Ace-Saatchi & Saatchi Creative Director Jimmy F. Santiago recalls the birth of the 1990 Print Ad of the Year, “Wet Page”, as substantially a bloody process. The client was,once again. Old friend procter & Gamble, and the product was PAMPERS, a disposable diaper. Since PAMPERS spent more money on television, the print ad was meant to be no more than a sustaining effort.
As I turned out,the oncept took forever to be born. The selling was simple enough, that PAMPERS kept babies drier, and TV had consistently followed the formula of showing smiling, contentedly dry babies. For print, however, client had already trashed dozens of ideas; moving the account to a different account group only resulted in more casualties.
One day, Santiago found himself sifting through piles of disapproved print ads when he came across a study of a bleeding page by art director Mario Monteagudo. “It was the same idea as drinking scotch while writing a love letter”, Santiago explains. “The more drunk you get, mas pumapangit ang writing mo---and the page would even get wet”.
Santiago wrote some copy with a pentel pn, wet it with water and his won saliva, and matched that “problem” page with a complementary “solution” ay-out minus the water damage but beaing the product logp and a few lines of descriptive copy. That became the ad that was presented and eventualy approved by client. “We just recycled an old idea that had been missed by everybody.”
The “wet page” itself is a strikingly sloppy image. “A baby wearing cloth diaper sat on this page.’ Reads the copy, printed in grey text with the letters precariously dissolving. The word “baby” suffers the biggest damage, an almost indecipherable blob of smeared , “and he still didn’t like it”.ink. Which better ord to victimize indeed, than the ne closest to the target consumer mommy’s heart!
The ad appeared as a half-spread in newpapers, award-winning proof that it doesn’t pay to second-guess clients. “That’s what took us so long”, Santiago explains. “Everyone was expecting to be approved when they were disapproved.” Still, “Wet Page” did not quite win the battle; when the Procetr & Gamble general manager saw the ad, he instantly disliked it. “After it won a Clio citation, we brought the ad back to him”, Santiago recalls
ADVERTISER: Procter & Gamble Philippines
PRODUCT: Pampers Disposable Diapers
AGENCY: Ace-Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising
CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Jimmy F. Santiago
COPYWRITERS: Finina Gatchalian/ Bingo Bautista
ART DIRECTORS: Bingo Bautista/ Mario Monteagudo
PRINT PRODUCER: Pirio Tatlongmaria
PRINT SUPPLIER: Micrographics, Inc.
STUDIO MANAGER: Ray del Rosario
ILLUSTRATOR: Elaine Lopez
Hnasa, Alya, ed. Uy, Butch. Perfect 10: A Decade of Creativity in Philippine Advertising, Published bt the Executive Committee of the Creative Guild of the Philippines. 1995.