Smart contributes to a better LRT-1 EDSA Station


Smart Communications, Inc. and PHAR have signed an agreement where Smart will 'dominate' the entirety of EDSA LRT-1 station.

The “Station Domination” program is included in LRMC’s P500-million Station Improvement Program which aims to improve accessibility, safety, and security of over 500,000 passengers daily.

Through the initiative, LRT-1 EDSA Station will sport Smart’s signature green color. It will also bear informative Smart ads, complementing station upgrades, such as the installation of LED billboards, large format and digital displays and video walls.

“Smart and LRMC are both vying for transformation programs. This partnership will enable LRMC to provide commuters with a more fun and productive commuting experience at LRT-1. Smart will also be able to contribute to further improvement of the train and station facilities. Likewise, it will also support the country’s growing needs as more Filipinos turn to the digital lifestyle,” said Prem Bhatia, Managing Director for Asia of PHAR Partnerships.

“By providing better WiFi coverage in high traffic areas such as the LRT-1, we can help make the commuting experience for people more pleasant and productive. They can use the travel time to catch up with their social media conversations or their office emails on their mobile phones. They can also learn about the growing range of services that we offer our customers," said Ramon R. Isberto, head of PLDT and Smart Public Affairs.

Smart will also ramp up cellular and Wifi coverage in EDSA LRT-1. Passengers can now enjoy carrier-grade Smart Wifi for initial free minutes or purchase Smart Wifi PINs if they need to connect for a longer period of time.

“Carrier-grade” means that the Smart Wifi network is highly reliable, well-tested, highly available and supports most services and devices.

Reliable Wifi access anywhere

Apart from powering LRT-1’s EDSA Station, carrier-grade Smart Wifi has also been installed at the Doroteo Jose, Abad Santos, Gil Puyat, Pedro Gil, R. Papa and U.N. Avenue stations.

Carrier-grade Smart Wifi is available in Metro Manila and 40 other provinces, following Smart’s ramped-up roll-out of the service in the government offices, hospitals, schools, restaurants, airports and transportation hubs, and other key high-traffic areas across the country.

LRT-1 Station is now Yamaha Monumento


Yamaha Philippines (Yamaha) strikes a deal with Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT 1), LRT 1 operator Light Rail Manila Corp. (LRMC), for a three-year advertising program under the Station Partnership Program.

The Station Partnership Program is spearheaded by PHAR, the international agency who serves as LRMC’s ancillary revenue partner. PHAR launched the Southeast Asia’s first Naming Rights program in 2016 in Kuala Lumpur. It proved to be a great success with banks, real estate companies, and airlines all taking part.

Yamaha is the first company that has committed to a long term investment in an LRT-1 station. Through the Station Partnership Program, funds will be used to offset the station improvement works that LRMC has undertaken in Monumento station. Included here are improved lighting, roofing, the installation of security and the overall cleanliness and maintenance of the station.

“We have been working with LRMC for over a year now to design the Naming Rights program – everything from the logo, to the branding, to the improvements in the station. This is win-win for everybody. Yamaha gets valuable marketing rights, LRMC gets revenue which goes back into station improvements, and passengers get better facilities,” said Prem Bhatia, Managing Director of PHAR.

He added, “With Yamaha it was very clear from the outset. Although they valued the ridership and the branding, Yamaha wanted to give back to the city of Manila - they wanted to improve the city in a measurable, visible and tangible manner. With LRMC they found the right partner to help them realize that ambition.”

PHAR works with a number of transport majors like Transport for London, Jewel Changi Airport, Manchester Airport Group, Air Asia, Philippines Airlines, Jetstar, Rapid KL, to name a few.

Naming Rights is a trend that began with sports stadiums in the USA, and has now seen several companies targeting transport hubs as marketing opportunities, given that it gives brands the opportunity to be seen by passengers 365 days a year.

Getting to know the LRT-1 ridership


With over 20 stations, LRT-1 is one of the most used metro systems in the country. Teeming crowds queue almost every day to get to and from their destination.

A recent study conducted by marketing agencies PHAR Philippines Inc (PHAR) and TNS (part of Kantar Media) puts a human face to these passengers. Their study entitled, “Unlocking LRT-1 Riders: Research and Data on Consumers," gives insight on riders' profiles, behaviors, and preferences. 

About 5,500 LRT-1 passengers were interviewed between 2015 and 2017.

This is the second installment of the research conducted by PHAR and TNS in 2016. 

In their latest study, about 65 percent of the riders are aged 18 to 29 years old. The gender ratio is 50 percent male and 50 percent female. The average passengers spend about 62 minutes per day in LRT-1 trains and stations.

There has been a 16 percent increase in daily riders and a 37.5 percent increase in passengers from socio economic classes A, B, and C1.  

The passengers use different applications to get them through the day. About 36,000 riders use Grab and Uber services to get to and from home to the station every day. About 95 percent of LRT-1 passengers use Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

The increase in ridership can be linked to the developments in the LRT-1 stations. In the study, there was improved cleanliness factor by 177 percent. The stations Abad Santos and Gil Puyat have garnered the biggest cleanliness scores.

Riders have also cited that the ticket buying experience has also become more efficient. According to the study, LRT-1 was rated with 260 percent improvement in terms of ticket queues. The Vito Cruz station was singled out as the most improved in terms of convenience in train ticket purchasing.

The study also delved on the brands that are used most often by LRT-1 riders. For telecommunications, about 50 percent prefer Globe Prepaid sim cards.When it comes to gadgets, 10 percent own Cherry Mobile phones, while there is a 200 percent increase in use of brands Oppo, Vivo, and Huawei mobile phones. The switch has decreased the Nokia phone ownership by 75 percent.

In beverage, Kopiko is a leading brand for coffee while Coca-Cola is the softdrink of choice. For shampoo, Clear and Dove are preferred by the LRT-1 riders.

The study also released that the LRT-1 commercials have made a difference in ad recall for brands such as Cherry Mobile, Coca-Cola, Smart, Dazz and Happee.

The research methodologies were a combination of LRT-1 fieldwork intercept, call back, and NCR (national capital region) representative sample.

The results were revealed by Phar Philippines, Light Rail Manila Corporation, and Kantar TNS executives in an event held at the Discovery Primea.

For more information, call 7292218 or visit PHAR Website:

Philippine Airlines appoints PHAR as Ancillary Revenue Partner across media assets


Philippine Airlines, Inc. (PAL) sealed an agreement appointing PHAR—one of Southeast Asia’s leading providers of ancillary revenue services to transport and infrastructure industry—as a strategic partner to develop and bring to market its owned travel media assets. PHAR will manage advertising and marketing partnerships across multiple platforms, including in-flight entertainment, on-board activations, digital advertising on desktop and mobile, and airport lounge advertising among others.

The contract sees PHAR expand PAL’s traveler reach across international destinations, including Southeast Asia, and further enhances PAL’s passenger reach throughout the full ‘Connected Journey’.

“We are thrilled with the appointment. Our extensive work with airports, airlines and mass transit systems in SE Asia will allow us to create long term revenue streams across an integrated media offering for PAL. We are optimistic about making a significant revenue contribution to the PAL bottom line, while helping brands connect with travel audiences.” said Prem Bhatia, Managing Director – Asia of PHAR.

PAL Ancillary Business Unit Vice President Kevin Y. Hartigan-Go said, “It is an exciting time to work with PHAR, and we are confident they are best placed to develop our media platforms and create more value to every PAL traveler’s journey.” He also noted, “As we embark on our journey to become a 5-star airline, PAL partners with brands that share the same philosophy in service innovation and excellence. PAL remains focused on multi-channel advertising and co-branding strategies that provide passengers with world-class service and comprehensive modern experience.”

Celebrating its 76th anniversary, Philippine Airlines is Asia’s first airline and the Philippines flag carrier. As PAL centers in fleet modernization and route network expansion, passengers can travel across over 43 international and 30 domestic destinations.

Founded in 2011, PHAR is the leading specialist in transport and infrastructure media in Southeast Asia, managing assets across airports, airlines, mass transit systems and smart cities developments. PHAR has offices in Manila, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh, Bangalore and London.


Image: From left to right: PAL Chief Commercial Group Adviser Francis Bernard, PAL Ancillary Business Unit Vice President Kevin Y. Hartigan-Go, PHAR Managing Director for Asia Prem Bhatia, and PAL Ancillary Business Programs Management Assistant Vice President Alfred Joseph J. Montemayor

Coca-Cola's "LRT-1 Central Station Domination", created by PHAR, bags Bronze at ICE Awards


At the recently concluded Media Congress ICE Awards 2017 in Baguio, Starcom Mediavest Philippines won the Bronze for Coca-Cola’s Station Domination campaign.

The campaign focuses on the LRT-1 Central Station, dominated by the beverage giant’s iconic bottle, and red and white color scheme. Launched in June 2017,

Coca-Cola has dominated the landscape of the LRT-1 station, including stairwells, floor, benches, digital screens and trains (see pictures below). This

campaign goes hand-in-hand with the upgrades that Light Rail Manila Corp (LRMC) has implemented as part of their station improvement program, including the installation of new security systems, lighting, repaired ceilings and roofs, as well as painting works. 

All ICE Award campaign entries went through strict screening processes, and the judging was based on three parameters: ICE – Insights, Creativity, and Effectiveness. In the end, Coca-Cola’s Station Domination campaign, joined the ranks of equally outstanding campaigns for Oreo, Colgate, McDonald’s and Huawei.

“Starcom is thankful for its partnership with PHAR for helping realize one of the most ambitious and spectacular outdoor displays in the country, Coca-Cola LRT-1 Central Station Domination. Being awarded a Bronze ICE Award for this undertaking is worth all the challenges that we went through in turning this vision into a reality. Thanks PHAR for all your support!” said Starcom Mediavest Group Philippines, Inc. Media Director, Cris D. Cepeda. 

“The ICE award is an amazing bonus for all the hard work the teams involved put in over a six month period. What brings us fulfillment is the fun and energy we get to bring to our commuters every single day.” said PHAR Philippines, General Manager,

Patricia Sison.

Media Specialists Association of the Philippines’ (MSAP) ICE Awards recognizes

media agencies, networks, and publishers for exemplary works in media thinking and communication.