kevin told his father in a text message that he has already accepted him on Facebook, to which his father replied: “I have also accepted you.”

Breaking Down Barriers is just one in a series by Smart when it recently took a rebranding and welcomed change.

“When we relaunched Smart, we wanted to go back to our roots of being an authentic Filipino brand that tells real stories. We wanted to feature the everyday lives of the Filipino subscribers and show how Smart helps them bridge gaps and break barriers through our services,” Jeri Martinez of Smart Brand Equity Management told Kicker Daily.

Aside from the team at Smart, Breaking Down Barriers is a brainchild of a prized team of creatives, such as the campaign agency Dentsu Jayme-Syfu led by Merlee Jayme and Alex Syfu, Filmex production house and its director Henry Frejas.

As always, connecting people has been Smart’s role in the lives of its subscribers, especially now that the communications and technology landscape has greatly evolved, and where everything transpires virtually.

“We are now, more than ever, in the position to help our subscribers break barriers in relationships, but more than that, break barriers in terms of what they can achieve and fulfill in life,” Martinez said. “It’s not just about being able to connect through new means, like Facebook, but use these new technologies and innovations to deepen or strengthen relationships.”

Breaking Down Barriers has accumulated more than 2.6 million views for only three weeks since it was uploaded on Youtube, as well as fevered comment threads thereon and elsewhere.

“This ad is a good development toward acceptance of the members of the LGBT community by their family,” Joselito Altajeros, director of films that foster gay pride, told Kicker Daily. “But what is more important is for the LGBT to claim our space in the family and society.”

On Youtube, the ad has gained nearly 2.8 million views and on Facebook, viewers have reached over 4.1 million with many viewers commenting positively on its strong message.