Monday, January 23, 2017

92. 1974 MISS UNIVERSE ARUBA and SWEDEN, as Print Ad Models

THE TWO WHO STAYED. Ava Vieira and Roempke were two Miss Universe Beauties who found
love in the Philippines, and enjoyed short careers in the advertising and showbiz industry.

As the present Miss Universe mania continues to grip the country, we look back at  the very first time that the most prestigious pageant in the world was held in the Philippines-also the first time in Asia-- 43 years ago, thanks to the victory of Margie Moran. By a curious twist of faith, a Filipina crowned Amparo Muñoz, a daughter of Spain, the country's former colonizer.

But there were other delegates that made lasting impressions on Filipinos—one, was the petite and popular Miss Aruba, Maureen Ava Vieira (adjudged fifth in the contest ) and the blond 19 year-old, Spanish-speaking  Swedish beauty, Eva Christine Roempke. In fact, the two would similar destinies---they would win the hearts of two scions of affluent Filipino families, and would get married within the year--Ava Vieira to Philip Ysmael, Roempke to Marcos Prieto Roces. In the short time that they resided in the Philippines, Ava Vieira and Roempke did a bit of commercial modeling; the former forayed into movies as well.

BARBIZON AD, with Ava Vieira. 1974.

Ava Vieira showed off her curves in BARBIZON ads, that featured a line of brassieres, girdles and panties, distributed by Bonito Enterprises in Divisoria. From 1974-75, BARBIZON stuck to this format, using beauty queens that included Ava Vieira from the Miss Universe Contest, and winners of Miss Asia Quest, as signature models.  This is the only known ad that Ava Vieira appeared in.

MAGNOLIA YOGHOURT AD, with Eva Roempke, 1975.

MAGNOLIA YOGHOURT, on the other hand,  featured the lithe and slim Roempke  in bigger testimonial ads that saw print in select women’s magazines. The previous year had Miss Universe Margie Moran endorsing the same product.

Unfortunately, the marriages of Ava Vieira and Roempke proved to be short-lived. These two ads—one for BARBIZON intimate apparel for Ava Vieira and MAGNOLIA YOGHOURT for Roempke—are  the only surviving reminders of their brief modelling career here in the Philippines. The products, on the other had, are still very much around.

2016 photo of M. Ava Vieira: Marcos Hirakawa FB photo post
2016 photo of E. Roempke: Townee Paat, E.C. Roempke-Stefan FB page.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

91. Beauty Queens as Ad Models: LALAINE BENNETT, Miss Universe 3rd Runner Up

GENERAL TEXTILES INC. was one of the most popular brands of fabrics in the country in the early 1960s. With offices in Libis, Quezon City, GENTEX products were promoted not only through traditional media but also via sponsorships of fashion and beauty shows. One such event that GENTEX sponsored was the 1963 search for Miss Philippines to the Miss Universe, staged by impresario Alfredo Lozano at the Philamlife Auditorium.

Of the 24 candidates , a Gaddang-speaking Filipina-American mestiza from Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya  was crowned Miss Philippines—Lalaine Betia Bennett, a 5’9” stunner who had finished as a runner-up to Cynthia Ugalde in another pageant in 1962. Bennett went on to compete at the Miss Universe Pageant in Miami Beach and copped 4th place from 49 other beauties.

This was the very first placement of the Philippines at the Miss Universe, and so, when Bennett came home, she was welcomed with warm adulation. Offers for her to appear as a celebrity endorser for a number of products poured in, magazines sought her as their cover girl, and even movie producers came-a calling.

GENTEX, having been a sponsor of the local Miss Philippines tilt, was one of the first advertisers to get Lalaine’s services. In fact, a new fabric brand was named after her—LALAINE FABRICS. The line-cotton fabric blend are soft, light and pastel colored. It also possess the GENTEX  crease-free and color-fast quality.

“Fashioned for flattery”—LALAINE FABRICS hit the stores in 1964, and promoted in print ads as “the choice of the nation’s fairest”. Lalaine would go on and also promote other products like Radiowealth and Pepsi, and would even star in her own movie,”Lalaine, Mahal Kita”. As for LALAINE FABRICS, the product was only as good as Lalaine’s popularity, as by 1964, another beauty took over the limelight —Gemma Cruz, who finally won a world crown as Miss International 1964. 

Thursday, January 5, 2017

90. Where Are They Now?: Nestlé Vita Kid, JUN KING AUSTRIA

NESTLE VITA LAUNCH AD, starred Jun King Austria, who would go on to
 be a child star and a successful commercial film director.

 Sometime in 1986, TV viewers were introduced to a new product of Nestlé Philippines  that incorporated chocolate, milk, sugar and soya in one health drink—NESTLÉ VITA. Nestlé believed in the potential of soya as the answer to the search for more affordable nutrition sources for Filipino children, resulting in the production of the revolutionary powdered drink.

NESTLE VITA PRODUCT AD, 1986. Alex R. Castro Collection

While NESTLÉ VITA generated initial interest, it was the performance of the little boy in a lab coat, with moptop hair and glasses that captivated millions of TV viewers. The commercial conceived by ad agency Ace-Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising shows a boy genius type working in a lab setting, trying to mix the perfect formula for a chocolate health drink. But the multitude of ingredients needed to concoct the drink only served to faze him (“Sugar, milk, ice, hooooo hirap!").

2-PAGE LAUNCH AD, featuring Jun King Austria

Until—the boy discovers Nestlé VITA that only needed water to create the perfect chocolate health drink to his liking. He ends his “experiment” with the line—“I therefore conclude that no other chocolate drink is more complete as  NESTLÉ VITA”.

TAPE ROLLING! Nestle Vita Boy gives another good take.

The precocious little boy who charmed his way to the audience’s heart was JUN KING AUSTRIA, son of Ernesto Austria and Liwliwa Villa Agustin of Manila. Early on, he caught the eye of TV and movie casters, with his little boy “bibo” looks—that earned him tickets to casting auditions and even minor TV appearance. Jun King amazed agency people with his ability to take directions and his cheerful disposition.

ERNESTO "Jun King" AUSTRIA II. In 1982.

He started bagging commercial assignments, doing ads for Colgate, Ajax Detergent, Knorr, Sunny Dew Orange, Hybrid 5 Chicken and Kraft Eden Cheese. But it was his solo lead performance in that NESTLÉ VITA launch commercial that brought him more recognition.

THIS BOY IS A PRO! Another TVC shoot for Jun King Austria.

The ad was directed by the notable Jun Urbano (later known as the comedian “Mr. Shooli” and son of screen icon, Manuel Conde), who shot the ad for just half a day in the old Filmex studio near Broadway Centrum. Director Urbano recalls that it was one of the quickest commercial he has done—Jun King impressed the veteran director by hitting all his cues perfectly, and his segment took only an hour to complete.

Later that year, Jun King did a second NESTLÉ VITA TV ad, a promo commercial that advertised free plastic VITA shakers. Jun King was supported in this song-and-dance commercial by child actress Gladys Reyes, whom he became fast friends with.

JUN KING transitioned to mainstream TV, starring in popular telenovelas.

He would do a dozen more commercials until showbiz discovered him. That started when he got a call from a common friend of producer Mother Lily (Monteverde) and his ‘ninang’, who asked if he wanted to act on TV. Apparently, Mother Lily was looking for a child actor to portray the young Albert Martinez in a TV project.

He and his Dad (his mother was in the that time) agreed to do an audition at Regal Films that same afternoon, and next thing they knew, Jun King was shooting the movie “Lilac”, starring Snooky Serna, Albert Martinez and Gloria Romero.

"LILAC", Jun King's first teleserye; he appeared as the young Albert Martinez.

After “Lilac”, his TV assignments just poured on. He was on “Flor de Luna”, “Tanikalang Buhangin”, and “Verdadero” , where he played the role of Moses (later, the series was repackaged as “Tungkod ni Moises”). He also became a mainstay for “Kulit Bulilit” for a year.

JUN KING AUSTRIA, early teens, and a "That's Entertainment" 90s member.

Pretty soon, German Moreno (“Kuya Germs”) came a-calling and included Jun King in his very popular “That’s Entertainment” daily afternoon show. He joined the Friday group with contemporaries Jessa Zaragosa, Fred Moore de los Santos, Bamba and Strawberry. Jun King never stopped his schooling while in showbiz from where he took a 2-year break when he reached that so-called awkward stage.

JUN KING AUSTRIA, a new career behind the camera.

Sometime in 2002 while doing a commercial for Bayantel’s “Zippedee” directed by Teddy Catuira, he was coached by assistant director Melvin Lee. Jun King expressed his interest to foray into directing, and Lee agreed to take him as his assistant for a major project—Mark Meily’s “Crying Ladies” (2003). That movie provided him the training ground that led him to embark on a lifelong career in directing.

DIREK JUN KING, in action.

Jun King today is very much in demand as assistant director for TV commercials, as well as films (100, Downtown, Sign Seeker ). He occasionally acts in films (Flotsam, 2015; Kimmy Dora, 2013; La Visa Loca, 2005).  On the side, his love for cars jumpstarted a business which he put up with friends, supplying prop cars for television commercials.

KING OF THE WORLD. The Austria Family: son Ernesto III, Jun King
and  wife Verna.

Jun King Austria is married to Verna Primicias, with whom he has a son, Ernesto III. As a kid herself, wife Verna had seen the NESTLÉ VITA commercial, and had developed a big crush for the Vita boy, whom fate decreed later to be her husband.

LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON: Then: Jun King and father, Ernesto I" Now:
Ernesto III with father Jun King,
When asked if he is still recognized for that role today, Jun King says, “Not anymore. “But when I mention my name especially to people 45 years old and older, they would light up and say—HAH?? IKAW NA YUN?

THIS BOY IS KING: Commercial Talent, Child Actor, Film and Commercial Director, Businessman
 * * * * * * 

MANY THANKS TO MR. JUN KING AUSTRIA, for the online interview.
ALL PICTURES, courtesy of Jun King Austria's Facebook Page, unless otherwise noted.

Thursday, December 29, 2016


RIZAL SURETY & INSURANCE, Print ad. July 1946.

In observance of Rizal Day this December 30, let us take a look at the role the national hero has played in the marketing of consumer goods, products and service. Dr. Jose Protacio Rizal, has been immortalized in monuments, schools, streets, avenues and stamps, and his noble qualities extolled in  songs and books.

RIZAL KEROSENE, Print Ad, 1957

These same sterling qualities—like loyalty, patriotism, steadfastness, nationalism—have also made him a perfect posthumous "celebrity endorser" of various products and institutional services, as these print ad shows:


Rizal has also inspired manufacturers to name their products after him, in the hope of winning national attention like the iconic hero. Over the years, there have been Rizal brands of cement, matches, banks, insurance companies, kerosene and softdrinks. In more recent times, Rizal has also lent his name and image in pop culture products, and at least one music band has adopted his name.

RIZAL SOFTDRINKS, Malolos, Bulacan. Another aerated soda brand was
manufactured in Iloilo. PHOTO: Dekada Collectibles. 

There are acts prescribing the code of national symbols like our flag, coat-of-arms and anthem, but only general advertising standards with regards to respect for country, religion, culture, symbols and traditions. Rizal—because of advertising media—is remembered not just as a national hero, but also as a brand of matches and cement. How’s that for brand recall?

RIZAL UNDERGROUND (music band), RIZAL MUG (Team Manila Design)

Sunday, December 25, 2016


TULOY ANG PASKO...basta may San Miguel Beer. Frames from the 1985 TVC

The immediate years that followed after the Aquino assassination was fraught with unrest, uncertainties and public outcry against Marcos. Although the “Ito ang Beer” campaign of SAN MIGUEL BEER was firmly in place and TV commercials featuring the riotous gang of Bert Marcelo, singer Rico J. Puno, ractrack king Jockey Eduardo, boxing champ Gabriel ”Flash “ Elorde and billiards wiz Amang Parica were getting great recall, 1985 still turned out to be a trying year for businessmen in particular, and for Filipinos in general.

The Philippines faced unprecedented economic instability; companies watched their sales plummet.”The problems were economic.” Recalls copywriter Romy Sinson: ”People were having a hard time. There was even a call for the boycott of San Miguel products, as Danding Cojuangco was a personal friend of the Marcoses.

Some morale boosting was in order, and Sinson put the inevitable idea into words.”Despite everything, tuloy ang Pasko. Nothing can stop the coming of Christmas”. Thus SAN MIGUEL BEER's most unforgettable campaign for 1985 was born.

1985 TVC HERE:

The result is a commercial that became a Creative Guild Ad of the Month, featuring the usual San Miguel beer barkada, with folk minstrel Florante  singing of the joyful coming of Christmas despite the lean, hard times:

TULOY ANG PASKO, Creative Guild Radio Ad of the Year, 1985 

The radio component of San Miguel Beer’s “Tuloy ang Pasko” campaign did even better as it was adjudged later as the 1985 Radio Ad of the Year by the Creative Guild of the Philippines.

The Jingle, for which Lorrie Illustre put Sinson’s lyrics to music, was a testimony to the Filipino’s resilience and ability to plod on.”Tuloy ang Aguinaldo”, the ad begins, and with that come staples like simbang gabi, caroling, Christmas itself and lest we forget, San Miguel Beer.

San Miguel Beer’s “Tuloy ang Pasko” 1985 campaign, thus joins the long list of memorable San Miguel commercials that have become truly classics of Philippine advertising.

AGENCY : Philippine Advertising Counsellors
ADVERTISER: San Miguel Beer Corporation
PRODUCT: San Miguel Beer
JINGLEMAKER: Lorie Ilustre

X: Perfect 10, A Decade of Creativity in Philippine Advertising, 1995, Creative Guild of the Philippines, ed. Butch Uy. p. 66-67.

youtube, San Miguel Beer"Tuloy ang Pasko" Philippines, 1985. Posted by advertisingarchive, on 23 July 2016.

Monday, December 19, 2016

87. THE CAROLS OF CHRISTMAS: Christmas Traditions in Philippine Ads

CHRISTMAS CAROL TRADITION, theme of a corporate ad from Shell, 1957

Christmas carols began in the west, and the earliest  one in modern form was written in 1410. The carol was about Mary and Jesus meeting people in Bethlehem. Most Carols from this time were loosely based on the Christmas story, sung by minstrels wherever they went.

CAMAY CHRISTMAS CAROLS----FREE! 16 favorite carols in a free booklet! 1964

The Americans introduced their English carols here and has since become a part of the Filipino Christmas tradition. As early as November, you would find children carolers out on the streets, singing Christmas carols from house to house spreading musical cheer, accompanied by improvised instruments like tansan tambourines and tin can drums.

Christmas carols available to Filipino carolers were mostly  in English---Silent, Night, Jingle Bells, O Holy Night, Joy to the World.  Local versions were made by translating these into English.

STANDARD CHRISTMAS CAROLS. From Standard-Vacuum Oil Co. 1957

The first known Christmas carol was originally composed in Cebuano by Vicente D. Rubi and Mariano Vestil in 1933. “Kasadya ning Táknaa”(How Blissful is this Season) was translated into Tagalog  by Josefino Cenizal in 1938 but the lyrics of Levi Celerio done in the 50s, remained to be the most popular. This carol is widely known today as "Ang Pasko Ay Sumapit".

PILIPINO TRANSLATIONS OF "Silent Night" and "Jingle Bells" in a
Satndard-Vacuum Oil ad. 1957

After being given their envelopes or coins, the carolers end their visit on a note of gratitude by singing: "Thank you, thank you, ang babait ninyo ...thank you...."

These ads celebrate our caroling tradition, from our holidays of the past that are now long gone, but never forgotten.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

86. Lighting Up Christmas: PEMCO AND PHILIP ADS, 1957-1967


For Filipinos, Christmas is the brightest and most colorful of holidays—and they make sure the world knows that. Before the advent of LED (light emitting diode) bulbs, light bulbs in color were manufactured by the two leading lighting companies—PEMCO (Philippine Electrical Manufacturing Company) and the world-renowned PHILIPS Lighting.

The colored bulbs were practically the same ordinary light bulbs with a twist—the inside of the glass bulb was painted with colored paints. Before colored bulbs, one had to wrap a regular bulb with colored cellophane to change its hue.


The lighting division of the giant Dutch technology company—PHILIPS—began operations in the Philippines in 1918. It also made short-wave radios at the onset, but it was its lighting solutions that made it a popular brand in the market. 


PHILIPS was the first to introduce these colored light bulb novelties to the local market in 1957, positioning them as “mood lights” for upscale homes and gardens. Eventually, these PHILIPS Colored Lamps were advertised specifically for the holiday season, as shown in these spread of ads from the 60s.

PHILIPS "Festive Christmas" print ad, 1963


PHILIPS "Festive Christmas Night" Print Ad, 1965

PEMCO introduced its own versions in the early 1960s. with an array of light bulbs—including colored fluorescent and incandescent lights. 

PEMCO, "Splendor in the Night", Christmas Ad, 1961

PEMCO was part of ANSCOR, multi-holdings company founded by Spanish-Filipino industrialist Andrés Soriano, Sr. (b.1898/d.1964) in the 1930s. It began advertising its line of colored light bulbs in color ads that ran in the weekly magazine, The Sunday Times.

PHILIPS, "Bright Lights", Christmas Ad, 1961

The ads of PEMCO and PHILIPS vied for attention in their weekly ads in color—on the premiere magazine, the Sunday Times. “Joyous as the glow of Christmas night!”, one PEMCO ad enthuses while PHILIPS was singleminded in the promise of turning the holiday into a festive occasion, by “making the holiday spirit more colorful!”.

PEMCO, "Christmas Bright and Holy", Print Ad, 1966

The two companies started a rage for colored bulbs until the decade of psychedelia waned and gave way to the grim and turbulent 70s. 

PEMCO "Happier Christmas", 1967