Monday, May 25, 2020

280. Need A Haircut? Get the TRIM JIM Cut, by Union Carbide, 1971

In this age of the great COVIC pandemic, the world desperately needs a cure, a vaccine to put our fears to rest—and end this agonizing, extended community quarantine, that  continues to leave us isolated, hungry, pennyless—and in need of haircuts. Back in the early 1970s though, when long hair ruled supreme, there was a handy plastic contraption that one could carry in one’s jeans' pocket for quickly trimming and styling hair—without going to the barber shop.

In 1971, UNION CARBIDE introduced the TRIM JIM Safety Haircutter. It is a handy two-bladed do-it-yourseld plastic  hair trimmer that you use to trim your locks, simply by running the TRIM JIM through your hair, much like comb.

You can cut your hair longish—to achieve the HARE KRISHNA Look. Or thin it to get that EXECUTIVE Look. 

The TRIM JIM was so convenient when launched in the Martial Law years as long-haired boys opted to cut their own hair personally, than have it cut by scissors-wielding military people who were then hot on the trails of these long-haired nonconformists. ROTC cadets, too, brought a TRIM JIM along, in case their crew cut was still deemed to lush and thick.  A quick TRIM JIM cut will do it—for just 4 pesos!

Despite its much-heralded convenience, the results of using a TRIM JIM were unpredictable.  Unsteady hand pressure can cause uneven cutting. Sometimes, a single run of TRIM JIM with new, sharp blades can result in instant bald patches.Contouring hair like sideburns was difficult.

But then again, it’s true what TRIM JIM claims. The TRIM JIM cut is your own personal signature-- you get truly a different breed of cut!

Sunday, May 17, 2020

279. Draw-it-Yourself DUTCH BABY PRINT ADS, 1967-68

DUTCH BABY is a brand of canned milk that was manufactured and marketed in the Philippines as early as 1953. It was made by Milk Industries in Markina, reputedly under the supervision of Dutch scientists. By 1965, the company was known as Marikina Dairy Industries, Inc., and was allied with the Australian Dairy Produce board of Melbourne, Victoria.

DUTCH BABY EVAPORATED FILLED MILK, was the lead brand, and was extensively advertised in newspapers and magazines. It was one of the leading milk brands in the country, along with Darigold and Liberty.  As its marketing became more sophisticated, the company sought the help of J. Walter Thompson ad agency to help develop their advertising campaigns.

In 1967, J. Walter Thompson came out with one of the first content-contributed print ad series. It solicited the help of parents and children with a request to “Send your child’s drawing and a little testimonial on why he loves the taste of DUTCH BABY along with a label of DUTCH BABY Evaporated Filled Milk or DUTCH BABY Condensada to J. Walter Thompson, Mary Bachrach Bldg., Port Area, Manila”.

There was a cash prize of  50 Pesos for each drawing that was selected and published. Eventually, 3 DUTCH BABY ads were released, featuring the winning art works of 7-year old Noel Gorero (San Juan Central School), Michelle de Leon (St. Theresa’s College) and 11 year old Rommel Simpliciano (Manila High School) .

DUTCH BABY was available in the Philippines until the 70s, until it disappeared altogether . The brand name is now held by a Malaysian milk company, until1983, when milk products were renamed Dutch Lady.

Friday, May 8, 2020

278. Creative Guild’s 1986 Print Ad of the Year, P&G Phils., IVORY “Purity”

IVORY "PURITY" PRINT AD,  1986 Creative Guild Print Ad of the Year

ISA MUNANG PATALASTAS CONTINUES  ITS  TRIBUTE TO MR. RAMON R. JIMENEZ JR. (14 Jul. 1955/d. 27 Apr. 2020),, or simply MONJ to his colleagues, whose passing at the age of 64 is mourned the Philippine advertising industry that he inspired. After his illustrious career, he was named as the Secretary of the Department of Tourism, promoting the country via his well-received and hugely successful campaign “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” . Before he left Ace-Saatchi & Saatchi in 1988 to join wife Abby in their agency, Jimenez &Partners, MonJ was a VP-Creative and Executive Creative Director at Ace-Saatchi & Saatchi. One of his blue chip P&G accounts was IVORY Soap. Here is the story behind the print ad he helped create with his concept team, and which went on to bag the 1986 Creative Guild of the Philippines Print Ad of the Year.

In 1986, clients and agencies wth a prevailing fear of white space were thrown off their swivel chairs by what appeared (or, in this case, didn’t appear) in several major newspapers. The full page was prited in special white paper and bore the headline, “You are looking at IVORY PURITY”. The text was printed, in an appropriately delicate  type, and the visual was simply a blank space framed by thin black border.

Ivory Phil. Ad, 1930s
The ad, “Purity”, was Ace Compton’s second winner, and was made possible by the fact that “ we were feeling a lot braver,” says Jimmy Santago. The client was global manufacturing giant Procter & Gamble, a Compton client for some 38 years  at the time the revolutionary ad was run, and this was the company’s third attempt at launching IVORY SOAP. “After two failures, it was no longer that sensitive a product.” Recalls Santiago. “The market was tired of it.” Santiago credits the brilliance of "repositioning” with reviving public interest in IVORY and taking its Philippine sales figures to unprecedented new heights.

The first two times it was launched , IVORY had been marketetd first as a soap for teenagers, and then as a family bar. The provincial teen markets, accustomed to heavily perfumed toiletries, also didn’t take too well to IVORY’s non-existent scent. Plus, the agency had to reckon with Filipnos’ completely different—and for the product, potentially damaging –-concept of “purity” at that time. “Pure was understood to be harsh, or concentrated, like a detergent,” Santiago recalls. The description was giving everybody the wrong idea.”

The time came to launch IVORY anew as a baby soap and an exceptionally pure product. The creative team was likewise in a fix about presenting a baby soap wthout unleashing the babes. Baby-filled ads were already the specialty of main competitor Teneder Care—“and we certainly  didn’t want Tender Care to sell any more soap!”Santiago says.

All of Compton’s creative teams were thus invted to pitch ideas for the xciting new projects, and art directors instinctively began by doodling babies—until Santiago declared it was time to leave the babies to someone else. He suggested a blank piece of paper, whiter than standard ash-colored newsprint, whose dirty color simply wouldn’t get the message across. Art director Melvin Mangada, then a fresh college graduate, framed the page n the simple black border, and writer Isabel Gamboa provded the straightforward copy highlighted by the brand logo. “The PUREST SOAP there is,” the copy reads, key words were capitalized for effect, and readers looking down at the white expanse couldn’t help but agree that, yes, this was as spotless as you could possibly get.

BACK TO BABIES. Ivory Ad, late 1986
The ad was a complete surprise. It broke several rules, not the least of whch was the tried and tested procedure of sung a baby to sell a baby product. The absence of a cute face seemed like a sure step towards marketing disaster. Also, client Procter & Gamble was an advertiser traditionally averse to wasting space or departing from bestselling formulas. “Cases like these are exceptions,” Santiago says, because you’re out there to jolt the market. Procter & Gamble’s  General Manager was pleasantly jolted himself, enough to call the ad “brilliant” and refreshingly “discontinuous”.After a time, however, client “got worried,” Santiago recalls, and eventually succumbed to convention by running more baby ads. “But after ;etting us come up wth the ad we wanted, it was alright,” Santiago laughs—especially after “Purity” won a Clio citation.

AGENCY: Acre Compton Advertising, Inc.
ADVERTISER: Procter & Gamble, Philippines
PRODUCT: Ivory Soap
COPYWRITER: Isabel Gamboa
ART DIRECTOR: Malvin Mangada

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

277. 1989 Creative Guild’s Radio Ad of the Year: Glaxo’s DEQUADIN , “Do Re Mi” RC 30s.

(THIS WEEK’S POST IS A TRIBUTE TO MR. RAMON R. JIMENEZ JR. (14 Jul. 1955/d. 27 Apr. 2020),, or simply MONJ to his colleagues, whose passing at the age of 64 is mourned the Philippine advertising industry that he inspired. After his illustrious career, he was named as the Secretary of the Department of Tourism, promoting the country via his well-received and hugely successful campaign “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” . Back in 1989, MonJ was already making waves as a co-CEO (together with his equally talented wife, Abby Lee Jimenez) of a small agency, Jimenez & Partners. One of their joint works was a celebrated commercial written for DEQUADIN, which was named as the the year’s best radio ads by the Creative Guild of the Philipines, in a tie with Colgate’s “Nguya” radio ad.)

The year 1989 marked the first time that two radio ads tied for the year’s honor. The first ad “DEQUADIN Do, Re,Mi” showed a novel way to present an undeniably antiseptic product, a throat lozenge, whose previous advertising exposure was limited to scientific testimonials in what Jimenez/DMB&B co-CEO Abby Jimenez calls “the pesteng ahem tradition”. The client, pharmaceutical firm Glaxo, had been advertising for 6 or 7 years, using the same authority figure in a white coat, but there was very little product awareness. “There was a need for truly impactful advertising:.

Abby’s co-CEO husband,Mon Jimenez Jr. , discovered that Dequadin’s biggest competition was a decidedly non-medical little green candy called Storck. “The earth-shaking news was that everybody knew you couldn’t die of a sore throat. People were simply not taking sore throat seriously as Glaxo was. So we had to lighten up a little”.

The solution was to produce “a commercial that celebrated the end result”, according to Mon. “We wanted a clear demonstration of throat power”, Abby adds, and that earch for “the well-est throat in the world” led the Jimenezes to young tenor Nolyn Cabahug, who blew the agency away with his o-the-spot demonstration.


As for possible jingles, several operatic pieces were eliminated until the agency was left with the simplest jingle of all. Abby recalled how, as children, she and her bother would try to outdo ech other by singing higher and higher notes. Cabahug ended up delivering an up-front powerful series of octaves that begins a capella and builds up to a convincing crescendo.

The TV ad begins with a frame of the tenor’s face, but the radio commercial takes off with pure sound. It is onely when Cabahug pauses before the last “DO” of his 3rd octave  that the product makes its perfectly-timed appearance. “the final note is brought to you by DEQUADIN”—no explanations or product analyses necessary. By this time, listeners who have been impressed Cabahug’s formidable range are absolutely amazed by what the product has allowed him to do.

The radio commercial did not only catapult DEQUADIN to new heights of consumer familiarity. It also did much to the career of Cabahug, now one of the country’s opera stars, and for classical music in general. Plus “Do Re Mi” was the campaign that turned a small agency called Jimenez and Partners into the powerhouse of creative work that it is considered today.

This article originally appeared on:
Perfect 10, A Decade of Creativity in Philippine Advertising, pubished by the Exeutive Committee of the Creative Guild of the Philippines, First Edition 1995.  pp.76-77

VIEW ON THE 3RD, by JOJO BAILON, Nolyn Cabahug for Dequadin,
DoReMi pix:

Dequadin pix:

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

276. BERT ‘Tawa’ MARCELO for HITACHI Space Wind Module ELECTRIC FAN, 1980


In 1980, HITACHI-UNION, a joint venture with Hitachi ldt., of Japan,  introduced a new electric fan with advanced features perfect for the cosmic age—the HITACHI SPACE WIND MODULE ELECTRIC FAN.

The revolutionary fan has a Streamlined Body Base designed by the world’ s top engineers, and an easy Space Slide Switch to change fan speed. Its unique Aerodyne Control is a special attachment to the fan guard that is designed to concentrate air-flow and direct it as you please.

Who best to sell the new HITACHI SPACE WIND MODULE ELECTRIC FAN than a TV space alien—a MORK lookalike inspired by the 80s TV hit series, “MORK AND MINDY”, starring goofy Robin Williams. 

 "MORK" TVC  30s HERE:

The Filipino comic counterpart was the equally zany Bert “Tawa” Marcelo, who hammed it up as a Pinoy Mork, who emerges from an egg  dressed in a similar alien costume , and selling the fan features using his famous Bulacan accent and spiced with his trademark laughter.

Na-noo, na-noo? “Aw, come on!”

Bulacan Accent by Bert "Tawa" Marcelo in his Hitachi Commercial,, uploaded by Bulakenyo KaKung, 23 Oct. 2018.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020


On the 18th of May 1990, at the star-studded Ad of the Year Awards held at Hotel Nikko Manila, the Creative Guild of the Philippines paid tribute to its very own--TESSIE HERMOSA TOMAS—by according her a Hall of Fame award.

The former agency creative-turned-show biz star, Tessie Tomas (b.31  October 1950), was to showbiz born. Her mother, Laura Hermosa was a famous radio personality, a much sought talent who voiced classic radio serials as well as radio commercials during the fledgling age of Philippine advertising.


Tomas finished Broadcast Communications at the University of the Philippines and opted to follow a different path—advertising.  She cut her teeth at Ace-Compton Advertising and then moved to McCann –Erickson where the gifted copywriter wrote successful campaigns for blue-chip client Johnson & Johnson products (Remember Johnson’s Baby Powder--“Ikaw Lamang, Wala ng Iba” campaign).

Tomas rose quickly up the corporate ladder; she was sent to London and New York for further training, and upon her return, she was named as the creative head of McCann-Erickson, the first Filipina creative director.

TESSIE TOMAS, the first Filipina Creative Director of a multinational ad agency.

But her showbiz genes impelled her to foray in stand-up comedy even as she conceptualized campaigns and wrote product slogans. Tomas joined a comedy troupe that included Subas Herero and Noel Trinidad (himself, an ex-agency man) and started performing at a popular bistro in Magallanes,”The Windmill”. 

She introduced  whole brand of humor to a willing audience--more cerebral, less slapstick, comedy that made funny commentaries on our social state, from the perspective of unforgettable characters. Tomas took a jab at corrupt politicians, and celebrated the resilience of Filipinos. Suddenly, Tomas became the talk of the entertainment circuit!


In early 1983, she did the unthinkable--she  resigned from her steady and stable corporate job and decided to plunge headlong into the dizzying, dazzling world of showbiz-- a world she was born in, and whose challenges she was now set to embrace.

Her first one-woman show—“Miss Margarida’s Way”—featured her as the demented, underpaid schoolmarm, which proved to be her first hit. Like a true creative, Tomas wrote most of her material, and created alter egos like social worker Charito Calubaquib, Boni Buendia “da bold star”, sex therapist Natassia Kinky, Saudi wife Mimay Timtiman, Japanese geisha Sakura Bitsu-Bitsu, Princess of Leyte Gulf Lady ‘Day, and Miriam Defensor Saanmanmagtago.


When she joined the hit comedy show “Champoy”, Tomas introduced the wacky umbrella-wielding weather girl “Amanda Pineda” who made dire observations about our social conditions under a repressive government, with her fearful forecasts for the nation, sugar-coated with her brand of seemingly-innocent humor and catchy punchlines.


But her most famous perosna was “Meldita”, a deluded, larger-than-life  take on the First Lady. Each staging exposed Rizal Theater SRO crowds to the lurid madness that was Malacanang: from Meldita’s  stormy relationships with Macoy and rebel child Imee, her royal fantasies, her obsessive-compulsive drive to make the Philippines great again. But it was also a story about finding fulfillment and acceptance by all means and at all costs, which Meldita always sought but never gained.

HAKONE SARDINES AD,as Sakura Bitsu-Bitsu 1989

Tomas not only received accolades for her tour-de-force performance, but also death threats. But she couldn’t care less; it was her craft that spurred her on--her pioneering one-woman shows had given her the avenue.

It was just a matter of time that movie producers saw her talent. From the stage to the screen, Tomas proved to be an equally effective performer. Her first film was “Broken Marriage” in 1983.

TESSIE TOMAS MODELLING FOR CHIZ WHIZ, channeling Barbara Tengco, 1993

Then in 1987, she was cast in the international TV series “A Dangerous Life” based on the dying moments of the Marcos regime, where she bagged the coveted role of—who else?—Imelda Marcos. For this, she won an HBO Best Actress nomination.

She found another groove on television by becoming a TV host. For six years, Tomas hosted the popular morning talk show, “Teysi ng Tahanan”. At the same time, she was in the cast of the highly-acclaimed “Abangan ang Susunod na Kabanata” as the rich, but paranoidal  Barbara Tengco. Her other critically-received movies include “Separada” (she wrote the screenplay) “Ploning” and “100”.


Happily married to marine biologist, British Roger Pullin, Tessie Tomas is also a mother of an artist, U.S.-based deigner Robin Tomas. After playing a supporting role in the ABS-CBN soap opera The Blood Sisters, Tomas and her husband moved to the Isle of Man where the family is now quietly and happily settled.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

274. Brand Stories: SAFEGUARD of Procter & Gamble (1963)


Procter & Gamble has a rich heritage of soap-making, as James Gamble was a soap maker. In 1879, they created Ivory that became a worldwide business success. P& G was also known for its beauty and toilet soaps.

SAFEGUARD SOAP PACKS, White and Gold, 1987

In 1963,P&G ventured into the germicidal soap market to answer rising consumer demand for odor and germ protection. Thus SAFEGUARD was launched, a deodorant and antibacterial soap that reduced bacterial skin count by 99.3% in clinical tests. It was successfully rolled out in the U.S., and then in 1966, it was launched internationally, beginning in the Philippines.  The soap came in wrappers with a trademark shield icon, symbolic of its germ protection property.


The next year, scientific proof of SAFEGUARD’s de-germing efficacy were published in clinical journals.  The studies also showed that Safeguard reduces skin infections by 44%. This became the basis of SAFEGUARD’s advertising messaging in the Philippines that remained unchanged to this day.


One of the earliest, if not the earliest SAFEGUARD TVC shows a man in a bath tub  (played by unknown actor Mario O’Hara) happily scrubbing away with a bar of SAFEGUARD as he extolled the virtues of the anti-bacterial soap.

SAFEGUARD enjoyed even greater success when the local P&G secured the endorsement of the Philippine Association of Medical Technologists (PAMET). In the 70s, advertising code prevented doctors from promoting products—but not allied medical workers like bacteriologists and medical technologists.  

uploaded by Juan DeLa Cruz, 1 June 2008
SAFEGUARD capitalized on this, and its advertising agency—Ace Compton Advertising—produced a series of  commercial  featuring real-life medical technologists using the soap, both in the lab and at home.

The creative thin-tank of Ace Compton continued to churn out even more effective and memorable SAFEGUARD advertising with the launch of the “Conscience” campaign. The TV commercials featured mothers in the act of buying more affordable beauty soaps for their families. The mother’s personified “ghost conscience”  appears,  to remind her of her responsibility to give only the best for her family. With her conscience piqued, she chooses SAFEGUARD with 24 hour germicidal protection.

Uploaded by Safeguard Philippines, 1 May 2016

With SAFEGUARD dominating the germicidal soap market for decades,  the brand was in a position to launch other promotional initiatives—introducing variants such as SAFEGUARD White and Gold,  linking with PAMET to offer free med tech scholarships, and leading the way with allied efforts like the “Wash Your Hands” campaign that has evolved into a Global Handwashing Day—a unique event that is saving lives around the world.

For the rest of the 80s-90s decade, SAFEGUARD continued to rule the germicidal soap market with its unique combination of effective germ protection and mildness, even with the fold-up of the local P&G marketing office. 

Uploaded by vibesey, 6 May 2017

SAFEGUARD continues to be present worldwide in 15 countries, including the Philippines.  The modified shield on the packaging is still there—now called Germshield, also a name for the active ingredient  in SAFEGUARD that fights off more types of harmful germs longer than any other anti-bacterial soap. Over the years, new products have been added to the SAFEGUARD name as well—from anti-acne soaps.  body and face wash, to foaming hand soaps.

In these times when the COVID-19 pandemic is upon us, we need to fight germs and viruses more than ever, and reduce incidence of preventable diseases such as diarrhea, influenza, and pneumonia.  Then, as now,  SAFEGUARD is on our side!

1988 Creative Guild of the Philippines Awards Night Souvenir Program
Safeguard Commercial (Mila Delfonso), uploaded by Juan dela Cruz, 1 Jun. 2008,
Safeguard "Konsensya", uploaded by Safeguard Philipines, 1 May 2016,
Safeguard Gold with new fragrance, uploaded by vibesey, 6 May 2017,