Sunday, August 18, 2019

236. Brand Names That Became Everyday Pinoy Words #6: MONGOL PENCIL

MONGOL PRINT AD, 1964

Nowhere in the world is the MONGOL more popular than in the Philippines—where the name has become synonymous with “pencils”. MONGOL was a creation of John Eberhard Faber (b. 6 Dec. 1822/ d. 2 Mar. 1879), a German-American who founded  a pencil manufacturing company in new York in 1861.

There are different reported dates of its manufacture, but it started advertising in the U.S.in the early 1900. The best graphite used in the production of pencils supposedly came from the eastern parts of the globe like Siberia, which inspired manufacturers to name their pencils after easter and middle-eastern places like Mikado and Mongol. 

In the Philippines, it was introduced before World War II by American Rolland E. Thompson, who brought the pencils in their trademark woodcases through his Rennolds Enterprises Inc., a Philippine corporation that was working in tandem with H.G. Henares & Sons, Incorporated.

In 1963, 1963, H.G. Henares & Sons, Inc. formed a new company Amalgamated Specialties Corporation (AMSPEC). Resultantly, everything within the manufacturing facilities formerly owned by H.G. Henares & Sons, Inc. for the making of the woodcase "MONGOL" pencil were transferred to AMSPEC, which, thereafter,  was acquired by Rolland E.Thompson, his family and other local investors.

MONGOL TRADE AD, 1902. Source: contapunalism.blog

In the years that followed, AMSPEC spent considerable amount in advertising and promoting its MONGOL Pencils,  enabling it to gain market leadership. The MONGOL Pencil business flourished (MONGOL No. 2 was favored)  and the mark "MONGOL" through time was associated by the purchasing public with AMSPEC as the source and origin of high quality pencils.

MONGOL PRINT AD, 1965

 AMSPEC rose to become as a leading  manufacturer and distributor of the best quality and user-safe school & office supplies to the Filipino market such as Crayola, Li’l Hands, Jumbo Pencils, Magic Touch, Touch and Go, Gold Medal and  Old Town carbon paper.

For many years, AMSPEC was the authorized producer of MONGOL, under license by Eberhardt Faber U.S., in the Philippine market, then later acquired by Faber-Castell USA. MONGOL was also licensed to Eberhardt Faber de Venezuela for that market, which was sold separately to Newell.

Faber-Castell USA was next sold to Newell (Sanford). This license to AMSPEC continued, but Newell ended this agreement around 2008, after the principal owner and CEO of AMSPEC passed away.

LIMITED EDITION NINOY-CORY MONGOLS. Photo: penciltalk.org
AMSPEC ceased MONGOL production, but the brand didn’t disappear –a new supplier, Star Paper Corp. began distributing Venezuelan –made MONGOLs in the country. One of MONGOL’S distinctive limited edition product was the “iamninoy iamcory” MONGOL Pencils. AMSPEC, on the other hand, began making pencils under the brand name “T- Pencil”.

MONGOL STAMP, 1999. Photo: penciltalk.org

MONGOL Pencils continue to be popular in the Philippines and are highly regarded as part of the early education of Filipinos. In fact, stamp showing a MONGOL pencil, was issued by the Philippine Postal Corp. to mark the brand’s 50th year in the Philippines.

MONGOL NO. 2. Photo: lazada.ph

There are so many imitators of MONGOL today, leading Berol Corp., a wholly owned company of Newell Rubbermaid, the trademark owner of MONGOL, to warn the public of fake MONGOL Pencils flooding the country. But to Pinoys, one thing is clear—it ain’t a pencil, if it ain’t a MONGOL!

SOURCES:
AMSPEC Case:


Monday, August 12, 2019

235. Cosmos Orange Rebranded: SUNTA, “We Wunta Sunta”, 1972

SUNTA, 'KATAS-CALIFORNIA' RELAUNCH AD,1972
The new Cosmos Bottling Corp. came to be in 1945, rebuilt by Henry Gao Hong- Wong, that was originally founded as Maila Aerated water Co. back in 1918 by his father Wong Ning.  Unfortunately, the Guangdong migrant would pass away in prison during World War II.

Cosmos sarsaparilla was the company’s flagship product, which took the market by storm. To complement the root beer flavor, it also came up with Cream Soda, Lime, Lemon, Mulberry, Grape, Pineapple and Orange variants. By the 60s, only Sarsaparilla and Orange were the most viable of the Cosmos bottle beverage products.


Cosmos Orange was just a mere tag on mainstream “Sarsi” (short for sarsaparilla) advertising, casually mentioned as “Also available in Orange Flavor”, in the late 60s.  

In 1972, Cosmos reformulated its orange beverage, and improved on its orange flavor, dimensionalized as “Katas-California” (juice from California oranges). The company decided to rebrand it as it was also awkward to call it Sarsi Orange. Thus Orange Cosmos became SUNTA.

It was relaunched on the strength of its “Katas-California” taste, and sold at 15 centavos (up by 5 centavos in 1969), but the execution looked more like a fruit juice ad than a soft drink lifestyle commercial.

LISTEN TO THE SUNTA 
"I WUNTA SUNTA" JINGLE HERE:

The next year, a new SUNTA advertising campaign burst on TV screens featuring a catchy slogan, “We wunta SUNTA”, that certainly helped in creating brand awareness for the new reformulated product. It also gave the brand a new, distinct identity—pushed by a light, lilty jingle sung by Fides Cuyugan-Asencio and composed by the prodigious Jose Mari Chan.


SUNTA made use of the precocious child star Niño Muhlach, who lent his cuteness to the brand by way of TV commercial appearances. 


SUNTA enjoyed a short-lived boom as a price range soda brand, but by the early 70, the Philippine economy was floundering and the peso lost its buying power. From 10 centavos in 1969, its price increased to 25 centavos by 1975. But SUNTA stayed on, until the business floundered after Henry Wong’s death. RFM acquired the company in 1989.

SOURCE:
'Strictly Commercial", Jose Mari Chan "The Jingles Collection"CD.

Friday, August 2, 2019

234. Brand Stories: BLEND 45 of Consolidated Food Corp., 1963-1984

THE VERY FIRST PRINT AD OF BLEND 45, launched in 1962, as a price brand.

The Consolidated Food Corporation (CFC) was founded in 1961 by John Gokongwei Jr., and, after surveying the local coffee landscape, decided that there was room more for new coffee brands. The market leader then was the post-war brand Café Puro of Commonwealth Foods Inc., which, by 1951, had become the no.1 selling coffee brand, a position it kept till the 1960s.

BLEND 45 IN WINDSOR CRYSTAL PARTY GLASSES PROMO, 1967

Consolidated Foods’ first coffee brand was Presto, launched in 1962. But it was the second locally-made soluble coffee brand that made a major dent in the 1960s coffee market” : BLEND 45. It was so named as a cup of mixed coffee contains at least “45 choice coffee beans”.

BY 1968, BLEND 45 WAS THE NATION'S LARGEST SELLING COFFEE.

Filipinos took to the aroma and distinctive flavor of BLEND 45, but what made it really popular and attractive to consumers was its cheap price, much less than the regular coffee then available. At 3 centavos per cup, BLEND 45’s grew and became known as “poor man’s coffee”—in a good way.

BLEND 45 IS SO AFFORDBALE, YOU CAN DRINK IT DAY AND NIGHT!

As Mr. Gokongwei recalls in an interview, “The price was very good, and the product was very good. So we had good pricing, good product, and good presentation,”

BLEND 45, PERFECT FOR AFTER LUNCH.

In just 2 years after its launch, BLEND 45 overtook Café Puro and rose to become the largest-selling coffee brand in the Philippines (Presto was discontinued, but the Presto trademark was kept and reserved for the chocolate line of CFC).

EDDIE RODRIGUEZ, DRAMA ACTOR, FOR BLEND 45, 1973

BLEND 45’s advertising peaked during the 1970s and 1980s, employing the most credible and popular endorsers of that period: Eddie Rodriguez, Boots Anson-Roa,Ariel Ureta, and Susan Roces. Its unique selling proposition was set into a catchy jingle to remind coffee lovers of the “45 choice coffee beans in a cup of BLEND 45”.

BOOTS ANSON AND PETE ROA, CELEBRITY COUPLE, FOR BLEND 45, 1981.

The success of BLEND 45 paved the way for another successful CFC coffee brand—Great Taste Coffee—its first soluble granule coffee.

SUSAN ROCES, QUEEN OF PHILIPPINE MOVIES, FOR BLEND 45, 1984.
Photo: www.susanroces.blogspot.com

Today, the brand--as well as its success—endures. BLEND 45 is still sold at a price every Filipino can afford. Now, as part of the Universal Robina Corp.’s beverage portfolio, BLEND 45 even has a single-serve instant coffee pack and a 3-in-1 sachet at popular prices of P1.50 and P4.00  in sari-sari stores.

WATCH BLEND 45'S "SUSAN ROCES" TVC 1984

The product’s taste appeal  has been made more attractive with such as new flavor innovations as BLEND 45 Kondensada, Pula, Barako. Gokongwei’s vision to see a Pinoy brand on the breakfast table of every Filipino, has been achieved—with BLEND 45.

CREDITS:
BLEND 45 TVC 1984:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nv4Nao3oo38, posted by Dateline Anime, 13 Sep. 2017.
SUSAN ROCES Blend 45 Ad: www.susanroces.blogspot.com

Saturday, July 27, 2019

233. WHEN VAPE WAS A MOSQUITO KILLER, NOT AN ELECTRONIC CIGARETTE

FUMAKILLA VAPE, LAUNCH AD, 1966

Today, many young people in particular are into smoking electronic cigarettes or vaping. For some, it is a way to transition from traditional cigarettes to not smoking at all. But most use it to look cool and hip. How exactly does it work?

E-cigarettes heat nicotine extract flavorings to create a water vapor that one inhales. Nicotine is addictive, so whether you are vaping or smoking a traditional cigarette, the risk of harm is still there.


But do you know that as early as 1966, a product with the brand name VAPE, was introduced in the market? No, it was not an alternative smoke gadget,  but an “electronic mosquito destroyer!”

FUMAKILLA VAPE kills mosquitoes by emitting fragrant vapors. No mess…no smoke. All you need is a VAPE mat that you insert in a heating pad. When plugged, the VAPE mat is vaporized to exude invisible vapors that kill mosquitoes safely. The vapors are virtually harmless to animals and humans.


There are even 2 kinds of VAPE pads to choose from—the regular pad and a decorative version with a human bust that conceals the mat.  The gadget is manufactured by FUMAKILLA Limited, and was distributed by Tancho Corporation (of the stick pomade fame).

FUMAKILLA VAPE did not catch on, possibly because it was perceived as more expensive—it required electricity to run. Traditional katols (mosquito coils) however, were more practical as you can light them, and leave them—no electricity needed. Katols have also been used for decades, and are more available (you can buy them from sari-sari stores). Old habits die hard…and in the end, it was FUMAKILLA VAPE that died as the 60s decade came to a close.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

232. SUKI SOY SAUCE: THE Philippine Brand of the World-Renowned KIKKOMAN, 1963-64

SUKI SOY SAUCE, Teaser Ad, 1963

When SUKI SOY SAUCE was launched in the Philippines in 1963,  it was made clear that it was the local  brand of the world-renowned “Kikkoman”. Kikkoman’s history goes as far back to the 17th century, when the forefathers of the Mogi family concocted the dark brown seasoning sauce from soy, wheat, water and salt in the Japanese town of Noda. Kikkoman Soy sauce won honors at Expo Vienna in 1873 and Expo Amsterdam in 1881 for its quality and taste.

SUKI SOY SAUCE LAUNCH AD, 1963

 In 1917 the Japanese Mogi and Takanashi families founded Noda Shoyu Co. Ltd. The company name was changed to Kikkoman Shoyu Co. Ltd. in 1964 and to Kikkoman Corporation in 1980.

In 1963, a Philippine subsidiary-- The Philippine Shoyu Company, a division of the Acoje Mining Co, Liloan, Cebu—began producing SUKI SOY SAUCE, using the same Kikkoman formula that took more than 300 years to perfect---choice, imported soy beans, wheat grains and pure salt. No spices are used, no artificial flavoring.

SUKI SOY SAUCE, Sutaining Ad, 1963

SUKI SOY SAUCE was launched in 1963, with great fanfare using tri-media advertising, and Japanese imagery like cherry blossoms and kimono-clad Japanese ladies. The bottles, whih came in 4 sizes, were distributed by Consolidated Food Corp.

The product caught the fancy of Filipinos who were familiar with the distinctive soy sauce flavor of Kikkoman, but its price—higher than ordinary soy sauce brands—proved to be a factor in its market longevity. By the start of the new 70s decade, SUKI SOY SAUCE was gone. In 1970, Acoje Mining Co. attempted to produce a purely local soy sauce with the brand name “Lotus”, but the product never got off the ground due to brand name infringement issues.

SUKI SOY SAUCE, Sustaining Ad, 1964

Today, Kikkoman is the world soy sauce market leader and it is distributed by Kikkoman Philippines, established in 2011.  

Saturday, July 13, 2019

231. COMTRUST JINGLE, “We Share The Same Horizon”, 1973



Commercial Bank and Trust Co. (COMTRUST) was a commercial bank that was founded in 1954 and its head office was at the J.M. Tuason Bldg., in Escolta. By the 1960s, the fast-growing bank had bracnches along Taft Ave., Quezon City, San Fernando in Pampanga. It moved to Makati, then, a burgeoning commercial district, a spanking new corner building on Ayala Avenue in mid 1960s.
 
EARLY COMTRUST PRINT AD, 1966
The bank started advertising actively in the 1960s. It was rebranded in the 1970s as COMTRUST, complete with a modern logo.
 
COMTRUST PRINT AD, 1968
In 1973, COMTRUST rolled out its new corporate commercial featuring a minute-long song that achieved a measure of popularity with its simple, but engaging melody and its lyrics that talk about building a bright future together.

The song was composed by Jose Mari Chan, who by then, was an established singer and composer, known for hit songs like “Deep in My Heart”, “Afterglow”, and “Can We Just Stop and Talk While?”, which was the country’s entry to the 1973 Tokyo Music Festival.

LISTEN TO THE "COMTRUST JINGLE" HERE:

Singing the song was Tillie Moreno, one of the female vocalists of the hugely popular Circus band that spawned great singers like Basil Valdez, Hajji Alejandro, and Jacqui Magno. “We Share the Same Horizon”, was so popular with the young crowd that Jingle Chordbook Magazine, the top music magazine of the 1970s, had to include it on its pages, complete with guitar chords. To top it all, Vicor Records put out a 45 RPM disc of the said jingle. 

By the late 1970s, Ayala Avenue was teeming with scores of banks, and the banking giant, Bank of the Philippine islands, began acquiring other banks. COMTRUST became one of its notable acquisitions in 1981.


The only reminders of  COMTRUST today is its distinctive saucer like building in Escolta designed by national Artist Jose Ma. Zaragoza, and its memorable jingle –“We Share The Same Horizon”, which fortunately is included in one Jose Mari Chan CD compilation, “Strictly Commercial”.



SOURCES:
"COMTRUST" FB PAGE, https://www.facebook.com/Comtrust-101454099939266/
JOSE MARI CHAN, STRICTLY COMMERCIAL (The Jingles Collection)
http://pinoyalbums.com/82783/jose-mari-chan-strictly-commercial-the-jingles-collection/
BEFORE AYALA, THERE WAS QUAD, https://www.spot.ph/newsfeatures/the-latest-news-features/71404/14-nostalgic-images-of-old-makati-a1806-20170912-lfrm4?ref=feed_1

Friday, July 5, 2019

230. Is That Who I Think They Are? MARICEL SORIANO & MATUTINA for Libby’s, 1974



 By 1974, the TV sitcom “John en Marsha”, was RPN’s prized jewel, achieving consistently high TV ratings, and raking in big advertising revenues for the channel. It had started just a year before, in May 1973,  and its popularity was largely due to the talented ensemble, led by veterans Dolphy (John) and Nida Blanca(Marsha) as the mismatched Puruntong couple (in terms of status), whose relationship is plagued by meddling mother-in-law, Dely Atay-Atayan (Dña. Delilah).

Supporting the leads were two newcomers—MARICEL SORIANO (Shirley), who played the youngest of the Puruntong family, and Dña. Delilah’s always-shrieking serving maid, MATUTINA.

MATUTINA aka Evelyn Bontogon, started as a radio voice talent. The versatile Evelyn had an ‘elastic’ voice that she used to voice radio soaps—using it to sound like a child, an adult or any other character. She was discovered for TV when she was cast as a househelp named “Matutina”  in a TIDE commercial where she used a a high-pitched, shriek voice that made an impression on TV viewers, as well as talent casters.

On the other hand, MARICEL SORIANO (b. 25 Feb. 1965)  started her acting career at age 6 in the 1971 Sampaguita Pictures’ “My Heart Belongs to Daddy” with Tirso Cruz III and another kiddie star,  Snooky.  Her grandmother had brought her to the studio where Maricel charmed the producers with her acting and singing talent. She attributes her comic skills to her on-screen father, Dolphy, who guided her early in her career.
 
MATUTINA AND SHIRLEY, for Libby's Pork & Beans, 1974

Just like the other “John en Marsha” characters, MATUTINA and MARICEL had their own following and fo this reason, the two were cast in a LIBBY’S PORK & BEANS campaign that was launched in 1974.

In the Philippines, LIBBY’S PORK & BEANS was manufactured under Libby’s license by RFM Corporation, Pasig, Rizal. Its main competitor was HUNT’s, the market leader. The Maricel-Matutina campaign was notable for a catchphrase –“LIBBY’s! It’s DI BIS!”

The LIBBY’s brand passed on to a succession of owners—Libby, McNeill & Libby was acquired by Nestlé in 1970. In 1998, Libby's canned meat business was sold by Nestlé to International Home Foods, and became  International Home Foods. In 2000, it was acquired by ConAgra. Today only LIBBY’s Vienna sausage and Corned Beef are available in the Philippines.


SOURCES: