Photos and videos of supposedly vandalized billboards promoting Netflix‘s Philippine-made animated series “Trese” surfaced on social media days before its premiere on the streaming platform.
Words such as “layas” (go away) and “siyudad namin ‘to” (this is our city) appeared to be spray painted over the promotional materials, prompting fans to quip if it was done by “aswangs.”
“Aswang” refers to evil, shape-shifting creatures in the Philippine folklore which could be witches, werewolves, vampires and viscera suckers, among others. They typically feast on human blood and meat.
In the graphic novel series on which the animated series is based, these creatures are Trese’s enemy.
Netflix shared some of the pictures of the billboards on its social media accounts, where it has gained thousands of likes, shares and comments.
“What kind of monster would do this??? If you see something, say something—we’re going to find out who did this,” the streaming giant wrote on its caption with an emoji of a magnifying glass.
While it initially shocked some Filipinos, others welcomed it as a “marketing strategy.”
“I like how the so-called ‘vandals’ intentionally avoided the word Trese, hahah para makita pa din title. Lol,” a Facebook user wrote in the comments section.
“Nah. Clearly marketing ploy. Lahat ng ASC Reference Codes ‘di tinakpan?! Weh,” another online user commented.
Every print ad or material is assigned an ASC reference code by the Ad Standards Council, a non-profit organization regulating advertising content.
“Trese’s” code could be seen on the lower part of the billboards.
“Lol may outer glow ‘yung red na spray paint. Excited for Trese!” another Facebook user wrote in the comments.
Videos of “aswangs” near the series’ billboards and posters also went viral on social media. They appear to destroy the promotional materials.
Shinare ng kagawad samin… pic.twitter.com/YfGrDf6HwD
— Josephus (@kabs4) June 6, 2021
“Trese” is an upcoming animated adaptation of the award-winning graphic novel series by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo.
It tells the story of occult investigator Alexandra Trese going head-to-head with a criminal underworld comprised of malevolent supernatural beings in fictional Manila.
She is voiced by Liza Soberano in the Filipino dub and Filipino-Canadian actress Shay Mitchell in the English dub.
“Trese” premieres on Netflix at midnight on June 11.