Nobody expected #AlDub to exceed the 21.4 million tweets from the MTV Video Music Awards despite Kanye West’s presidential bid and Miley Cyrus’ antics. Nobody expected #AlDub to come 2 million short of Superbowl’s 28.4 million tweets last February.

The 26 million tweets #AlDubEBforLove pulled in September got the world’s attention. Twitter Asia Pacific and Middle East Vice President Rishi Jaitly even called #AlDub “a global phenomenon.”

Who is #AlDub?

If for some unthinkable reason you haven’t heard of them, here’s what you need to know about the biggest social media love team in the world.

#AlDub stands for Alden Richards and Yaya Dub, the character played by Maine Mendoza in the noontime show “Eat Bulaga.” The show has a segment called “Kalyeserye,” which is like a drama series with a dash of humor happening in the streets.

The two split-screen-crossed lovers have won the hearts of Filipinos since day one. Richards is a Filipino actor while Mendoza is an internet sensation made famous for her Dubsmash videos of presidential sister Kris Aquino.

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Photo credit: AlDub Official Facebook Page

As the love story of AlDub unfolded, it also continued to set Twitter records. From 250,000 tweets on August 21 (#ALDUBKeeptheFaith), the social media sensation quickly made its way to the million-tweet mark with 5 million tweets (#ALDUBBATTLEForACause) on September 1, 2015.

Their first date garnered 12 million tweets (#ALDUBMostAwaitedDate) #AlDub continued its Twitter dominance until it peaked at 26 million tweets on the day when Alden visited Maine in her home on September 26, 2015.

The AlDub nation is proving itself as a legit phenomenon by having resident Twitter experts such as Rain Basa and Istatistika Guru keep track of #AlDub’s Twitter performance. They do this voluntarily all for the love of Alden and Maine.

What can marketers learn from this?

CEO of Rappler and renowned Filipino journalist Maria Ressa was able to interview Jaitly about the AlDub phenomenon and he gave valuable insights for marketers.

1. Pay attention to your audience.

Jaitly said that the producers of “Eat Bulaga” take time to listen to what their audience is saying. Twitter has been their platform in knowing the direction of their story. It has become a two-way communication between the showrunners and the fans. Even though the love story happened by accident, the progression of the plot is aided by the feedback being given by AlDub supporters.

“What Twitter gave them was a view into the audience, that before Twitter, they never could’ve had,” the Twitter VP said.

He added, “I think what they’ve observed with Twitter is validation, right? Your (the audience’s) tweets around the world are validating that their story line is resonating and I think that’s been helpful for them to keep going, keep this story line going.”

Netizens are commending the show for promoting good values and bringing back respect for women on national TV. This is why the producers are continuously showcasing Filipino values and tradition such as old-fashioned courtship, respecting the elderly, and more.

2. Join the conversation

Jaitly said that whether you’re a brand or a politician, you need to capitalize on what people are talking about and use it to start the conversation. He espoused the need to “lean into the conversation.”

Jaitly explained, “What I think the consumers of tomorrow want, the fans of tomorrow, the audiences of tomorrow want, they want politicians, government agencies, brands, that lean into conversation on things that may not be in their self interest.”

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Photo credit: McDonald’s Philippines Facebook Page

He said that Twitter is all about personality so it needs you to be human. He also said that brands that personify are the brands of the future.

3. Spontaneity is key!

According to “Eat Bulaga” director Mike Tuviera, the AlDub story started by accident. He said, “It was born from the moment that the staff found out that in real life, Yaya Dub had a crush on Alden. No one knew that.”

In one episode, they asked Alden to sit in the front row and just be charming when the segment kicks in. When he waved, they all saw Maine’s reaction and the crowd’s excitement which snowballed to the phenomenon that it is right now.

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Photo credit: AlDub Official Facebook Page

Jaitly said, “There’s all kinds of lessons [in AlDub] about ways in which to be spontaneous and serendipitous. Embrace serendipity in the context of how you tell your story.”

Even if you have your campaign set in stone, always leave room for spontaneity. There’s something about the unexpected that provokes the truest emotion and highest engagement from your audience.

The AlDub phenomenon is showing no signs of slowing down. Fans are reportedly aiming to reach 30 million in tweets in the coming weeks. There’s still a lot more to look forward to for AlDub fans.

They are still in the courtship stage so people are looking forward to the time when they will be officially together. Who knows? They might even end up getting married in the “KalyeSerye” and start a family!

Jaitly said that AlDub is “just getting started” and we couldn’t agree more.

You can watch Rappler’s full interview with Jaitly here!

Update: “Eat Bulaga” had just concluded a big event last October 24, 2015 at the jampacked 50,000-seater Philippine Arena. The benefit show had no commercial breaks as their way of thanking the fans for supporting AlDub. The hashtag #AlDubEBTamangPanahon (AlDub EB The Right Time) has garnered 41 million tweets according to Twitter, beating the 35.6 million set by the 2014 FIFA World Cup Semifinals between Germany and Brazil.

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