Tuesday, June 19, 2018

167. CANADA DRY Beverage Advertising, 1960-1962

CANADA DRY BEVERAGES Print ad, 1962, featuring fruit-flavored drinks.
Canadian pharmacist John J. McLaughlin of Ontario is credited with giving the world the first ‘Pale Ginger Ale’ in 1904, a product of his carbonated water plant he founded in Toronto in 1890. He perfected a lighter version that became CANADA DRY Ginger Ale—the “dry” refers to its not-so-sweety taste as in “dry” wine.  The drink was a hit, especially in the U.S., that he set up a manufacturing plant in Manhattan, New York.

Canada Dry Ginger Ale and
Beverage bottle
Upon McLaughlin's death in 1914,  his brother, Samuel took over but later sold the business to .P. D. Saylor and Associates in 1923, which then set up  CANADA DRY Ginger Ale, Inc.

The business grew exponentially, and by the 1930s, CANADA DRY was available worldwide. From the 1950s onward, the company ventured into soft drinks and mixers, which proved also successful.

CANADA DRY Beverages reached the country in the 1950s when the Canada Dry Bottling Co.  of the Philippines was put up in Parañaque, Rizal, by authority of the CANADA DRY International Corp. New York, U.S.A.

The CANADA DRY bottles all featured the map of Canada on a shield, topped by a crown, in reference to the drink’s appointment to the Viceregal Household of the Governor General of Canada in 1907.

UVA, the grape-flavored drink, was the most popular Canada Dry beverage introduced in 1960.
Its mid 50s product line include CANADA DRY Ginger Ale, Spur Cola, Hi-Spot Lemon Soda, Dry Water. In the 1960s,its quality flavored beverage line  was introduced bannered by Uva (Grape), Strawberry, Tru-Fruit Orange (later, Real Orange), Kola Champagne and Root Beer (Sarsaparilla).

CANADA DRY beverages had its own following in the country, and the fruity flavors were heavily advertised in magazines, via both full color and black and white print ads. Many of the print ads carried charming illustrations done locally.

Norton Simon Inc. bought CANADA DRY in 1964, which, after a few years, decided to close the Philippine operations. It was later sold to Dr. Pepper, but when Forstmann Little & Co. bought the latter, CANADA DRY was acquired by Del Monte Foods. CANADA DRY is owned by Dr.Pepper Snapple Group today.


Tuesday, June 12, 2018


Panasonic Corporation (formerly, Matsushita) used to have a popular brand of home appliances known as NATIONAL. It was one of the most famous brands in Asia, the Philippines included. 1980s were the heyday years of the brand, as NATIONAL made available to Filipinos, a wide range of domestic, industrial and personal appliances –including the munch in-demand line of  NATIONAL Panacycle Electric Fans introduced in 1983.

The NATIONAL Panacycle Electric Fans featured aero-pitch blades that provided more air volume for maximum comfort and quiet. There are 5-way oscillations to choose from, for spreading cool air evenly around the room. NATIONAL Panacycle Electric Fans models included  Stand Fan, Living Fan, Desk Fan, Box Fan, and Wall Fan.

NATIONAL Panacycle Fans were extensively advertised and the launch ads featured the hot singing group The Apolinario Mabini Hiking Society, later popularly known as APO Hiking Society, or simply APO (named after the hero, Apolinario Mabini). The group was composed of Ateneo High students Jim Paredes, Boboy Garovillo, and Danny Javier, who joined the group during their college years. APO  first made waves  in a 1973  concert held at the Meralco Theater where they became the talk of the campus circuit with their music and witty humor.

The APO Hiking Society first gained recognition in 1973 when they gave a farewell concert at the Meralco Theater in Pasig City, Metro Manila, Philippines. Just out of college, the group was the talk of the Ateneo de Manila University and adjoining campuses for their music and humor.

Five years later, they placed 2nd in the Metro Pop Song Festival with the song “Ewan’, by Louie Ocampo which became a hit for them. At their peak, they had their own noontime Sunday show "Sa Linggo nAPO Sila", which catapulted APO to national stardom. They cut over 22 records with such hits as “Handog ng Pilipino sa Mundo” (1986) recorded by 15 artists during the People Power Revolution in 1986. They were the first group to perform in Carnegie Hall, and were much in demand in international shows as purveyors of Original Pilipino Music.

As positive role models to the youth, the APO Hiking Society began appearing in commercials and these NATIONAL Panacycle Fan ads were one of their earliest endorsements (their biggest would be for San Miguel Beer).

Retired as a group in late 2009, the members continue to be active in their chosen fields. Only Buboy Garovillo remained in showbiz, with acting roles movies and tele-novelas. Entrepreneur Danny Javier is retired from singing and recetly overcame a serious kidney disease and  is settled in Cagayan de Oro; he also owns Pidro: Ang Saplot Ng Bayan T-shirts. Jim Paredes forayed into advertising, then moved to Australia, but came back to the country to work as columnist and a tireless activist.

As to the fate of the NATIONAL brand, it was phased out in Asia gradually beginning in 2004. The products NATIONAL bannered were unified and re-branded as Panasonic. Home appliances retained the name NATIONAL until September 2008, and today all products are marketed under the "Panasonic" brand.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

165. Brand Icon: THE ENGLISHMAN of Fibisco Biscuits

THE ENGLISHMAN, still in use in a magazine print ad, 1983.

Filipinas Biscuit Corporation, or more commonly known as Fisbisco, was set up on 23 January 1959. The next year, Fibisco  started producing biscuit brands that would become household favorites—like  Choco-Mallows, Marie, Hi-Ro, Jolly, Butter Crunch and Ginger Snaps.


These were collectively marketed as “English Quality Biscuits” as they were produced using English-made machinery, set up by English consultants in the Fibisco Mandaluyong factory. The initial operations was even supervised by an English plant manager.


As biscuits of fine quality were associated with the English, an “ENGLISHMAN” character was introduced to drive home that point. The white-moustachioed ENGLISHMAN, wearing a smart blue suit, bowler hat and wielding a cane, was featured in print and TV advertising, as early as 1960 .


For over 20 years, the ENGLISHMAN breezed through the screen as its memorable jingle played:

“Ho, ho, did you know?
The ENGLISHMAN bakes Fibisco Biscuits.
Ho, ho, did you know?
We've got the Englishman here!”.

The ENGLISHMAN, once a familiar figure to Filipino children, may have long been gone, but his Fibisco biscuits are still here!


Tuesday, May 29, 2018

164. Brand Stories: MARCA PIÑA SOY SAUCE (late 1940s)

MARCA PINA SOY SAUCE 2-Color Magazine Ad, 1966

One of the most popular soy sauce brands in the country—MARCA PIÑA Soy Sauce—began as a backyard business employing 10 people  in Marulas, Bulacan  back in the late 1940s. The soy sauce product was first sold in the small neighborhood, but demand for MARCA PIÑA increased simply through word-of-mouth, that National Soy Factory, the name of the small enterprise, had to step up their production to answer the growing clamor for the product.

MARCA PIÑA Soy Sauce was noted not only for its taste, but also its rich color, texture and aroma. After all, the company used only high quality soy beans and manufactured the soy sauce using advance food technology. Moreover, MARCA PIÑA was priced affordably.

Incidentally, the PIÑA or pineapple is a  symbol of welcome and hospitality. It is also a symbol of royal privilege, and the pineapple name and icon was used by other successful brands of food companies like Marca Piña Quezo and Marca Piña Hams. 

By the 1960s, the soy sauce was known nationwide, advertising actively in magazines and leading publications.


Government legalities mandated that the word “National” should not be used for company names, so in 1973, National Soy Co., was rebranded as Balanced Food Corporation.
It was in the 1970s that MARCA PIÑA Convey Advertising produce the now-classic “Piñakamasarap” TV ad that featured a young boy mouthing “Piñarap!” (who happened to be the son of the owner, Mr. Tian Sy) at the end of the commercial. 


The line caught on, and soon, everybody could recall and replay it—one of the most memorable advertising catchphrases to this day. To immortalize the unforgettable line that catapulted MARCA PIÑA to greater prominence,  Balanced Food Corporation adopted the name Piñakamasarap Corporation in 1978.

Today, Piñakamasarap Corporation produces not just soy sauce but other condiments and dips like MARCA PIÑA Vinegar, Patis, Sukang Puti, Oyster Sauce and Kubo Sukang Paombong. Many of these are exported the world over, enjoying the patronage of expatriate Filipinos who, then, as now, still call the MARCA PIÑA super brand-“Piñarap!”. As to the little boy who uttered the line in that classic as, he now sits as the chief executive of the renown food manufacturing corporation.

Convey Advertising FB Page:

Thursday, May 24, 2018

163. Creative Guild Print Ad of the Year 1990: PAMPERS “Wet Page”

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
COPYWRITERS: Finina Gatchalian/  Bingo Bautista
ART DIRECTORS: Bingo Bautista/ Mario Monteagudo
PRINT PRODUCER: Pirio Tatlongmaria
PRINT SUPPLIER: Micrographics, Inc.
STUDIO MANAGER: Ray del Rosario

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.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

162. Filipino Matinee Idols in THREE FLOWERS POMADE Print Ads, 1956-57

One of the most enduring  brands of brilliantine pomade was THREE FLOWERS, made by Richard Alexander Hudnut way back in 1915, an American perfumer and cosmetics maker based in New York, with a European office in Paris, France.

It was distributed locally in the Philippines by Edward A. Keller & Co. sometime in 1950 to capitalize on the growing hairstyle trend of the midcentury--pompadour, side parts, slick-backs and cowlicks—popularized by screen legends as Cary Grant, Elvis Presley, James Dean, and later, Sean Connery. THREE FLOWERS Brilliantine Pomade became a favorite grooming aid  to style hair and give it a good sheen and, subtle masculine scent.

The most handsome matinee idols of the 50s were tapped to become celebrity endorsers for THREE FLOWERS’ 1956-1957 print campaign that primarily ran in leading magazines.  Four print ads from this series are shown on this page, each with a testimonial from a chosen actor-model.


Luis Gonzales,  (b. 8 Aug. 1928/d. 15 Mar. 2012) was born Luis Mercado, and grew up I  Tondo.  The prolific actor made over 100 films with Sampaguita Pictures and he is bets known for his portrayal of Pres. Ferdinand Marcos in two propaganda-cum-drama films:  “Iginuhit ng Tadhana” and a“Pinagbuklod ng Langit” ("Heaven was Gathered", 1965). He was often paired with actress Gloria Romero. Of THREE FLOWERS, Gonzales says: “ Women love the masculine fragrance of THREE FLOWERS…so do I!”.


Mario Montenegro,  (b. 25 Jul. 1928/d. 27 Aug. 1988) aka Roger Collin Macalalag of Pagsanjan, Laguna, was a Fine Arts student of UP, and was discovered while helping build sets for films. In his teens, he also was a member of Hunters ROTC guerrilla unit that saw action in the war. He is best known for his period films that showed him as a swashbuckling hero. Montenegro, who married fellow actress Letty Alonso, says that he “prefers the finest to look my best: THREE FLOWERS”.


Eddie Arenas,  (b. 7 Jul. 1935/d. 31 Mar. 2003) was a featured actor of Sampaguita Pictures and made many films with actress Lolita Rodriguez, who eventually became his wife. Some of his notable films include “Ang Tangi kong Pag-ibig” (1955), Gilda (1956), “Busabos” (1957),”Tanikalang Apoy” (1959). Before his passig, he was last seen in the 2002 movie, “Mahal Kita: Final Answer”. Of the product, Arenas opines that “I always look my best with THREE FLOWERS”.


Ric Rodrigo (b. 1931/d.?)  was born as Paul Albert Bregendahl, the son of a Filipina mother and a Danish father . He is  best-known for  his appearance in “Igorota” (1968), where he was hailed as Asia’s Best Actor. Other significant films include “Dahil sa Isang Bulaklak” (1967) and “Ina, Kapatid, Anak” (1979). A son from actress Rita Gomez, Ronald Bregandahl, also became an actor. THREE FLOWERS gives my hair a healthy sheen that is admired by all my friends”, says the good-looking Rodrigo.

THREE FLOWERS was a consistent advertiser through the 60s, but fell out of favor with the rise of modern pomade sticks, gels and cream, and it was only in 1979 that the brand was resurrected with the memorable relaunche campaign conceived by Basic Advertising—‘Lalaking Disente’. Needless to say, all the actors that appeared in the print ads from way back 1956, all fitted that “lalaking disente” mold—thanks to THREE FLOWERS!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

161. Casting Coup: J&J BABY FACE POWDER, “The Baby Is Now A Lady”, 1990

Johnson & Johnson has been a long-standing client of Ace-Saatchi & Saatchi (formerly Ace Compton) since 1959, with the Personal Products as well as the Feminine Care line as its key assignments. 1990 marked the year that J&J forayed into the Cosmetics field, targeting Teens as it’s point-of-market entry.

That year, J&J Philippines launched its JOHNSON’S FACE POWDER, which is actually a pressed powder version of one of its flagship products, Johnson’s Baby Powder. That became the take-off point to communicate the face powder’s merits and benefits to a new market. After all, Johnson’s Baby Powder had been in the Philippines for over 4 decades and had become a staple product for Filipino babies.

But, since the baby had grown older, shouldn’t there be a new product befitting her new stage in life? Thus—JOHNSON’S FACE POWDER.

The Saatchi creatives developed a campaign theme that would provide product continuity for Johnson’s powder products. This was articulated in the memorable campaign line—“because the Baby is now a Lady”.

The TV and Press campaign idea seemed simple enough—it starts with a close-up  of a Baby being splashed with  Johnson’s Baby Powder , followed by images of the baby growing older, in a series of smooth dissolves, literally growing before the viewer’s eyes. The last fade-in reveals the refreshingly beautiful  face of a teen-age girl, with the JOHNSON’S BABY POWDER product shot appearing beside her. As we follow the girl’s growing up process, the supers gently come in: “because the baby, is now a lady—JOHNSON’ FACE POWDER”.

It was a simple,  no-frills commercial, but with a powerful visual idea that relied on casting the right models. The search was on for 4 talents who would credibly portray different stages of growth—from a Baby, to a Moppet, a pre-Teen, and finally, to a Teen beauty. 

The exhaustive quest ended with the casting of four different models who appeared in a series of prints ads that ran on consecutive pages of a magazine. The same models also appeared in the launch TV commercial that would proved to be so successful, that it paved the way for the launch of a new, major teen line –JOHNSON’S TEEN ESSENTIALS.

But.. whatever happened to the 4 models in the commercial?  We wonder!

ADVERTISER: Johnson & Johnson Phils. Inc.
PRODUCT: Johnson's Face Powder
AGENCY: Ace-Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising
COPYWRITER: Merlee Jayme
ART DIRECTOR: Melvin M. Mangada
CASTER: Flor Salanga