Saturday, October 22, 2016

79. It's The Real Thing: NORA AUNOR Had a Pepsi Day!

In 1971, Nora Aunor’s star was on the rise.  The former Tawag ng Tanghalan champion turned teen actress, then just 18, was the toast of Philippine showbiz, with blockbuster movies and sold-soul records to her name.  Small and dark, she defied conventions to become a sort of a Philippine Cinderella, thus she drew widespread,  adoration and support  from her hordes of fans, mostly coming from the so-called “bakya” crowd.

Coca Cola was the first high-profile company that recognized her pulling power, so Coke offered her a lucrative endorsement contract, which allowed her to appear in the local adaptation of their global campaign with the slogan—“It’s The Real Thing”, first conceived in 1968.

Aunor did a TV commercial, and got a chance to sing the popular commercial jingle, too. She did full color magazine print ad spreads and her image appeared on merchandising materials. Fan photos of her—showing Aunor holding a bottle of Coke—were given out as sales promotion premiums.
Four years after her Coke endorsement, the soft drink rival, Pepsi Cola, did the unthinkable---the company enlisted her to promote Pepsi, the country’s then-best selling cola---in their “Have A Pepsi Day” campaign.

Aunor’s Coke appearance in the massive campaign was still fresh in the recent  memories of consumers. Aunor’s “turncoat-ism” was the talk of the industry, as such a move often undermined the credibility of the endorser. Her TV starts with Aunor defining what her Pepsi Day is—no film shootings, no recordings,  with lots of personal time, with bottles of Pepsi to refresh her.

To complete the casting coup, Aunor’s love team partner—Tirso Cruz III—was also signed up by Pepsi and did his own Pepsi Day ad. Of course, the Guy and Pip tandem had their own love team version too!

Today, of course, companies have less qualms about using the same talent or celebrity that once endorsed a product directly competitive to theirs. Sharon Cuneta has appeared in both McDonald’s and Jollibee ads. Carmina Villaroel  was in Nido and Lactum Milk commercials. And Maricel Soriano was a Modess endorser, then switched to Whisper pads. The shift in loyalty could be explained that since the endorser is now older, then he/she is also presumed to have grown much wiser, leading to smarter product decisions.  And advertisers leave it to the more educated today’s  consumer to discern that. 

Saturday, October 8, 2016


LITTLE MISS SHELLANE. Little Jackie Alipio (now Monteclaro) of Cavite, aged 5, in 
her official Shellane girl dress..

In 1965, SHELLANE COOKING GAS, was introduced by the international fuel company, Shell, to the Philippines.  At that time, Esso Gasul and Mobil Gas were the leaders in the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) market catering to a middle to lower class market that could afford gas stoves and ranges.


SHELLANE became the new alternative, and in 1966,  it began to be advertised and promoted aggressively to win a chunk of the growing middle class families of the later part of the 60s in the cusp of a new, progressive decade.


“Cook fast and tasty with SHELLANE!”, the launch print ads announced.  After all, cooking with gas—as opposed to wood—was efficient and precise, with just the right amount of concentrated heat needed to keep natural juices of food intact.

The SHELLANE tanks,  in 30 lb, or 110 lb. cylinders, were available in Shell agents nationwide. The promotional launch included selling SHELLANE gas with SHELLANE stoves that came with attractive giveaways like kitchen and stove utensils.


Equally appealing was the SHELLANE mascot, depicted by a sprite of a girl with her trademark tress sweeping upwards much like a tongue of flame. It was SHELLANE’s cute answer to Esso Gasul’s strange-looking lady mascot with a gas droplet for a head.


In 1967, SHELLANE gained more momentum when it launched the Search for Little Miss SHELLANE. Aimed at creating goodwill with the housewife, the contest revolved around the quest for a little girl from 4-6 years old that best personifies the Shellane mascot. She had to be photographed wearing a specially made Shellane outfit—a blue polka-dotted dress made from Gentex fabrics, and the picture submitted either through designated Shellane dealers or by mail.

From twenty five regional semi-finalists, 4 regional winners will be picked after live judging. From the 4 will emerge the grand winner—Little Miss SHELLANE OF 1968—who will win P5,000 and a host of appliances—from a cooking range to an air condition unit, refrigerator and kitchen appliances. In all, Php 33,000 was at stake for all the winners.


The first Little Miss SHELLANE was Joy Paguirigan. Apparently, the contest drew much buzz as to warrant a second edition in 1969. Arlene Arrieta emerged as Little Miss SHELLANE of 1969—and that would be the last year the contest was staged.

In 2013, SHELLANE was re-branded as SOLANE, after it was acquired by Isla Pretroleum and Gas Corp.--a Fil-Japanese company, from Shell. The name change was announced in a full-blown ad campaign that featured comedienne Eugene Domingo.


Interestingly, the major relaunch  included the search for the Little Miss SOLANE, thus reviving the pageant for little girls began over 50 years ago. This time though, the age requirements were raised to include girls 8-12 year olds (Cuties) and 13-16 years old (Teenies).

LITTLE MISSES SOLANE 2013, Cuties and Teenies winners.
Photo: The Manila Standard Today
The winners were Caryl Brianne Codina, 10, and Gabriella Louise Lopez, 14, respectively, crowned in a contest hosted by former Little Miss SHELLANE girl finalist, society girl-columnist-fashion plate Tessa Prieto-Valdes.


Video: youtube:

Photo of 2013 Miss Solane Winners:

Thursday, September 22, 2016


 COLGATE DENTAL CREAM’a most visible advertising campaign first aired in 1981 featured the “ New 2-Fluoride System” story, which promised double protection to teeth. This Colgate dental breakthrough was in response to the launch of Crest Toothpaste in the Philippines, another formidable product of Procter and Gamble.

Delivering the story is a character named ERIC BAINES, an authority figure who credibly showed the superiority of the 2-fluoride system through a “chalk demo”, as seen in this commercial:


Eric Baines was a constant figure in Colgate’s advertising, appearing in several spots that made him recognizable to many Filipino viewers—what with his trademark white hair, moustache and business suit. His presence—whether driven by a car or entering a conference room—was always announced with excited squeals from the audience—“Si Eric Baines! Eric Baines!”.

Just who is Eric Baines?
Well, Baines is neither a dentist, a doctor or a figure created by an ad agency executive. He is actually a real-life professional—Colgate’s Worldwide Director for Research & Development based in Piscataway, New Jersey. He remained with Colgate until the 1990s, often working in the Asian region, until his retirement.

Baines, himself, could not believe his popularity here, and even after the 2-fluoirde campaign came to an end (it trounced Crest, by the way), his name still crops up in consumer research every now and then. Whether he likes it or not, Eric Baines has become part of Philippine pop culture.

youtube: juniorsky52's channel:, 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

76.THE 7 UP UNCOLA CAMPAIGN: Making a Non-Cola Drink Cool Again

7 UP was introduced in the mid 50s in the Philippine by Pepsi-Cola Bottlers Philippines.  The name, they say, was derived from its “7 natural flavors blended into a savory, flavory drink with a real wallop.”  Predictably, 7 UP was advertised as a pick-upper, with crisp lemon-lime flavor that refreshes and lifts spirits up.

It targetted the active family and came up with the  1952 slogan “The Fresh Up Family Drink”,  to replace the earlier “You Like It, It Likes You”.  Later variations were also used like “Fresh Up with 7 UP”,”Nothing Does it Like 7 UP”. Advertising for 7 UP began in the Philippines in 1955, with print ads that simply copied the original U.S. version.

7 UP was drank by older people because they believe it was less gassy than cola drinks, and therefore less stomach-upsetting. This ‘medicinal’ image was considered uncool by the younger set. Not even the teen campaign the product launched in the sixties—and which was adapted in the Philippines-- could make its image more contemporary.

Then in 1967, its advertising agency, J. Walter Thompson conceived of a campaign that celebrated the uniqueness of 7 UP against cola-based drinks. 

The UNCOLA Campaign sought to promote the idea of the fact that the product is not made from cola nuts, a differentiating angle that resonated with young people at the threshold of the so-called  “Me decade”,  which described a new attitude of Americans towards individualism.

The UNCOLA Campaign was rolled out in 1968 and ran through the 70s in the U.S. with many memorable ads for TV and print. The campaign doubled sales for the product and by 1972, 7 UP ranked as the third largest soda marketer behind Coke and Pepsi.

THE UNCOLA, drawn in psychedelic style, 1970
 The UNCOLA Campaign was adapted in many countries, including the Philippines. The local print ads which first came out in 1970 were similar to those produced in the U.S. which started running them a year earlier.
UNCOLA Print Series, 1970
The eye-popping executions capitalized on the psychedelia craze, with fantastic, graphic illustrations rendered in bright, vibrant colors-- an artistic style popularized by the artist Peter Max.
There were pop art poster giveaways, UNCOLA upside down glasses,  and psychedelic dance parties that magnified the campaign in the stores and on-ground.

Suddenly, 7 UP was  a hip, with-it brand again. The UNCOLA TV commercials aired here included two versions, one of which became a global hit, and made a star out of its presenter. The  JWT-produced  TV commercial--which was aired on Philippine TV in 1972-- starred  actor, director and choreographer Geoffrey Holder as a Caribbean planter explaining the difference between cola nuts and 7 UP's "uncola nuts," lemon and lime.


Holder’s performance was so well-remembered that he was signed on to do more versions of the same campaign.

Another UNCOLA Ad was a product-the-hero ad scored with a jingle noted for its sheer lyrical strength. The jingle wasn’t  just selling fizzy beverages twelve ounces at a time, it was singing praises to a way of life that challenged all conventions.

The 7 UP UNCOLA Campaign had a good run, but the succeeding initiatives—including its Fido Dido “Cool to be Clear” ad, did not do much to stop the increase of the share of its primary competitor—Sprite—throughout the ‘90s. By 1998, the 7 UP bottle underwent a design  face-lift, which dropped the term "Uncola" from the soda's packaging.  And there goes a piece of advertising history.

From Uncool to Uncola: The Fabulous Psychedelic 7 UP Ads 1969-1973.

The Uncola's Unclever Ad Campaign:

Uncola: The Video History of a 7 UP Breakthrough Ad

youtube, 7UP "THE UNCOLA", uploaded by videoblast, 26 November 2008.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

75. MS. GLORIA ROMERO: Her Days as a Top Commercial Model of the 1950s

GLORIA ROMERO, at the peak of her career, with a copy of her Camay Print Ad, 1955.

One of the busiest commercial models in the early to mid 1950s was the beautiful GLORIA ROMERO (born Gloria Galla. 16 Dec. 1933, in Denver, Colorado to Filipino Pedro Galla and American Mary Borrego). She was only four when she returned to the Philippines, settling in Mabini,Pangasinan—her father’s hometown. The war caught up with the family, so the Gallas decided to stay here.


She tried her luck in showbiz in 1950 playing bit roles for several production outfits, but it was Sampaguita Pictures that noticed her and who gave her the screen name ‘Gloria Romero’ (after Eddie Romero, who directed her in her early 1951 movie,”Kasintahan sa Pangarap”.

Romero was cast in  Monghita (1952), her first lead role, but it was her appearance in Dalagang Ilocana (1954) that gave her a FAMAS Best Actress—and a place in the top list of Philippine film superstars.


The young ingénue was not only kept occupied filming pictures, but also had her hands full doing pictorial for a variety of products. She was the perfect endorser as she had a spotless image (she even won the role of the Virgin Mary in ‘Martir sa Golgotha”, a 1954 Lenten movie), her deportment and work ethics, of the highest standards. After all, Romero was trained by the Sampaguita bosses themselves—taking her on trips abroad, providing her wardrobe and giving her lessons in social etiquette.

Her early endorsements include leading beauty and personal products as well as consumer goods. Most of her output were Print Ads, as Television was still at its infancy stage at that time.  Romero was especially known for being a Camay Girl and a Coca Cola presenter.

In the 70s, she was cast in “King and I” TVC commercial for Superwheel, a popular ad series based on parodies of historical characters. At the 1988 Creative Guild Ad of the Year Awards, she romped off with the Best Actress trophy for her “Manang BidaySuperwheel TV Commercial.
COCA COLA, Print Ad. 1956

Romero’s career spans over 60 years and she continues to be active in movies and TV today. She has appeared in sitcoms like Palibhasa Lalaki,  "Richard Loves Lucy" and in countless drama anthologies for GMA 7.Currently, Romero appears in “Juan Happy Love Story”.
COCA COLA,Print Ad. 1956.

For her achievements, she received the first 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award from MTRCB (Movies and Television Review and Classification Board) Award, Huwarang Bituin Award from the 57th FAMAS Awards, and named as one of the 13 "Movie Icons of Our Time". 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

74. GLAD RAINWEAR AND NOVUS RAINMATES: Gearing Up for the Rains in the 60s-70s:

INCLUDING THE RAINY SEASON--as Glad Rainwear endorser, 1971.

The rainy season is upon us once more, and the wet weather brings to mind a few of the products that people wore to protect themselves from the elements in the 60s and 70s. Between then and now, the rainy weather basics have not changed: umbrellas, wore boots and raincoats. A few companies though, thought of new ways to make these drab and often heavy rain gear more appealing.

In 1970, for example, Union Carbide Philippines Inc., a company primarily known for car batteries and industrial products ventured into the manufacturing of polyvinyl chloride materials. This paved the way for the launch of a revolutionary personal raincoat perfect for the unpredictable rainy season—GLAD RAINWEAR.

It was different from existing bulky plastic raincoats then—GLAD was very light, flexible and can be folded and tucked away in a handy pocket packs. What’s more, the raincoat came in different, fashionable colors.

The company employed no less than 70s teen star Vilma Santos to endorse the products. She appearedin several colored and black and white print ads that showed her exposed to the elements while at work. There was also a non-celebrity version of the ads, featuring people from all walks of life, protected by GLAD RAINWEAR while under the rain.

Needless to say, the handy raincoat enjoyed a measure of success for its anytime-anywhere convenience, its softness and affordability. In a special way, GLAD RAINWEAR made wearing raincoats cool and fashionable.

It was the same tact that PVC Inc. of Malabon  adapted even years earlier, when it launched its NOVUS Rainmates boots for ladies in 1963. Where before, rain boots were made of heavy rubber and were available only in black, PVC manufactured boots that were advertised for their “high style”—smart, casual and comfortable. Novus boots for ladies were also available in 5 colors.

GLAD RAINWEAR and NOVUS RAINMATES have long disappeared from the market, and the companies that made them have also undergone major changes. Union Carbide suffered irreparable damages due to the Bhopal disaster in India in which toxic chemicals were accidentally released from their  plant and killed thousands. The company continues to engage in chemical manufacturing. PVC Inc., still operates in Malabon, making fire and safety equipment.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

73. Brand Icon: Alaska Milk’s ALASKA BOY (MICHAEL UYTENGSU)

MICHAEL UYTENGSU, was widely believed to be the model of the "Alaska Boy" on the paper label
of the popular Alaska Milk, introduced in the early 1970s,by Holland Milk International, a company established by Michael's father, Wilfredo Uytengsu Sr.

In the early 70s, the Holland Milk Products Inc., a partnership between General Milling Corp. and the Dutch-based Holland Canned Milk International, was established by business magnate Wilfredo Uytengsu Sr. The first product the new company manufactured was a canned filled milk brand called ALASKA MILK.

ALASKA MILK came in tin cans and featured an illustrated close-up picture of a smiling, fair-haired boy in a blue turtle neck on the paper label. The face of the so-called ‘Alaska Boy” would soon become a familiar brand icon, his pleasant looks ingrained in the national consciousness,  helping transform the newbie brand into a formidable player in the Philippine milk market.

TVC 30s here:

The success of the brand was propelled by an aggressive advertising campaign bannered by the slogan “Wala pa ring tatalo sa ALASKA!” and an unforgettable 1974 TV commercial featuring the 1970 NBA draft Israel “Cisco” Oliver who played in the very first season of  the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) . The 6’6” cager was challenged by a young, Alaska Milk-drinking kid, Michael Uytengsu, the son of  Wilfredo Sr., in a “One on One” basketball challenge.

Alaska TVC with Cisco Oliver. 1974.

Michael Uytengsu was also featured prominently in ALASKA MILK print ads, alongside milk cans of both filled milk and condensed milk variants.  People began noticing the striking similarities between the boy on the label and Michael, giving rise to a widely believed story that he is the same “Alaska Boy” on the product label.

ALASKA MILK PRINT AD. Woman's Home Companion. 1975.

Of course, they were two different “people”.  Alaska Milk  Corp., in its website, would clarify the story: “The Alaska boy on the label of some of the Alaska Milk products is an artist’s rendition of a fictional character with brown/ blond hair and blue eyes. This trademark device came with the purchase of the Alaska milk brand from Holland Milk Products Inc (Netherlands). All trademark owners of the Alaska brand use an Alaska boy on their label though the rendition may differ depending on the country”.

 A tetra-packed flavored milk product produced by his father's company.

ALASKA MILK was not the only milk brand that Michael Uytengsu endorsed, he also did print ads for Daisy Milk, a read-to-drink milk brand also from Holland Milk, that came in tetra packs. Eventually, her sister Candice, became the solo model in Daisy Milk’s TV ads.

Michael briefly became the real face of another product--Alaska Quick Cooking White Oats. The product, however was short-lived.

MICHAEL UYTENGSU, today, is a U.S. resident and has a thrivinng
luxury wine business.

In the end, it was only the  “One-on-One” ALASKA MILK commercial of Michael Uytengsu that would attain national fame, now considered a classic in Philippine advertising history.


youtube video: Uploaded by Josh Howard,,