Saturday, January 19, 2019

203. What’s Wrong With This Ad? HITACHI REF Print Ad, 1981

WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS AD? Poor grammar turned this HITACHI ad into a flop. 1981.

Writing for advertising involves writing for effect, so it is expected that rules of grammar are intentionally not observed—like starting a headline with a conjunction, splitting infinitive, and removing punctuations. But obviously, the copy for this HITACHI REFRIGERATOR  print ad was not done for that purpose. Clearly, it was just written poorly, and the result is a very awkward headline.

In an attempt to draw parallelisms between the beauty of a woman, a rose and a ref, the copywriter wrote: “Two beautiful things, A Rose and a Ref, things that make women have something in common.”
 
HITACHI  AD This ad had a billboard version in Greenhills, which had the same mistake,

Oops, say that again?
We sort of get the drift that the copywriter wanted to convey: that beauty is something that women have in common—which can be had by having a beautiful rose—and a beautiful refrigerator, in this case, HITACHI. The body copy is similarly mushy and wordy. Crafting this multi-message thought in a one sentence headline proved to be a challenge for the copywriter.

Apparently, someone took note of the headline’s wrong grammar that the ad was hastily pulled out and revised. The rewritten headline now read: “ Two beautiful things…A Rose and a Ref, things that women have in common”.

THE AD CORRECTED a few issues later. Note the shorter headline that has
been grammatically fixed.
 The addition of ellipsis (…)  to separate the thoughts, and the straightening of the wrong grammar in the next line were the quick fixes done by the copywriter (or perhaps,  her creative boss) on the headline.  The body copy has also been streamlined, and made more concise. Better, but, oh well..you be the judge.

THE CORRECTED HITACHI AD, clearer but is it better?

Here is a saying that goes: “A lawyer’s mistakes are in jail, a judge’s mistakes are in the cemetery, but a copywriter’s mistakes are shown on TV every night”. So copywriters, be warned.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

202. Asia’s Sprint Queen LYDIA DE VEGA, for ALASKA (1989) and MILO (1990s)

LYDIA DE VEGA, Asis's Sprint Queen, At her peak, she won 2 Asian Games
Gold medals, won 3 SEA games Gold,  qualified in 2 Olympics, and made a movie.

Lydia de Vega (b. 12 Dec. 1964), the glamor girl of 1980s Philippine sports, was the perfect endorser of two dairy brands in the late 1980 and early 1990s, in what was known as the golden age of Philippine athletics.

The fleet-footed Bulakenya, home trained by her father, made her presence felt at the 1981 Manila Southeast Asian (SEA) when she bagged Gold in the 200 and 400 meter events exceeding records set at the Asian Games.

It came as no surprise that at the 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi, she won the premiere 100 m. dash, besting local star P.T. Usha. As if to prove that her win was not a fluke, she won another Asiad Gold at the next 1986 Asian Games in Seoul. She would also participate in 2 Summer Olympics: Los Angeles (1984) and Seoul (1988). Throughout her stellar running career, she was dubbed as “Asia’s Sprint Queen”.

LYDIA DE VEGA FOR ALASKA MILK POWDER, 1989

A year after her Seoul Olympics stint, de Vega took a 2 year break from athletics to get married, continue her studies and rest. She also finally found time to respond to endorsement deals, and in 1989, she was signed up ALASKA POWDERED MILK to do its milk campaign.

Alaska, the company, started in 1972 as Holland Milk Products, Inc. which first made liquid milk. It eventually expanded to manufacture powdered milk and UHT milk. ALASKA POWDERED MILK was launched in 1989, in a new campaign starred by de Vega. “Bring out a winner” was the thematic line, still anchored on its familiar “wala pa ring tatalo sa Alaska” omnibus slogan.

LYDIA DE VEGA FOR ALASKA MILK POWDER, 1989

Not long after that, after her contract with Alaska lapsed, Nestlé Philippines employed her as a presenter for their “Get your child into sports” public relations program, sponsored by their chocolate and malt beverage, MILO. 


WATCH LYDIA DE VEGA'S MILO AD HERE:
courtesy of Filipino Athlete, uploaded 29 Dec. 2017

The product began in 1964, ad derived its name from the  Greek mythological character Milo, famed for his strength. MILO has been using sports as its selling platform, and for years, latched on to its “Olympic energy theme”. It was also known for its sports clinics, marathons, and little Olympics.

 Vega retired after competing at the 1994 Manila-Fujian Games where she bagged her final 100 meter Gold. She briefly forayed into politics and served as a councilor of Meycauayan town.

LYDIA DE VEGA, THEN & NOW. Source: India Today Magazine,
News ABS-CBN Sports

Since Dec. 2005, De Vega has been staying in Singapore where she coaches young collegiate athletes. Married to engineer Paul Mercado, she is a mother to Stephanie, a DLSU Lady Spikers and John Michael who tragically died in a 200 freak vehicle accident at age 4. On 22 November 2018, De Vega was inducted into the Philippine Sports Hall of Fame at the Philippine International Convention Center.

SOURCES
youtube: Lydia De vega MILO advert from the 90s, by Filipino Athlete, Published on Dec 29, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lejbq4_Oq0
Image: Lydia de Vega in New Delhi:
https://www.indiatoday.in/magazine/special-report/story/19821231-asian-games-asiad-82-in-new-delhi-comes-to-a-glorious-end-772541-2013-07-29
Image: Lydia de vega, 2018 Hall of Fame

Monday, January 7, 2019

201. Brand Stories: TIGER BALM, Relief in Every Rub, 1870s

THE TIGER BALM 'LEAPING TIGER' ICON

One of the most famous heritage brands from Asia is a special ointment for all kinds of aches and pains—TIGER BALM. The salve comes in small hexagonal bottles and circular tin containers with a leaping tiger icon that has been in use for over a century, attaining worldwide recognition and prominence.

A NEW TIGER BALM JAR, between 2 vintage Tiger Balm products,

TIGER BALM’s romantic origins began in the court of Chinese emperors where Chinese herbalist Aw Chu Kin was employed. In the late 1870s, he decided to leave his homeland and move to Rangoon (Burma, now Myanmar) where he opened a medicine shop and called it Eng Aun Tong (Medical Hall) .  It was here that he concocted an ointment for body aches and pains, a product that would soon make his business successful.
 
THE BROTHERS WHO  EXPANDED THE TIGER BALM BUSINESS

Upon his death in 1908, his sons Aw Boon Haw (a name that means “gentle tiger”) and Aw Boon Par (“gentle leopard”) took over the burgeoning business and set up operations in Singapore. It was Aw Boon Haw who branded the product “TIGER BALM” in 1924 after his name. he was also the marketing genius behind its success, and the product eventually found its way to China and other Southeast Asian countries like Siam (Thailand), Batavia (Indonesia), Malaya (Malaysia),Hong Kong and the Philippines.



THE TIGER MEDICAL HALL IN SINAGPORE

By the late 1920s, TIGER BALM was already available in local boticas and farmacias, with Binondo-based Ki Lin Tong Lim Tong Te as its sole distributor. It was also extensively advertised all through the 1920s-30s in leading magazines and newspapers of the day.
 
1929 TIGER BALM, Philippine ad.

1929 TIGER BALM, Philippine ad.

The product was most popular among the Chinese communities around the world, and the business was a a huge success, turning the brothers into rich tycoons. 

1929 TIGER BALM, Philippine ad.

They engaged in philanthropic works, donating money to charities, schools and newspapers in their adopted countries. Boon Par not only built mansions, Singapore, Hong Kong and Fujian, but also a theme park--the TIGER BALM Gardens.

TIGER BALM GARDENS, HONG KONG, postcard, 1960s

After the brothers died (Boon Par in 1944 and Boon Haw in 1954), the TIGER BALM business remained in quandary.  It was soon  taken over by British conglomerate Slater Walker in 1969. But when the company was plagued with financial crisis, Singaporean banker Dr Wee Cho Yaw gained control of the business in 1981 and began rebuilding the company and, eventually the brand, TIGER BALM.


Today, TIGER BALM is a flourishing brand available worldwide, distributed in countries such as Brazil (Pomada del Tigre), Scandinavian countries (Tiger Balsam), France (Baume du Tigre), Spain (Balsamo Tigre), Saudia Arabia and the U.S. where it was positioned as a sport balm. TIGER BALM is readily available in the Philippines, as t has been since the 1920s, in leading drugstores and Chinese specialty shops.


SOURCES:

The story of 100 years of business & legacy of 'Tiger Balm' - YourStory: 

https://yourstory.com/2014/01/tiger-balm
Tiger Balm website: http://tigerbalm.com/

Monday, December 31, 2018

200. A FRIENDLY NEW YEAR REMINDER FROM FIRESTONE, 1954



FIRESTONE Tire and Rubber Co., the company that built all sorts of rubber and pneumatic tires from wagons to modern automobiles and motorbikes, has been around since 1900, named after its founder, Harvey Firestone. Firestone started the company in Akron, Ohio, which, incidentally was also home to its major competitor, Goodyear.

As he was a good friend of automobile maker, Henry Ford, he began supplying the Ford Motor Co. with his rubber and tire products. It found a ready market all over the world, including in the Philippines. A subsidiary, FIRESTONE Tire and Rubber Co. P.I. was put up in post-war Philippines to meet the growing needs of the driving public.

Then, as now, motorbikes were a cheaper transportation alternative, and many Filipinos rode them to commute on our national roads. Accidents were bound to happen even then—as our few roads, streets and avenues were beginning to be crowded and clogged with traffic.

Sixty five years ago,  FIRESTONE had this corporate ad published in leading magazines and newspapers, that not only welcomed the New Year but  also served as a public service announcement to the riding public.

“Let’s be extra careful this New Year, folks!” the headline proclaimed, this, ironically, coming from a boy in boots,  astride a motorbike outfitted with FIRESTONE tires---too young even to secure a driving license!

In 1988, the company was sold to the Japanese Bridgestone Corporation. The company in the Philippines was re-organized nearly 20 years later, returning as Philippine Allied Enterprises Corporation (PAEC), has which now distributes Bridgestone tire products.

SOURCES:

Friday, December 28, 2018

199. A FRIENDLY NEW YEAR REMINDER FROM UNILAB, 1965



Amidst all the holiday feasting, wining and dining, UNILAB extended its wish of good health to Filipinos through this corporate ad from 1965.

United Laboratories Inc. was put up in 1945 by Jose Yao Campos and Mariano K. Tan as United Drug Co. Today,Unilab  is a leading pharmaceutical company, maker of the biggest prescription, consumer healthcare and personal care brands in the Philippines. It actively advertising in the late 1950s, after its state-of-the art headquarters housing its laboratories and research center was established in Mandaluyong.

Whether at Christmas time or at any other time, UNILAB is one with your doctor in fighting disease and illness, so you could have good health and well-being all year round.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

198. THE FILIPINO PAROL, IN CHRISTMAS ADS, 1935-1971

SKYFLAKES, M.Y. SAN BISCUITS, 1963

The parol is an enduring symbol of Christmas in the Philippines, a must-have decoration in Filipino homes during the long holiday season.  The parol, usually star-shaped to evoke the Star of Bethlehem, is hanged and lit in front of houses as early as September as a symbol of hope, goodwill and a bright future. It is no wonder that the colorful parol has been used as a design motif for many years in Philippine advertising and commercial art. Here are a few examples:
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PHILIPPINE MATCH COMPANY, PRINT AD, 1955

OLYMPIAN RUBBER SHOES, PRINT AD, 1935

PEPSI-COLA, PRINT AD, 1957

TANDUAY RHUM, PRINT AD, 1962

YCO PAINTS & FLOOR WAX, PRINT AD, 1963

HELENE CURTIS BEAUTY PRODUCTS, PRINT AD, 1963

DUTCH BOY PAINTS, 1965

SAN MIGUEL BEER, PRINT AD, 1968

RADIOWEALTH TV, PRINT AD, 1971

Thursday, December 20, 2018

197. PRINT ADS FEATURING UNUSUAL CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEAS


The most surprising gift suggestions for Christmas can be found featured on print ads of yesteryears—from the strange, the surprising,  to downright weird. Take your pick!
********

Give a house of music:  AVEGON DREAMHOUSE RADIO, 1962
Be generous! Why not give a radio that comes with a house this Christmas? Yes, in 1962, AVEGON introduced new radio models imaginatively designed in the shape of houses. The little bungalows even  had small windows, ‘stone’ foundations and topped by a TV antenna! With this “gift of distinction”, you can now have your dreamhouse…and radio too! Amazing!


Dreaming of a black-haired Christmas: BIGEN HAIR DYE, 1975
For Christmas 1975, BIGEN offers a packaged line of hair products “to suit your holiday mood”. If black doesn’t suit you, there are also different shades of brown to tint your hair, so you can look your youthful best! As the famous hair coloring brand proclaims: “walang hindi pinagaganda…walang hinid pinababata ang BIGEN!”


For a blockbuster of a holiday: FREE MOVIES from DARI CREME, 1964
In 1964, DARI CRÈME ‘spread’ holiday cheer by giving the movie-watching public a special “Free Movie” treat! All one has to do was collect “Santa Claus” wrappers of DARI CRÈME that can be presented at movie houses like Lyric, Capitol, Dalisay, Cinerama, Ever, Avenue and other theaters, to watch the best Filipino and Hollywood movies!


Makulay na Pasko sa inyong lahat! YCO PAINTS, 1967
There’s a plus-side to giving cans of YCO PAINTS for Christmas. You don’t have to cram yourself in sardine-packed department store---you can just pick them up at your nearest crowdless hardware store. Brush on YCO PAINTS…for colors that stay Christmas, after Christmas, after Christmas!


Seasoning’s Greetings!  AJI-NO-MOTO GIFT PACK, 1971
Monosodium glutamate for Christmas? Why not? When you can greet your friends and loved ones with a special AJI-NO-MOTO Gift Pack that includes your favorite vetsin brand in a sprinkler bottle, in a plastic wrapper, with a free Kokeshi doll to match!  Oh what fun it is to  Tak-Tak-Tak all the way!


So Tender and Mild: SILENT NIGHT PERFUME & LOTION, 1962
Yes, Virginia, there is such a perfume brand called SILENT NIGHT, ‘ a perfume masterpiece made by Countess Maritza of New York, U.S.A.”. It was locally distributed in local stores in 1962. But wait,  there’s also a SILENT NIGHT Lotion to complement it. With a name like that, how can you miss? As the ad suggests—“it’s best to give on Christmas!”. One wonders what will happen if you give SILENT NIGHT on Valentine?