Friday, March 16, 2018

154. Is That Who I think She Is? CARMI MARTIN for FLAIR SHAMPOO, 1979

MY FLAIR LADY.16 yr. old Carmi Martin as an unknown ad model.
Carmita “Carmi” Martin, (b. 7 Aug. 1963) entered showbiz through the modeling route. Before she made a splash in a Dolphy movie,  Carmi was auditioning for modeling jobs, and one of her early ads was for FLAIR Shampoo, a product of Cromwell Commercial Co., which used to manufacture the highly popular  Glo-Co brand of cosmetic and personal products in the 1950s.

FLAIR Shampoo was available in 3 variants—Lanolin Glow for normal hair, Protein Rich for dry and damaged hair, and Lemon Fresh for oil hair. Carmi was just 16 when she appeared as the anonymous model for FLAIR Shampoo, which proved to be a short-lived brand.

For Carmi, however, her rise to stardom was just about to start. In fact, just a year after, she was cast in the blockbuster movie, “Dolphy’s Angels” , along with Liz Alindogan, Anna Marie Gutierrez and Yehlen Catral. More movies with the Comedy King followe after: “Stariray”, “The Quick Brown Fox”, “John En Marsha”, “Dancing Master”, “Dino Dinero”, and Dobol Trobol (her last movie with Dolphy, 2008).

Carmi also was to become the leading lady of action stars--Fernando Poe, Jr., Lito Lapid, to name a few. Her comedic talents showed when she was paired with Chiquito, Jimmy Santos, Redford White, and the popular triumvirate Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto, and Joey de Leon

By the mid 1980s, Carmi was a top sexy star, starring in hit TV series like Chicks to Chicks (1984), That’s Entertainment (1987) and hosting her own show with Roderick Paulate, “Tonight with Dick and Carmi” (1988-91). She went on to make notable films such as “Cain At Abel”, “Bagong Hari”, “Bayan Ko: Kapit Sa Patalim”, “Hot Property” and her comedy hit “Working Girls”.

Of course, as a certified star, Carmi’s modeling services were now eagerly sought by more high-profile, and better-known brands. At the height of her career, she bagged a plum  endorsement deal sought-after by many commercial  celebrities—Carmi was chosen to be the WHITE CASTLE Whiskey Girl.


Wednesday, March 7, 2018

153. Creative Guild Print Ad of the Year 1988: LUX BEAUTY SOAP, “Starcare Skincare Originals”

Creative Guild Print Ad of the Year 1988:  LUX “Starcare Skincare Originals”

The 1988 Print Ad of the Year blrew competition away through sheer star power. The stunning ad, a full color magazine spread for LUX Beauty Soap, featuredthree of the year’s most recognizable faces in Philippine show business: Movie star Sharon Cuneta, singer Kuh Ledesma, and then up-and-coming starlet (and presidential daughter) Kris Aquino. “Starcare” was a creation of J. Walter Thompson, which has had LUX manufacturer. Multinational heavyweight Philippine Refining Vompany, as a worldwide client since the 1950’s.

“LUX has always been about celebrities,”says JWY Executive Creative Director Socky Pitargue,”and it has always been important to choose the right names and faces.” The last Filipina endorser Pitargeue recalls was screen actress Hilda Koronel, and the launch of three new variations for normal-to-dry, oily, or sensitive skin was the perfect excuse to go beauty-hunting. The idea was clear: three superstar faces using there classy variatons of one glorious product.

The original plan had been to shoot three separate print ads for each of the models, but Pitargue had a more ambitious idea.”Why not get them together? Why not come out with one big ad two or three times for maximum impact?” Pitargue even predicted the fans, especially young girls, would tear the ad out and use it as a poster—which research shows they did.

After PRC had closed deals with three celebrities, chosen for their individual styles as well as their beautiful complexions, Pitargue, creative irector Adele Estrada and executive art director Edwina Arroyo confronted another logistical hurdle: how to get the three stars together for a photo session. “That’s when we decided to get a fourth superstar to take the photograph,” Pitargue says. Millionaire businessman, philanthropist, and high profile hobby photographer Jaime Zobel de Ayala had never done any commercial photography before, and he welcomed the project.

The strategy worked. With a reputation bigger than those of his subjects, Don Jaime called the shots. “He asked the ladies to be at his studio at 7 pm. sharp,” Pitargue recalls,”or he would close the doors. The trio complied, and the shoot was over in less than three hours. Don Jaime’s professional fee, Pitargue reports, was subsequently donated to charity.

Bare arms and shoulders for the subjects were decided upon early, to do away with the problem of coordinating outfits. Neither did the agency ant anything to distract from the glowing complexions. The three LUX variations were photographed for the same poster and reinforced with copy in small text, but the yes remained rivettted on the unmistakable stars of the spread.


The print ad ran alongside three slick TV commercials, individually featuring Sharon, Kuh, and Kris. JWT git the media exposure they wanted, and LUX is still happily riding on the fame of cinema’s most stellar skins.

ADVERTISER: Philippine Refining Co.
PRODUCT: Lux Beauty Soap
AGENCY: J. Walter Thompson Co.
COPYWRITERS: Adele Estrada / Carol San Pedro
ART DIRECTOR: Bobby Canlas
PHOTOGRAPHERS: Jaime Zobel / Neil Oshima

PERFECT 10: A Decade of Creativity in Philippine Advertising. Ed. by Mr. Butch Uy. Published by the Executive Committee of the Creative Guild of the Philippines, 1995. “Superstar  spread,” p. 26
PHOTOS: Kris Aquino (, KuhLedesma (Inquirer Entertainment), Sharo Cuneta (, Showbiz Central)

Monday, February 26, 2018

152. Aren’t You Glad You Use Dial? DIAL SOAP, 1961-1978

DIAL SOAP PRINT AD, ca. 1978-1979
DIAL Soap was available in the Philippines as early as the late, distributed by Corona Bazar, with offices at Rizal venue. The bath soap had been developed by a meat-packing company which had originally produced soap since 1888—Armour and Co.. DIAL, with its antibacterial hexachlorophene that promised to protect “round-the-clock”, was  introduced in Chicago in 1948. B

DIAL was rolled out nationally in 1949, and by 1953 was a market leader in America. Six years after, it found its way to the Philippines to a warm, receptive market. It came in packed foils of Gold, Pink and Aqua, and the front panel features a “clock” illustration to visualize its all-day deodorant protection.

DIAL PRINT ADS, Sunday Times Magazine, Apr. 1961
By 1961, the first print ads of DIAL were seen on local weekend magazines, featuring the same ads in U.S. publications that showed male and women models under a shower. It was one of the first products to have standardized campaign around the world, using the thematic line “Aren’t you glad you use DIAL?”. The tagline, created by Foote Cone & Belding (FCB),  first appeared in the product’s 1953 ads, and was used all the way to the 2000s, making it one of the world’s most enduring campaigns responsible for its global success.


All throughout the 60s, DIAL was promoted on primetime evening TV,within the program, “Not for Hire”, aired on Channel 3. It reached its peak in the 1970s when even superstar Nora Aunor, agreed to appear and sing the DIAL jingle in a TV commercial produced by Basic/FCB. It was major casting coup for the brand. The premium product expanded its appeal to common consumers because of the pulling power of Aunor’s campaign.


DIAL was actively advertised all through the 1970s, such as this one, featuring model Pilar Zaragoza. By the 1990s, its popularity waned as other new alternatives came to fore, and Safeguard managed its hold on the germicidal soap market.

Today, DIAL Soaps are no longer produced in the Philippines, but imported ones can be had in specialty shops and can be ordered online.

youtube, Dial Soap Classic Philippine TVC (1979), uploaded by ADman 1909, uploaded Jul. 2007

Monday, February 19, 2018


A brand name defines and differentiates a product from its competitiors in the eyes of the customer. So important are brand names that they can make or break a product---a car manufacturer once named its new vehicle “Nova”, not knowing that “no va” meant “not going” in Spanish. On the other hand, there are perfect brand names like “Jollibee”, “Hapee” and “Mr.Clean” that evoke positive images of joy, clean living and fun. Before marketing experts offered their brand-naming services, many makers of products just coined their own brand names, resulting in odd, unusual names.
1. ATOMI-CHLOR (Anti-fleas and ticks)
This liquid product, designed to rid pet dogs, insects, plants and lawns, was forlumated in the 1950s –known as the Atomic Age—hence the brand name ATOMI-CHLOR. The other half is derived from its active ingredient—Chlordane. The ad dates from 1951.

2. BARRY’S TRICOPHEROUS (For baldness, thinning hair and dandruff)
BARRY’S TRICOPHEROUS was introduced in the late 1840s by "professor" and former New York wig-maker, Alexander C. Barry. The product surprisingly did well in the market and was sold to Thomas Barclay in 1871, who sold it  until 1906. The product contains 97% alcohol, 1.5% castor oil, and 1% tincture of cantharides (Spanish fly), which supposedly help stimulate the scalp’s blood supply. The product is still being sold today.  Ads from 1951.

3. DUSGOCYL (For cough relief)
The name of this cough relief medication is a challenge to spelling bee contestants; DUSGOCYL sounds like the name of a prehistoric creature, a winged dinosaur perhaps—not some product that “combats cough at the start”. It actually contains Cocillana, which has expectorant properties.  Curiously, it also lists wild lettuce as among its ingredients.  Ad from 1935.

4. ELIXIR AURI-BROMIDE (For all acute and infectious coughs)
This elixir has a unique 24K gold tri-bromide ingredient from which its brand name was derived. “Aurum”, the chemical symbol for gold, plus “bromide”, resulted in ELIXR AURI-BROMIDE, that provides soothing relief for whooping coughs, bronchial asthma, pulmonary and other obstinate coughs. Ad from 1961.

5. GALISATUM (For all diseases of the skin)
GALISATUM was a skin ointment developed by Dr. Carlos Jahrling of Botica Sta. Cruz in the 1930s.  “Galis” was an all-encompassing local  term for any skin conditions—from scabies, eczema to skin chafing and mange.  “-Atum” was a suffix that was  commonly used in pharmaceuticl products  like “mentholatum”and “petrolatum”. Ad from 1936.

6. JAGGING JAGGING (Face Powder)
There really is no reason why a  cosmetic product guaranteed to make you “lovely to look at” be named JAGGING JAGGING. It is nonsensical, unfeminine and the sound is far from mellifluous. But  Chun Huat Pomade Factory, the manufacturer, did just that, making it hard to believe that Jagging Jagging  is indeed,  a “girls’ favorite”. Ad from 1934.

7. KULSO-ALIS (Anti-diarrhea, anti-dysentery)
Another product coming from Botica St. Cruz is  KULSO-ALIS, a concoction with a brand name that comes from “Kulso” (diarrhea, loose bowel movement) and “Alis” (to be free from, begone). It was a common way to coin brand names for products—Katialis, the popular skin cream was coined in the same way. It is interesting that Kulso-Alis lists Opium as one of its ingredients. Ad from 1937

8. MONG ALING (Remedy for anemia)
This medicine intended for a serious disease has such a comical-sounding name, that it’s hard to believe it can bring relief to anemic women and mothers with disorders associated with pregnancy and their menses. Even the ingredients do not give a clue as why it was named MONG ALING. To make it more difficult to decipher, the word and numbers “Silang Lab.  No. 8368”, are appended to the brand name. Is this a trademark registration number? It remains a mystery to this day. Ad from 1936.

9. ODORODO (Body odor protection)
The brand name of this early deodorant spray is a palindrome—ODORODO—it reads the same way when read backwards. Such literary devices were used to increase memorability of the brand name, but unfortunately Odorodo, even with its catchy name and unque Action-Proof formula, did not catch on. But at least, the euphemistic “B.O.” (for body other) is still in our vocabulary today. Ad from 1960.

10. PENETRO (For chest colds)
St. Joseph Laboratories gave us this medicated rub with  the name PENETRO, which conjures images of soothing, penetrating vapors to give relief to chest colds. But it is also ideal for tired feet, burns and other aches, which makes  ”Penetro” very apt, as it does sound almost like a name for a multi-powered superhero! Ca. 1935.

11. REUTER’S  SOAP (Skin Soap)
The early toilet soap designed to beautify a woman’s complexion is a trademark of Lanman & Kemp-Barclay & Co., Inc., The company, itself was founded in 1808 by Robert I. Murray and its business was conducted under the firm name Murray & Lanman in New York.  The brand name--REUTER’S SOAP-- has nothing to do with the world-famous news bureau. It was named after its creator, Dr. John Reuter. The classic bar soap was sold under its Spanish brand name, Jabon de Reuter, in the Philippines. The company still is in cooperation today with headquarters in Westwood, New Jersey, and continues to sell the soap.  Ads from early 1950s.

12. SAIZ DE CARLOS (Stomach elixir against gas and diarrhea)
It would seem at first that this brand name came from someone named Carlos the Sixth.  However, the famous stomach elixir  bears the name of its maker, pharmacist and doctor Ramón Sáiz de Carlos (b.26  Jan. 1857) whose interest in oenological research led him to pursue laboratory work and develop new medicines and drugs. The acclaimed  Sáiz de Carlos gave his name to such new products that were exported all over the world---Neuranémico, Dinamogeno, Reumator, Purgantina,  Quinofebrina and the popular SAIZ DE CARLOS ELIXIR ESTOMACAL, recommended for gas pains and diarrhea. In the Philippines, the product was distributed by Metro Drugs.

13. SUSPIRO DE AMOR (Women’s perfume)
Not a exactly an odd name, but certainly mysterious, if not sensual. SUSPIRO DE AMOR—“Sigh of Love”—is the brand name of this lady’s perfume guaranteed to arouse passion and love. Even the ad copy is full of innuendos—“the lady languishes  on her silken couch—she murmurs in accents of wild sweetness—“Midnight and after!”. Ad from 1951.

14. TIMOSINA (For cough relief)
Thymosins, small proteins in animal tissues, were originally isolated from the thymus, hence the name. They are used in mucolytics and expectorants to clear coughs, improve hydrations and volume of secretions. TIMOSINA Cough Syrup, a product of the pharmaceutical company in the Philippines—Botica Boie--  is the Spanish term for thymosin. It is indicated for convulsive spasms of whooping coughs. Ad from 1953.

15. VIN DÉSILES (Energy drink)
The brand name of this revitalizing drink popular in the 1950s seem anachronistic as it sound like the name of contemporary Hollywood action star, Vin Diesel. VIN DÉSILES, which claims to restore energy and appetite, was distributed by Oceanic Commercial, Inc. in the Philippines. ca. early 1950s.

Monday, February 12, 2018

150. THE LOST JINGLES OF D.O.T.: "Huwag Maging Dayuhan sa Sariling Bayan”, ca. 1986-87

It was just  after the People Revolution, sometime in late 1986. Filipinos were still reeling from the events of February when a peaceful revolution ousted Marcos which forced him to flee the country. 

Everyone was getting ready for a clean start, and one priority was rebuilding the battered economy. The DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM, under the new leadership of Sec. Antonio Gonzales, with undersecretary Narzalina Lim, decided to ask the help of advertising agencies to come up with a concept for the country’s Domestic Tourism campaign.

It made sense to call upon Filipinos first to rediscover their own, beautiful country as nationalistic pride was at its highest at this time. Ace-Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising was asked to pitch an idea, and the creative team--led by Creative Director Jimmy F. Santiago, who eventully wrote the slogan-- came up with a winning campaign theme that is still being quoted to this day: “Huwag Maging Dayuhan sa Sariling Bayan” (English translation” Don’t Be A Stranger in your Own Paradise”).

Part of the agency pitch was the presentation of jingle studies so that the concept can be better illustrated, and these two initial studies, with different melodies for the two versions  (Pilipino and English), were composed by jinglemaker, Caloy Agawa. For some reason, the D.O.T. jingle project  never pushed through, and these two studies were never finalized and produced.

For the first time, these jingles are being presented here:


CREATIVE DIRECTORS: Cid Reyes, Ramon Jimenez Jr., Jimmy F. Santiago
LYRICISTS: Pilipino Version: Jimmy F. Santiago / English Lyrics: Alex R. Castro
COMPOSER: Caloy Agawa / PRODUCER: Paul Suarez

Sunday, February 4, 2018

149. Boxers or Briefs?: MEN’S UNDERWEAR ADS, 1950s-1970s.

Before BENCH underwear introduced the Filipino males to skimpy underwear fit for cavorting on the fashion runway, our ancestors wore loin clothes or g-string to cover their modesty, over 7,000 years ago.  In fact we have local terms for those early undies—“bahag” in Pilipino,  “pinang” in Kapampangan, “kuval” in Ibaloy, “wanes” in Bontoc, and “ba-ag” in Kalinga.

As Filipinos were already wearing shorts before the Spaniards arrived , they took to wearing the Western ‘calzonsillos’ --drawstring shorts-- which were often hand-sewn. These evolved into buttoned-up,  commercially-produced white drawers, with opening in front. They were to become  staple underwear,  found in every man’s aparador from the pre-war American-occupied Philippines all the way through the 60s.

Modern briefs were introduced only in 1935, sold first by Cooper’s Inc. in Chicago. They were the invention of hosiery designer, Arthur Kneibler, who was inspired after seeing a leg-less male swimsuit. He made a fitted underwear, with an overlapping Y-front fly—and thus the Jockey shorts was born.

Boxer shorts in the U.S. found favor only after the war, adapted from pugilist’s shorts that came with elastic waistband introduced by Everlast in 1925 (Pinoys would take to them only in the '90s). Meanwhile, local Chinese undershirt and pants manufacturers cashed in on the growing demand for modern underwear that provided support and style, by branching out into underwear. Classic briefs were made of cotton, but in the 1970s, nylon briefs came into vogue.

On this page are early Philippine ads that show the evolution of the modern briefs and shorts over 3 decades.

DE LUXE STETSON SHORTS (1955,1957). “Once Tried, Always Used”. LEFT, Stetson Shirt and Pants factory was a leading manufacturer of shorts, pants and later, briefs, in the 1950s.  The  popular brand was available at all leading bazaars and department stores and it regularly advertised in major dailies, like this magazine ad, 1955. RIGHT. De Luxe Stetson Shorts, 1958.

YANKEE SHORTS (1955). “The Perfect Cut”, Shift to Tankee Shorts yourself, and feel real fine! A generic pair of white, snap-buttoned shorts popular during the post-war era, 1955.

HANFORD BRIEFS (1957). The brand HANFORD began in 1954, in the business district of Juan Luna, started by the Te family. HANFORD has become a well-loved tradition that has been passed from one generation to the next an continues to operate to this day. Currently, its signature model is Mikhail Daza who appears in their advertising, a far cry from this illustrated ad from 1957.

GUARD BRIEFS (1961). This “comfort brief” has all the elements of a modern brief—elastic waistband supported by 20 bands of rubber;  fine, duraknit fabric that will not shrink, and  a snug fit that will not chafe inner thighs. The manufacturer is not named. 1961.

LEFT: DERBY MEN’S BRIEFS (1961). DERBY is cut along the body line to allow for freedom of movement and a conforming pouch for gentle, ample support. Uncle Sam Associated manufactured this underwear, along with undershirts. RIGHT: MAYFLOWER (1961).A popular shirts that is the only one in  the market with a bar-tack reinforcement to prevent tear on the crotch area,

CRISPA BRIEFS (1963). Named after the department store chain & textile company owned by the Floro Family, led by Valeriano “Danny” Floro in 1956. The fabrics are ‘redmanized’, a process which pre-shrinks them, so the products are guaranteed to stay snug and fit. One of the most successful garments factory in the 60s thru the 80s, CRISPA even fielded a basketball team (‘Crispa Redmanizers’) in the games Philippine Basketbal Association (PBA) and won 13 championships. 1963.

VERTEX BRIEFS (1963). One of the earliest printed bikini briefs (without a front opening), is Vertex Briefs, that is made from cool, absorbent fabric yarn.

LEFT: WALKER (1963). WALKER brand was distributed nationally by Sehwani Marketing Corp. in Mandaluyong. It became a market leader in shirt and briefs manufacturing in the 60s decade. It s Gold Line briefs featured innovations like the superior elastic Lactron 37 and Permalex leg openings to ensure no irritation. RIGHT: DMC (1971). DMC was one of the first to introduce lightweight, nylon briefs in the market.

WARREN BRIEFS (1971). WARREN BRIEFS popularized the use of 100% nylon in underwear, which were lighter, softer, and easier-to-dry than cotton. The only problem was that they felt hotter, despite being thin,  and absorbed less. Thus, WARREN also had cotton, terry-towel and de-hilo briefs. WARREN also introduced the first unisex briefs in the market. It reached its peak in the mid 1980s, with full color advertising on TV and print.

MONSIEUR NYLON BRIEFS (1973). MONSIEUR was another briefs brand that jumped into the nylon briefs bandwagon. It enjoyed a measure of success, as it was looked at as a premium underwear, right down to its innovative cylindrical packaging.

FALCON BRIEFS (1975). A product of Veindra Garments Industries, Falcon Briefs was a short-lived brand in the mid 1970s, but the company still exists to this day but as a textile merchant firm.

LEFT: MONTAGUT (1975). MONTAGUT is a clothing company with origins in France, which, in 1925 sold lingerie and silk stockings. In the 60s, Montagut expanded to include clothing and polo shirts manufactured with Fil Lumière which became international brands. Its Philippine partner, French Fashion Philippines, Inc., launched the premium MONTAGUT brand of classic and fashion briefs, which featured a variety of prints. RIGHT: PURITAN (1978). PURITAN Quality Mens Underwear is manufactured and exclusively distributed in the Philippines by General Garments Corporation. Launched in the Philippines over 40 years ago, it is currently one of the leading brands in the market, with 3  main product categories: Briefs, T-shirts and Undershirts.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

148. Brand Stories: LIWAYWAY GAWGAW, 1948

LIWAYWAY GAWGAW ANG GAMITIN. The classic package of the  oldest and
leading cornstarch brand in the country, Source:

One of the most successful Filipino brand that is still in existence today is a cornstarch product called LIWAYWAY GAWGAW. It found favor in Filipino homes not just for cooking, but also for keeping clothes in shape, and giving them that clean, crisp look while the garment is pressed.

The Chinese-Filipino couple, Chan Lib and See Ying, are credited with launching LIWAYWAY GAWGAW to the Philippine market way back in 1948. They actually began bulk-buying cornstarch from wholesale markets, and re-packaged these in their Pasay home, in consumer-size paper packs for resale and distribution to sari-sari stores.

They gave it the brand name—“LIWAYWAY”—which was in keeping with using native brand names as a wave of Filipino nationalism swept post-war Philippines

LIWAYWAY means “dawn”, an appropriate name that presaged the future of a newly independent country, free at last from American rule. Even the package graphics reflected this hopeful optimism. It carried simple, comics-like illustration (sunrise behind mountains with swaying coconut trees on the front, a Filipina in native dress  pressing clothes at the back), the package copy  was composed in pure Pilipino, almost lyrical in style: "Sa minsang gamit ay di ninyo malilimot ang linis, puti at puro na pinanagutan namin" (at first use, you will not forget the clean, the whiteness and purity that we are liable for). Even the instructions for use were written  Pilipino, with words rarely use today: "Ginagawang maaluan at mabilis ang pagplantsa ng damit", 

LIWAYWAY GAWGAW was distributed all over the city in sari-sari stores and became an instant hit with Filipino housewives. The practice of treating fabrics with starch—“almirol”—was still popular then.

Women still wore baro’t saya which had sleeves and panuelos that required starching so they stay straight when worn.  On the other hand, menfolk still donned white Americana cerrada with white pants that had to look crisply white all day long.

Most students and young professionals too, too, wore white shirts to school or to their offices  (polo shirts for students, U.S. trubenized shirts for male office workers) , necessitating the use of ‘gawgaw” to give fabrics a clean finish, free from creases and wrinkles the whole day. LIWAYWAY GAWGAW, when applied to fabrics delivered unsurpassed results, to the great satisfaction of Filipino homemakers.


No wonder, LIWAYWAY GAWGAW became an established Philippine brand, especially when it was promoted in the 60s and 70s using a highly memorable radio jingle, now an icon of our times. The success of the brand enabled the Chinese-Flipino couple to venture into other commodities—from candles, snack goods, coffee to hair products.  Today, their humble business has grown into an Asian empire, thanks to LIWAYWAY GAWGAW, and to the efforts of their visionary son, BENCH founder, Mr. Ben Chan.

Liwayway Gawgaw (radio ad and jingle with photos), uploaded by Oishi Philippines, March 18, 2012,
Photo of Liwayway gawgaw: FASHIONABLE FILIPINAS: An Evolution of the Philippine Dress in Photographs, 1860-1960, by Gino Gnzales and Mark Lewis Higgins,
Liwayway Gawgaw product packs, front & back: