Top 5 Lessons We All Can Learn From AlDub to Achieve Our Highest Version

I have a confession to make. I didn’t really know what this hot and blazing love team of AlDub was all about until the 25 million tweets slayed the internet last week.  I was noodle-head clueless who Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza are and why our nation has rearranged its noontime schedule to watch the kalye serye with fire under their feet.

      Aldub stands out because it has unleashed its two most powerful triggers:  Mystique and  Passion.                                When you utilize your triggers, you communicate at your highest versions.                                                                         Image Remixed and derived from Aldub Screengrab on Instagram/aldenrichards0

The episode last Sept 26 caught us by storm.  The loud booming burst of noise of Tropical Jenny was zero decibel compared to the madness behind Aldub.  AlDub brought the Filipino consciousness into a trance state of mind, even disrupting kalye-business operations with tricycle drivers disabling afternoon ‘pasada’ to watch the show.   This mild hypnotic state was enough for the producers of the show to implant hypnotic commands for the public to keep tweeting so they can feed this cosmic love with more mystique.  As the tweets are happening, Alden and Maine are skyrocketing to even higher versions of themselves and the show is making new headlines.  It’s incredible business!

There’s a genius behind this accidental love team.  The story is not extraordinary, nor are there any towering threats that defy the stars from happening. It’s simply a story of a boy who’s about to meet a girl in person but snags happened in between:  A grandmother (Lola Nidora) resisted and a plywood fell.   As in the romance formula we fall for all the time, somewhere down the crooked path called love, Alden and Yaya Dub finally met…

AlDub has definitely reached a new high and we can all learn something from their brand character and business model.

Here are my top 5 lessons from the AlDub mania that can help us achieve our highest versions in life and at work:

1) Stick To What Makes Your Personality Tick

                           What Makes You Fascinating?

To front load your value so that you are contributing significantly to a goal or mission, you have to make the most accurate and authentic first impression.  Otherwise, you are just taking up space.  You do this by becoming more of who you are.  The secret to nailing it in the first few seconds of interaction and sustaining the fire is a trigger, a deeply rooted means of arousing intense focus.  Humans fascinate using at least 2 of the following 7 communication triggers:  trust, passion, innovation, prestige, alert, mystique and power.*

When an individual is communicating at his most natural and authentic triggers, his message is becoming fascinating and he is leaving people utterly spellbound.   

The AlDub brand character is a combination of Passion and Mystique.  They speak the languages of ‘emotions’ and ‘listening’,  with tons of mystery shrouded around it.  The AlDub brand is discerning, perceptive and considerate.  It has successfully kindled the spirit fire of the TV going public.  AlDub taps into emotions that are ancient and integral in each of us and is almost inextinguishable in our culture — our sense of drama and passion.  Add tons of Mystique into their character and BOOM!  The AlDub mania peers into our personal consciousness on a chemical-deep level,  and hits the public with exactly what it needs- passion that’s not too loud. The cliffhangers leave the public unfulfilled (“I wonder what love unleashed between Alden and Yaya Dub will look like the moment it truly happens”).                   

Passion and Mystique Triggers: Passion is the Language of Relationship (connecting with emotion) and Mystique is the Language of Listening (communicating with substance).

* How to Fascinate® is the first science-based communication test for those who want to stand out, be remembered and add more value.   This doesn’t measure how you see the world… but how the world sees you.

There is deep connection between AlDub and the public.  AlDub makes the Filipinos become more of who they really are.  They flirt with a love that is pure, decent and consistent with the Filipino traditions of ‘ligaw’ and respect for elders.  They didn’t have to create or destroy anything to get a buy in, their chemistry is like an equation balanced on both sides.   People tend to trust other people who are like them and mistrust people who seem different.  Bingo!  By being themselves and being like their customers, they nailed it with the Filipino people! 

The moment you mine the triggers that make you stand out, stick to them and become more of that person.  I’ve coached professionals who are restless and impatient to change their personalities.   Becoming another person you are not is like making a right handed shift to his left hand.  It drains your time and energy, preventing you from allocating yourself on areas that actually lead to big results.  Play to your strengths and yet, be flexible enough to also understand the triggers of your customers so that you are making them buy your message more. 

How much of you is being reflected in your communication?  100% authentic is better than 100% best.



2) Be Original, Don’t Be a Me 2 Brand

According to best selling author Sally Hogshead, commoditisation and competition are the two major threats to a fascinating communication.  When you cease to become original and become just similar to your competition, you lose your uniqueness and  that’s when you find yourself in a vulnerable position.  You end up competing for the same resources and recognition. One will win and the other will lose.  Shows that attempted to duplicate the formula of the AlDub model and fracture it here and there to appear original either fizzled out too quickly or lost their share of the pie.  It’s an expensive mistake.  “Me Too” versions fail to activate their unique triggers.  When this happens, you will not enjoy the same nailing power as the original, or worse, you join the league of the many who end up biting the bitter dust

Steve Jobs was Apple’s aggressive warrior leader,  rallying his army to create quality products at a time Apple was struggling to be relevant. He was a Power person.   Tim Cook did not try to be a Steve Jobs to his people when he took over the reigns of Apple, even though he knew that Steve was the company’s brand ambassador.  He had his own personal brand and he shifted the company to be kinder and gentler.  Both succeeded in their jobs as CEO. 

Ask yourself this question, “What makes me fascinating?” Leverage on that and make it your personal brand.  It’s time to stop being just better.  Game changers are not just better, they are original.





3) Anchor on Your Most Fascinating Triggers

You’ve got a boy next door whose internal crisis center gets revved up by a blast of adrenaline because he has to prove himself worthy #SaTamangPanahon.  Triggered by a deadline, he makes a strategic move to win the hearts of the people around his lady love and brings them roses during his visit.

           Anchor on What Makes You Fascinating

His action has a subliminal message-  “Here’s a bunch of roses and when you remember me, remember the smell of these roses… and of course, always remember the pleasing emotion that comes with this smell.”  Bam! Bam! Bam!  He’s got it all nailed down! You’ve got a whole band of timpani, bass drum and cymbals reverberating around the room, celebrating the ‘sale’ that was closed.

A smell can bring on a flood of memories, influence people’s moods and even affect their performance. The olfactory (smelling) bulb is part of the brain’s limbic system, an area so closely associated with memory. Smell can call up memories and powerful responses in an instant. This technique is called anchoring. It refers to the process of associating an internal response with some external or internal trigger. 

Alden is the “right” man for Yaya Dub because he is pleasant, as pleasant as the smell of roses.  Because they are just so right for each other, the public decides to reward them with a whooping record breaking recognition –  25 million tweets and a nationwide share of viewership of 37.2%.

This simple yet powerful technique reminds me of an article I read by Scott Adams on Donald Trump’s power to anchor.  Trump claimed that he is worth $10 Billion as opposed to Bloomberg’s estimate of $2.9 Billion.  The truth doesn’t matter.   Voters will always be inclined to remember big, bold numbers like $10 billion  instead of a specific figure like Bloomberg’s $2.9 billion.  Trump has successfully nailed his message as a successful leader who can lead his flock to the next breakthrough.  $10B=Ultimate Success=Trump.  He just might have nailed it to a possible US presidency. 

Once you’ve figured out what makes you stand out, stick to it and anchor it so people will remember you for that.  A young executive I’ve coached for a job interview shared with me how anchoring his highest trait on organization skills won him the work he’s always aspired for.  All he did was to keep saying “I know you are looking for an organized and thorough individual for this job…” and  every time he mentioned ‘organized’ and ‘thorough’, he’d touch his neck tie.  There you go, Mr Executive has just associated the top two traits the company needs to none other than…him!  Wham!     

Once you’ve established your personal brand, keep anchoring on it so that your uniqueness becomes your anthem. 

4) Give the World the Highest of your Archetype and Stop Being Everything to Everyone.

AlDub’s combination of the Passion and Mystique triggers makes the INTRIGUE Archetype – a velvety soft exterior that hides a strong inner core.  Intrigue archetypes relate to things both intellectually and emotionally. They have the rare ability to switch between taking an analytical view and become emotionally connecting.              

* Once you have done the test, it becomes clear why certain people like, respect and admire you, and why you turn others off.

                      Be The Best Version of You

AlDub’s pick up lines are witty.  This appeals to both the intellect and the emotions.  Alden expresses  his love by saying (or writing) “AlDub You” and Yaya Dub quips with an equally witty remark, “Ma Alden Kita”.  When you become true to your most fascinating and natural gifts, you cease to be boring and you start to make people naked to your gifts of persuasion. 

It is also clear that certain triggers polarize some people.  If you are fascinating, you will naturally drive “dislikes” as much as you drive “likes”.  When you play it safe, you attract no one and you become boring.  Key here is to optimize your “likes” and make you highest to the people you want to talk to. 

AlDub appeals to a group of people who have simple life aspirations and polarizes those who instinctively seek consistent improvement, higher goals, and tangible evidence of their success.  These are the Prestige people — the goal seekers and the winners.  

The INTRIGUE ARCHETYPE is a combination of the Passion primary Trigger and the Mystique Secondary Trigger

The INTRIGUE ARCHETYPE is a combination of the Passion primary Trigger and the Mystique Secondary Trigger

You will hear them quibble about the amount of time invested in this seeming nonsense fanfare when people should be devoting more time to national news.  AlDub should not make the mistake of talking to this group of people.  Stay away from them— they are the brand’s quicksand!  

To keep its staying power longer, it has to keep leveraging on its winning formula and avoid the temptation to cross over to people, things and efforts that are not naturally theirs for the taking.   

Are you playing it too safe in life? It is time to rev up your energy and get noticed. 



5) Keep Mining Your Next Highest Version

Eat Bulaga is in a precarious dilemma- with a jigger of its mystique gone, how will the show continue to flirt with the public long enough to stay fascinating?  Will AlDub reach a point of satiety sooner or later? 

young man climbs the ladder of success and a virtual career. Collage.

           Go For Your Next Highest Version

Brands that fascinate can stay for as short as a few days to as long as a diamond anniversary… or “meron bang forever?”

AlDub provokes our imagination, inviting us to move closer, while eluding our grasp.  Mystique succeeds for as long as it is rooted in unfulfillment.  With both characters finally physically connecting, what is next in their passion-mystique formula?

Let’s just hope that the producers don’t over communicate to a point that it loses the very mystique that sets the whole love affair into the trajectory of success. When it loses its enigma, a blowout can happen, when the public could no longer bear what they once really liked. Its power effects are altered – their viewers can no longer associate AlDub to the same intense positive feeling.  When this happens, they tank out on the happiness because the repeated ratchet is just too much.  A message that broke through one time can bomb anytime.  Unless, they have a bigger mystique offering that can pique the curiosity muscle, AlDub has to walk away fast and not want it all.  The love drenched affair should not tackle piles of emotional clutter or its power to seduce will be lost.

         Communication Analysis of Aldub Brand

We can only make an intellectual guess as to when the life cycle of AlDub will last.  Will 25 million stretch to another million?  Is it capable of creating another revolution?  Producers of the show will endeavour to keep extending the life cycle to mine as much dividends from the kalye serye as it possibly can.  For this to work, Eat Bulaga has to build mythology around the triggers of passion and mystique.  It has to find ways to limit the access of the public so that they will always want more of them.  For the next 25 million tweets to happen, AlDub has to find its new breakthrough around the same triggers that nailed it for them and not cross over too much. 

I’m reminded by Madonna, whose career is built on being a provocateur and profiled as a Rockstar (Passion + Innovation) in our Fascinate Test, on how she continues to reinvent herself and extend her life cycle as a celebrity.  She continues to look for ideas to mine combining both underground culture and mainstream pop.  Anyone can pop a guess on her next moves but only Madonna knows what they are.   On her 33rd year in show business, she still continues to fascinate people all over the world.

Once you’ve reached your highest, ask yourself how you can be your own Chief Breakthrough Officer of your next biggest mission in life. 


Cherry leads a team at World Stage with a mission to help individuals and teams discover their fascinating and highest versions.  She works with the the Fascination Laboratory in the USA to profile the communication archetypes of individuals which sets the parameters  in the company’s coaching sessions with CEOs, managers, entrepreneurs, educators, parents and even students.

Cherry and World Stage Team Analyzing the Aldub Brand

Dream Big, Dream F.O.O.L.ISH

In the very inspirational speech Steve Jobs gave to the 2005 graduates of Stanford University, he advised the fresh graduates: “Stay hungry, stay foolish.” For us here at World Stage, we believe in that same thing. We believe in creating F.O.O.L.ISH dreams and F.O.O.L.ISH dreamers because F.O.O.L.ISH dreams and not S.M.A.R.T. ones are the ones that brought people to the moon, created massive change, and rocked the whole world.

Now, there will always be hindrances in following your dreams. Some of which may be substantial things in your life you have to give up, incredible changes you have to adapt to, and of course, the people who wouldn’t be as supportive as those who fan your flame. But of course, those are not good reasons enough to stop aspiring for greater things. We only have one chance at this life. Better be a F.O.O.L.ISH dreamer than not a dreamer at all, right?

One of these F.O.O.L.ISH dreamers is Lance So, a young performer who was able to see past all the obstacles in achieving his dreams. He is currently a member of Vienna Boy’s Choir, one of the most prestigious choir groups in the world. Being the only Filipino recruited in the said group, he was able to give pride to the country apart from his family and friends. All that and he’s only eleven.

It’s Hard Before It Gets Easier

Vienna Boy's Choir: Lance's Second Family

Vienna Boy’s Choir: Lance’s Second Family

Of course, he wasn’t able to get to where he is now at a snap of a finger. He had many sacrifices and put in a lot of effort to become the success he now is. In an interview we had with Lance So, he mentioned that the biggest challenge he went through was leaving his family to be able to perform with Vienna Boy’s Choir. He said, “When I first arrived in Vienna, I called my parents each night. When I first got there, I thought that I have made a huge mistake, but after a while, I realized that if I have fun, time will go faster and I will see my parents as soon as possible.” He continued, “I know that there are plenty of pros and cons of leaving my home. But I know that taking this opportunity is a great thing that doesn’t happen to most people. In this journey, I have realized that my dream is starting.”

Apart from that, he also had to balance performing and touring with the choir group with his studies. Giving us a very detailed schedule of his daily activities, he gives time to honing his skills by practicing playing drums and singing without sacrificing his education. And of course, despite the hectic schedule, he still allots time for having fun. “In my free time,” he said, “I play the drums or practice my songs and sometimes, I play video games.”

Keeping the Fire Burning

The first step is always the hardest step to take but that doesn’t mean that after taking that leap of faith, you wouldn’t be facing any more challenges. It gets easier, yes. But getting to where you want to be wouldn’t necessarily be a piece of cake already. You still have some battles to overcome especially the ones with yourself. To continuously carry on, one has to fervently conquer his own battles: boredom, exhaustion, and of course, frustration.

Therefore, anchors that help you carry on are great motivators. For Lance, it’s his burning desire to bring happiness through his performances. He said, “Seeing other people happy makes me love what I am doing. What made me want to be a performer was watching other performers sing for other people. They always make people happy and I want to do the same.” He also said, “I would like to be remembered as the person that followed dreams and flew around the world to bring happiness to lots of people.”

And of course, the dream doesn’t stop there. Another thing that keeps him pushing forward is his dream to go around the world and explore different cultures. “I love seeing the differences in cultures around the world and the places I like the most,” he said “I would like to bring my family with me to these places.”


Fanning Other Flames

Lance So: "I want to bring happiness to other people with my singing. Seeing other people happy makes me love what I am doing. "

Lance So: “I want to bring happiness to other people with my singing. Seeing other people happy makes me love what I am doing. “

A truly inspirational dreamer, Lance So also shared a little bit of advice for young dreamers like him. “You must push everything to the side because good opportunities don’t come that often,” he continued, “If you have a dream and you have an opportunity like mine, then take that path.”

Apart from that, he mentioned that determination and drive are very much important. Including them as part of the formula for success in never a bad idea. You just have to keep pushing and keep the your fire ignited.


Lance So will be joining our upcoming camp this July 7-11, 2015. He mentioned that he’s looking forward to it, “I am sure it is going to be a great experience. What I am also looking forward to in this camp is meeting new friends.” We are looking forward to meeting you too along with the other campers, Lance!