Wednesday, May 22, 2019

222. For Women Who Smoke: CHELSEA CIGARETTES, 1955-1957

CRISTY ORTEGA, vekvet-voiced singer of Serafin Payawal, for Chelsea, 1955

The idea of Filipinas smoking was not exactly an alien practice early on in our history,  as women—and even children smoked tobacco for leisure.  In the 18th century, tobacco was widely grow in in the islands and became an important and lucrative product for the Spanish government. 

It was so commonplace especially for older women to smoke that the younger, more modern Filipinas were told to shy away from cigarettes. It took Americans to make the practice more “sophisticated” with the coming of imported cigarettes with fancy brand names that were so different from the old-fashioned, local brands like “Alhambra Regaliz”, “Bataan” and “Balintawak”.
NORMA CARVAJAL, young model, in an ad for Chelsea, 1956.
“Chesterfield”, “Lucky Strike and ”Camel” sounded cooler and more refreshing—but they were cigarettes that were associated with the masculine market.

In the mid 1950s, CHELSEA Cigarettes were launched in the Philippines by its manufacturer, Larus and Brother Co.,  (Charles and Herbert Larus) of Richmond, Virginia. Under its authority, CHELSEA were distributed by International Tobacco Co., Inc., with offices at Del Pan St., Manila.
CONNIE SALES, model, in a Chelsea ad, 1957
The products of Larus & Bro. Co. (1877-1968)  were no stranger to the Philippine market.  A first, they produced Smoking and Chewing Tobaco, and its most popular bards was  Edgeworth, introduced in 1903.

The company began to manufacture cigarettes after it purchased the Reed Tobacco Company and adopted it as a subsidiary in 1913. Distribution companies were opened all over the U.S., and its territories. During the World War II, the company’s tobacco supply went to the U.S. Army and its support agencies. In fact, packets of 4 cigarettes were labeled with the words “I Shall Return” and secretly distributed in the Philippines.
EMILIE GASPAR, model, in a Chelsea ad, 1957
CHELSEA Cigarettes was one of the company’s cigarette brand that was introduced post-war. It  was one of the first products that used the concept of positioning employed in advertising strategies, in which  an image for the product based on a specific and intended audience is created and promoted.

From approximately 1955 to 1957, CHELSEA rolled out a campaign that featured  women personalities—from nightclub singers to models and rising socialites—to extoll the pleasures of smoking the new lady’s brand—“new and fresh as the day it leaves the factory…delightfully mild as I want my cigarette to be!”.
PILAR MUYOT, model, in a Chelsea ad, 1957
A few of these ads directly targetted to women smokers are on this spread. However, the makers must have also realized that CHELSEA Cigarettes were also suited for men, as smoking, after all, was still a male-dominated practice. A token ad was produced, showing an illustration of a man lighting up a smoke—touting “the fine taste of quality in the special blend of imported  U.S. Virginia tobaccos…mild and mellow…flavored to your taste”.
A CHELSEA AD, this time directed to male smokers, 1950s.
CHELSEA Cigarettes disappeared in the market when Larus and Brother Co. was sold to Rothman's of Canada, Ltd. In 1968. The cigarettes were later reintroduced by Liggett and Myers, who had acquired Larus & Brother's trade marks in 1976.


Saturday, May 18, 2019

221. Creative Guild’s 1993 Print Ad of the Year: PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK “Seeing Double”

The 1993 Print Ad of the Year, a Saatchi creation for the Philippine National Bank, a client from 1986 to 1993, gain exploited two-pronged meanings. This time, however, the meanings could be deciphered in the simple, graphic visual image.

The market was the family and/or dependents of the overseas contract worker based in Hong Kong, the product is one of Santiago’s admitted favorites, remittance services, specifically the bank’s new, speedy “Rapidremit” system.

“It’s an interesting audience,” Santiago observes,”you’re talking to the people waiting here for the money. “Mainit na ang ulo niyan. It’s a very emotional market.”

Yet, Santiago and his team, composed of creative director Mario Monteagudo, writer Edsel Tolentino, art director Randy Tiempo, and artists Lulu san pedro  and Tracy Montinola, skipped the overtly emotional approaches commonly employed for such complex, close-to-home subject as the Filipino laborer. “You can always talk to labor exporters, show pictures of workers,” Santiago says ,but it’s hard to be emotional in print. The speed must be the message.

As fast as the snap of a finger. Or as the ad shows, fast as the blink of an eye,the “kisapmata” or fleeting moment it tales for a closed eye to open.  “People easily lose interest in a newspaper message. It has to be simple. The visual has to tell the story”.

The bonus, courtesy of Monteagudo, was the witty cultural reference. The “kisapmata” also mared the difference between a slit eye, the kind you’d find I a Chinese Hong Kong native, and the long-lashed orb of the Pinoy. The double entendre again fell smoothly into place; PNB couldn’t have asked for a simpler, more appropriate visual representation for the people of a foreign land—one that happened with the big idea as well. This big idea was speed; if you happened to get the cultural connotation, as well, then Santiago be doubly happy.

The bank’s aggressive advertising did its job. PNB became the leader in the remittance field, and the campaign also contributed to the perceieved credibility of the country’s national bank.

COPYWRITER: Edsel Tolentino
ART DIRECTOR: Randy Tiempo
PRINT PRODUCER: Beloy Anegeles
ARTISTS: Lulu San Pedro, Tracy Montinola
PRODUCT: PNB Remittance

PERFECT 10: A Decade of Creativity in Philippine Advertising, 1995, p. 36

Saturday, May 11, 2019

220. Political Ads: YULO-MACAPAGAL of the Liberal Party, 1957

The 1957 Presidential Elections of the Philippines saw the candidacies of several distinguished Filipino politicians from different major parties. The elections were held in the year that the country was still reeling from the airplane crash death of President Ramon Magsaysay in March. Vice president, Carlo Garcia had to assume his office and serve the  remaining 8 months of the deceased president’s term.
SLOGANEERING. Yulo's camp launched a slogan-making contest to engage voters.
When the official election season of 1957 kicked off, the major contenders for the executive posts of President and Vice-President respectively, included incumbent Carlos P. Garcia and Jose Laurel Jr. (Nacionalista Party),   Jose Yulo and Diosdado Macapagal (Liberal Party), Manuel Manahan and Vicente Araneta (Progressive Party) and Claro M. Recto and Lorenzo Tañada  (Nationalist  Citizens’ Party) .

WINNING BY WORDSMITHING. 50 pesos for weekly winners!
José Yulo (b. 24 Sep.1894/d. 27 Oct. 1976) was born in Bago, Negros Occidental. A U.P. law graduate, and a bar topnotcher, he rose to become the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines (1942-45) during the Japanese Occupation. Previous to this, he was  the Speaker of the Philippine House of Representatives from 1939-41.  He had the distinction of serving in all he branches of the government.
MAKE MAC WIN! The Macapagal camp organized pro-Macapagal groups that they 
could mobilize for cascading information and distribution of campaign materials.
Running mate Diosdado Macapagal (b. 28 Sep. 1910/d. 21 Apr. 1997) was an alumni of the University of the Philippines and University of Santo Tomas, and worked as a government  lawyer. His political career began in 1949 when he was elected as a Pampanga congressman.

The Yulo-Macapagal tandem had many campaign stunts to engage the voting public—and among these were a Slogan-Making Contest, with a weekly cash prize of Php 50.00 for the winning slogan.
Macapagal, on the other hand, promoted the organization of pro-Macapagal groups in Philippine communities, a network support to help push his candidacy in the provinces. They were equipped with campaign materials for posting in their neighborhoods, and the officials were used to cascade information about Macapagal’s platform to people in far-flung places.

It would seem that Macapagal’s gimmick worked better than that of Yulo, as after all the votes were counted, he found himself the runaway winner of the Vice Presidential position, beating Jose Laurel Jr. Yulo, on the other hand, placed second to Carlos Garcia. This was the first time that the elected president and vice president came from different parties. Macapagal would eventually be elected the 9th President of the Philippines in 1961.

Today, political stunts and gimmicks are threatening to overshadow the competence and credentials of candidates—remembered more for their Voltes 5 jingles, useless giveaways, silly slogans, ridiculous posters and cash prizes. Politics, after all, is about public service, not public entertainment, of which we already have enough these days.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

219.Over 20 Glasses of SUNQUICK, Print Ads 1970-71

PICK A QUICK! Sunquick Orange Concentrate Intro Ad,1970

The refreshingly different orange drink that made waves in the Philippines in 1970 was developed by Danish brothers Jep and Flemming Petersen. They succeeded perfecting a process of concentrating real orange juice  and produced a juice drink first launched in the United Kingdom in 1966 as SUNQUICK Orange Concentrate.

Needless to say, SUNQUICK became an incredible success, and the company began advertising in 1968, that propelled the product to eve greater heights. It became an international brand as SUNQUICK in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia—including the Philippines in 1970.

SUNQUICK Orange Concentrate was bottled locally by Marina Sales, Inc. in Mandaluyong, a distribution company that has been in business since 1954.

When it was launched in the Philippines through print and TV advertising, it created by a buzz because of its concentrate form. One need only to add water to make an orange drink that has 5 times more orange juice than ordinary fruit drinks in the market. At that time, only Julep and Sunkist were the only other available orange juice choices.


The initial interest in SUNQUICK Orange Concentrate was dampened by the perception that it was too expensive for a bottled product. Also, the use of concentrate was largely unknown. So, SUNQUICK embarked on an aggressive value-for-money campaign. One small bottle of SUNQUICK, the ad message conveyed,  could actually make 20 glasses of orange juice drinks!

as sung by The Ambivalent Crowd

A TV commercial was the vehicle for SUNQUICK’s value-for-money message that featured the young, talented members of the Ambivalent Crowd that included Pol Enriquez, Celeste Legaspi, Cynthia Patag, Gigi Escalante, Mae Cendana, Pinky Marquez and Berg Villapando , among others. The much-sought after singing group had Willy B. Cruz as musical director.

REPRICED VALUE-FOR MONEY AD. The original 17 centavos per glass
has risen to 23 centavos due to inflation in 1971.

The Ambivalent Crowd were shown frolicking in what looked like a garden setting, as they sang the memorable “Over 20 Glasses of SUNQUICK” jingle that was specially composed by Jose Mari Chan.


Decades later, SUNQUICK is one of the world’s most popular concentrates, present in over 70 markets. Though no longer active in traditional advertising. its business continues in the Philippines, under  SUNQUICK Philippines, finally established in 2012.

1970 SUNQUICK FLAVORS: Orange, Lemon, Mandarin Orange, Grapefruit

Other than the flagship brand, SUNQUICK, its line has expanded to include Lemon, Mango, Pink Guava & Strawberry, Mandarin, Blackcurrant, Ice Tea Lemon and Tropical flavors—perfect summer refreshment for the family! 

2019 SUNQUICK FLAVORS. Share the Joy of 8 Flavors!

These are supported through merchandising, sales and online promotions. Concentrating on great taste for many years now, SUNQUICK has truly succeeded in its mission embodied by its new slogan: “Share the Joy!”

Sunquick Philippines FB page
Sunquick History:

Monday, April 29, 2019

218. Plop-plop, Fizz-fizz, Oh what a relief it is!: ALKA-SELTZER Print Ads, 1956-57


The most well-known  effervescent antacid and pain reliever in the 50s—ALKA SELTZER—became available in the Philippines as an imported product in 1951. Made by Dr. Miles Medicine Co. of Indiana, U.S. in 1931, ALKA-SELTZER had 3 active ingredients—aspirin (for fever and pain), sodium bicarbonate (antacid) and citric acid (for effervescence)
SPEEDY appears in this 1957 Alka-Seltzer ad.

When advertised, ALKA-SELTZER was indicated for the relief of headache, fever and pain, acid stomach, indigestions and hangovers. It was one of the most advertised products in the world, and its commercials were among the most popular. 

Speedy, created in 1951 as the product mascot, was also one of the most recognized advertising character in history, and was extensively used in magazine ads that saw print in the Philippines,

The memorable "Plop, plop, fizz, fizz" ad campaign made its appearance in the Philippines featuring the animate mascot and a hit jingle. 

It was conceptualized by Paul Margulies, a Madison Avenue creative executive, and father of actress Julianna Margulies. The vintage 60s ad showed 2 ALKA-SELTZER tablets dropping into a glass of water instead of the usual one, which caused sales to double.  In 1976, the campaign was successfully revived, with jingle sung by Speedy.

published by Steve Stout, 23 Apr. 2007

By the time Miles Laboratories was bought by Bayer in 1979, ALKA-SELTZER had disappeared from botica shelves, It is now only available as an imported product, which one can now order online.

Alka-Seltzer TV Commercial. uploaded by Steve Stout, published on April 23, 2007.
Alka-Seltzer Just a reliefe Away,

Sunday, April 21, 2019

217. NIDO Full Cream Powdered Milk: “You’re My No. 1” Campaign (1983)

THE WORLD'S NO 1-NIDO, Mother and Daughter, Print ad. 1990

“Look at me, son, you’re my no. 1..”
Smile at me hon, you’re my no.1
And there’s no treasure that I will cherish but you..”

The most successful campaign for NIDO Fortified® Full Cream Milk Powder began in the 1980s, capitalizing on the stature of the brand as the world’s no. 1 powdered full cream milk. 

Throughout its over 20 year-run, the “No. 1” has been attached not only to NIDO, but also to children (‘The World’s No. 1 Child—your Child”) and even to mothers themselves. So, what mom can refuse such a proposition?

NIDO, developed in 1944, has been around in the Philippines since the early 1960s, imported by Filipro Inc-- along with Milkmaid and Nescafe—before it became Nestlé Philippines in  1986. The earliest known NIDO print ads date from 1963. 

As the nutritionally-enriched NIDO rose to become a major competitor for other milk-based products, it also faced criticisms from promoters of breast-feeding, leading the advertising board to require adding tags in powdered milk advertising reminding mothers that “breastmilk is still best for babies”.
FOR THE WORLD'S NO.1 CHILD, Mother version, Print Ad, 1983

In 1983, Advertising and Marketing Associates (AMA) was assigned the NIDO account, and headed by executive Greg Macabenta, conceptualized the “World’s No. 1” thematic campaign that catapulted the milk brand to national popularity.
FOR THE WORLD'S NO.1 CHILD, Father version, Print Ad, 1983

Initially, the campaign made use of foreign imagery—Caucasian mothers, fathers and their kids, set in some European highlands-- perhaps to allude to NIDO’s western origins. 

WORLD'S NO.1 FATHER & SON, Print ad, 1990

A song, with lyrics written by Greg Macabenta and set to music composed by award-winning composer Caloy Agawa, accompanied the lush, emotional visuals of parent and child interacting. This time, local Filipino talents were cast for the NIDO commercials.
THE WORLD'S NO. 1, Father & Sons, print ad, 1990

It was the memorable “You’re my No. 1” jingle that really struck a chord in the minds of consumers, and the line became widely associated with NIDO, and was rearranged many times for use in other commercial platforms.

as sung by Sharon Cuneta (2008)

Even when NIDO was moved to Publicis Manila due to agency alignment, the campaign was refreshed and used. In 2008, an MTV was produced featuring megastar Sharon Cuneta and her children, singing an extended version of the song. A later jazzed-up,acoustic version in 2014 also paired Cuneta with singer-songwriter Barbie Almalbis to appeal to younger mothers.

Today, NIDO has been expanded into a range of milk products that claims to offer "nutrition solutions for each stage of childhood" (e.g. for toddlers, for school-age, etc).


NIDO MTV "You're my Number One" with Sharon Cuneta, Frankie and Miel Pangilinan etc),
posted by spraky24, published on Aug 11, 2008

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

216. Where Are They Now?: MYRA MENDOZA: The Face of Close-Up, Camay, Oil of Olay---and JINGLE Music Magazine!


One of the most refreshing faces in the modeling scene in the mid-70s to the 80s, was teen beauty MYRA MENDOZA. The winsome high schooler from St. Paul was but a teen when she started modeling for commercials; she enjoyed the experience so much and never looked back—bagging major contracts for Close-Up toothpaste, Camay Soap, US Shampoo and Clearasil in her heyday.

She was in high school when she performed in a dance number for an event sponsored by the popular 1970s music magazine, JINGLE Chordbook. She met the owner  Gilbert Guillermo, whom she credits as her “discoverer”.

MYRA, as she appeared ob JINGLE Music Magazine, 1977, Source: Nonoy Bonzon

Pretty soon, she was appearing on the pages of the widely-read  Jingle magazine, along with song lyrics set with guitar chords. Her posed pictures were just small insets—strumming a guitar, reading the magazine,  candid shots. But the readers were drawn to her good looks—and she would become the unofficial sweetheart of the popular youth-oriented music magazine.

Next thing Myra knew, she was being besieged by talent agents and casters from major ad agencies. She recalls:  “In those days , casting was not done as efficiently and professionally as today. I would just get phone calls from agents or ad agencies asking if I was available to shoot. Simple as that. No try outs, no vtr’s  (videotaped auditions).


Her earliest ad was a TV commercial for Clearasil, directed by legendary commercial director Jun Urbano. In 1979, she also did an ad for US Shampoo with conditioner, targetted at teens and young adults. This turned out to be her busiest year, as she also was featured in the popular Chiclets’ “Tsikletin Mo, Baby” TVC.

MYRA, Tsikletin Mo baby, TV Ad, 1980

Myra was also scouted by local women’s, and she became a cover girl, shot by the leading photographers of that time. She was still finishing her communications course when she was cast to appear in one of the most sought after casting roles in the industry—that of being a Close-Up girl for Close-Up Toothpaste, then a very popular youth brand. For many of the lucky Close-up talents, the slick, well-produced commercials were springboard for TV and movie stardom.

“The Close-Up ad was fun to do!” , Myra reminisced.  Though she could no longer the name of her male partner in the (“I think his last name is Rodriguez”), she found the experience of shooting her commercial very easy and enjoyable. “Close-Up was doing a campaign consisting of a series of ads. So all the lead talents --some of them at least--came out in each other’s TVCs as background talents. Parang barkada!”.

MYRA MENDOZA, on the cover of Women's Home Companion Magazine, 29 Nov. 1979

Incidentally,  Loren Legarda, the future senator,  was also part of that Close-Up batch. Years later, when Myra was working for ABS-CBN, she would bump into Legarda who by then, was the anchor of the late night news, “The World Tonight”. “ And she still remembered me long after our  Close-Up years were over!”, Myra enthused.

With a diploma finally in hand, Myra landed a job with one of the most prestigious multinational advertising agency in the Philippines—Ace-Compton Advertising (later, Ace-Saatchi & Saatchi)—as a talent caster, of all positions!! That time, Ace-Compton had the best in-house talent casting department in the industry, complete with a studio and VTR machines for go-sees and auditions.

MYRA MENDOZA, as the Face of Oil of Olay, Procter & Gamble, 1980

She was casting for such blue-chip clients like Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, and Filipro-Nestle, Inc. Her stint with Ace-Saatchi & Saatchi was memorable for 2 reasons. It was with the agency that she was picked to do the Camay “Guess Who’s 16” TV commercial, thus joining the elite circle of Camay Girls. She also became the face of Oil of Olay when it was introduced by P&G in the Philippines.

Looking for other creative challenges, Myra set her sight on commercial production. When Advertising & Marketing Associates had an opening, she resigned from Ace to try broadcast production. She realized that she was not cut out to be a producer, so she made a drastic move to the hotel industry, by being a banquet sales manager for Manila Hotel.

MYRA, AS A CASTER AT ACE-SAATCHI with copywriter Alex Castro

But the lure of advertising, the world in which she grew up in,  proved irresistible after awhile. Lintas top honcho Wally Reyes called her up and invited her to set up the casting department of the growing agency. She took up the offer, organized the agency’s talent department and stayed on for 4 years.

Myra would move back to Ace-Saatchi & Saatchi for a brief interlude. Her last corporate job was with the Sales Department of ABS-CBN. After ten years, she resigned in 2002 due to health issues, as she needed time to recuperate from a major surgery.


“I’ve stayed a homemaker ever since”, she says without regret.  So I then started painting among other things. I’m a hobbyist. I created some fashion jewelry, I sew, despite having no formal training. I also like to cook. So really, I dabble in anything that interests me.”

Myra Mendoza and  boyfriend, Chris Portillo in their younger days.

True to her calling, Myra Mendoza remained an honest-to-goodness model all her life.  With her collective life experience and achievements, you could say that she is a model homemaker, mother, and wife today!


E-mail interview conducted by author, April 2, 2019
Where in the world is Myra?, posted by Dennis Garcia, 7 Sep. 2013
Photo collage of Myra as Jingle Music Magazine model, Nonoy Bonzon, posted on Jingle Music Magazine FB page.
Myra Mendoza-Portillo FB Page.