Thursday, December 29, 2016

89. DR. JOSE P. RIZAL, National Hero, IN PRODUCT ADVERTISEMENTS

RIZAL SURETY & INSURANCE, Print ad. July 1946.

In observance of Rizal Day this December 30, let us take a look at the role the national hero has played in the marketing of consumer goods, products and service. Dr. Jose Protacio Rizal, has been immortalized in monuments, schools, streets, avenues and stamps, and his noble qualities extolled in  songs and books.

RIZAL KEROSENE, Print Ad, 1957

These same sterling qualities—like loyalty, patriotism, steadfastness, nationalism—have also made him a perfect posthumous "celebrity endorser" of various products and institutional services, as these print ad shows:

RIZAL COMMERCIAL BANKING.1964.

Rizal has also inspired manufacturers to name their products after him, in the hope of winning national attention like the iconic hero. Over the years, there have been Rizal brands of cement, matches, banks, insurance companies, kerosene and softdrinks. In more recent times, Rizal has also lent his name and image in pop culture products, and at least one music band has adopted his name.

RIZAL SOFTDRINKS, Malolos, Bulacan. Another aerated soda brand was
manufactured in Iloilo. PHOTO: Dekada Collectibles. 

There are acts prescribing the code of national symbols like our flag, coat-of-arms and anthem, but only general advertising standards with regards to respect for country, religion, culture, symbols and traditions. Rizal—because of advertising media—is remembered not just as a national hero, but also as a brand of matches and cement. How’s that for brand recall?

LA FLOR DE MANILA (Cigars), RIZAL MATCH, RIZAL CEMENT,
RIZAL UNDERGROUND (music band), RIZAL MUG (Team Manila Design)

Sunday, December 25, 2016

88. “TULOY ANG PASKO”, SAN MIGUEL BEER CAMPAIGN, 1985

TULOY ANG PASKO...basta may San Miguel Beer. Frames from the 1985 TVC

The immediate years that followed after the Aquino assassination was fraught with unrest, uncertainties and public outcry against Marcos. Although the “Ito ang Beer” campaign of SAN MIGUEL BEER was firmly in place and TV commercials featuring the riotous gang of Bert Marcelo, singer Rico J. Puno, ractrack king Jockey Eduardo, boxing champ Gabriel ”Flash “ Elorde and billiards wiz Amang Parica were getting great recall, 1985 still turned out to be a trying year for businessmen in particular, and for Filipinos in general.

The Philippines faced unprecedented economic instability; companies watched their sales plummet.”The problems were economic.” Recalls copywriter Romy Sinson: ”People were having a hard time. There was even a call for the boycott of San Miguel products, as Danding Cojuangco was a personal friend of the Marcoses.

Some morale boosting was in order, and Sinson put the inevitable idea into words.”Despite everything, tuloy ang Pasko. Nothing can stop the coming of Christmas”. Thus SAN MIGUEL BEER's most unforgettable campaign for 1985 was born.

WATCH SMB'S "TULOY ANG PASKO"
1985 TVC HERE:

The result is a commercial that became a Creative Guild Ad of the Month, featuring the usual San Miguel beer barkada, with folk minstrel Florante  singing of the joyful coming of Christmas despite the lean, hard times:

TULOY ANG PASKO, Creative Guild Radio Ad of the Year, 1985 

The radio component of San Miguel Beer’s “Tuloy ang Pasko” campaign did even better as it was adjudged later as the 1985 Radio Ad of the Year by the Creative Guild of the Philippines.

The Jingle, for which Lorrie Illustre put Sinson’s lyrics to music, was a testimony to the Filipino’s resilience and ability to plod on.”Tuloy ang Aguinaldo”, the ad begins, and with that come staples like simbang gabi, caroling, Christmas itself and lest we forget, San Miguel Beer.

San Miguel Beer’s “Tuloy ang Pasko” 1985 campaign, thus joins the long list of memorable San Miguel commercials that have become truly classics of Philippine advertising.

CREDITS:
AGENCY : Philippine Advertising Counsellors
ADVERTISER: San Miguel Beer Corporation
PRODUCT: San Miguel Beer
CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Nita Claravall
COPYWRITER: Romy Sinson
JINGLEMAKER: Lorie Ilustre

Sources: 
X: Perfect 10, A Decade of Creativity in Philippine Advertising, 1995, Creative Guild of the Philippines, ed. Butch Uy. p. 66-67.

youtube, San Miguel Beer"Tuloy ang Pasko" Philippines, 1985. Posted by advertisingarchive, on 23 July 2016.

Monday, December 19, 2016

87. THE CAROLS OF CHRISTMAS: Christmas Traditions in Philippine Ads

CHRISTMAS CAROL TRADITION, theme of a corporate ad from Shell, 1957

Christmas carols began in the west, and the earliest  one in modern form was written in 1410. The carol was about Mary and Jesus meeting people in Bethlehem. Most Carols from this time were loosely based on the Christmas story, sung by minstrels wherever they went.

CAMAY CHRISTMAS CAROLS----FREE! 16 favorite carols in a free booklet! 1964

The Americans introduced their English carols here and has since become a part of the Filipino Christmas tradition. As early as November, you would find children carolers out on the streets, singing Christmas carols from house to house spreading musical cheer, accompanied by improvised instruments like tansan tambourines and tin can drums.

Christmas carols available to Filipino carolers were mostly  in English---Silent, Night, Jingle Bells, O Holy Night, Joy to the World.  Local versions were made by translating these into English.

STANDARD CHRISTMAS CAROLS. From Standard-Vacuum Oil Co. 1957

The first known Christmas carol was originally composed in Cebuano by Vicente D. Rubi and Mariano Vestil in 1933. “Kasadya ning Táknaa”(How Blissful is this Season) was translated into Tagalog  by Josefino Cenizal in 1938 but the lyrics of Levi Celerio done in the 50s, remained to be the most popular. This carol is widely known today as "Ang Pasko Ay Sumapit".

PILIPINO TRANSLATIONS OF "Silent Night" and "Jingle Bells" in a
Satndard-Vacuum Oil ad. 1957

After being given their envelopes or coins, the carolers end their visit on a note of gratitude by singing: "Thank you, thank you, ang babait ninyo ...thank you...."

These ads celebrate our caroling tradition, from our holidays of the past that are now long gone, but never forgotten.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

86. Lighting Up Christmas: PEMCO AND PHILIP ADS, 1957-1967

PHILIPS COLOURED LAMPS FOR CHRISTMAS, Full page colored ad, 1964

For Filipinos, Christmas is the brightest and most colorful of holidays—and they make sure the world knows that. Before the advent of LED (light emitting diode) bulbs, light bulbs in color were manufactured by the two leading lighting companies—PEMCO (Philippine Electrical Manufacturing Company) and the world-renowned PHILIPS Lighting.

The colored bulbs were practically the same ordinary light bulbs with a twist—the inside of the glass bulb was painted with colored paints. Before colored bulbs, one had to wrap a regular bulb with colored cellophane to change its hue.

PHILIPS COLORED LAMPS, Print ad, 1957

The lighting division of the giant Dutch technology company—PHILIPS—began operations in the Philippines in 1918. It also made short-wave radios at the onset, but it was its lighting solutions that made it a popular brand in the market. 

PHILIPS COLORED LAMPS Christmas Ad, 1961

PHILIPS was the first to introduce these colored light bulb novelties to the local market in 1957, positioning them as “mood lights” for upscale homes and gardens. Eventually, these PHILIPS Colored Lamps were advertised specifically for the holiday season, as shown in these spread of ads from the 60s.

PHILIPS "Festive Christmas" print ad, 1963

PHILIPS HOLIDAY AD, 1964

PHILIPS "Festive Christmas Night" Print Ad, 1965


PEMCO introduced its own versions in the early 1960s. with an array of light bulbs—including colored fluorescent and incandescent lights. 

PEMCO, "Splendor in the Night", Christmas Ad, 1961

PEMCO was part of ANSCOR, multi-holdings company founded by Spanish-Filipino industrialist Andrés Soriano, Sr. (b.1898/d.1964) in the 1930s. It began advertising its line of colored light bulbs in color ads that ran in the weekly magazine, The Sunday Times.

PHILIPS, "Bright Lights", Christmas Ad, 1961


The ads of PEMCO and PHILIPS vied for attention in their weekly ads in color—on the premiere magazine, the Sunday Times. “Joyous as the glow of Christmas night!”, one PEMCO ad enthuses while PHILIPS was singleminded in the promise of turning the holiday into a festive occasion, by “making the holiday spirit more colorful!”.

PEMCO, "Christmas Bright and Holy", Print Ad, 1966

The two companies started a rage for colored bulbs until the decade of psychedelia waned and gave way to the grim and turbulent 70s. 

PEMCO "Happier Christmas", 1967

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

85. Is That Who I Think She Is?: CHARO SANTOS for SEIKO & JOIE

CHARO SANTOS, as a Print Ad model for Seiko Watches, 1975.

Considered as one of the most powerful women of media—being a top executive of the largest media and entertainment conglomerate in the Philippines,  CHARO SANTOS started from the ranks, working her way up the corporate ladder by taking on many paths that proved her mettle, creativity, managerial skills,  and business savvy.  

She was born Maria Rosario Navarro Santos (b. 27 Oct. 1955), to Dr. Winifredo Santos and Nora Navarro from Oriental Mindoro. Her initial route to fame was through beauty pageants—at age 16 she won the 1971 Miss Southern Tagalog Athletic Association title and was crowned Miss Calapan two years later. 

CHARO SANTOS (center)as one of the 6 Baron Travel Girl Finalists, 1976

But it was while a student of St. Paul’s College that Santos started gaining national attention when she won a string of beauty titles, beginning with Miss Green Race 1974—a pageant designed to drum up publicity for the Green Revolution project of then First Lady, Imelda Marcos.

In 1975, Santos was named as one of Manila’s Five Prettiest for the year. As if that was not enough, she topped the 1976 Baron Travel Girl, a prestigious corporate pageant.  In between, she became a professional ramp and commercial model, appearing in “Bagong Anyo” fashion shows and in a few print advertisements as featured here.


SEIKO was already a world-renowned Japanese watch company when it began marketing SEIKO branded clocks and watches in the Philippines beginning in 1967. They quickly began to gain market share in the country because of its material and workmanship quality and affordability. The latest models of SEIKO Watches were advertised on print, and Charo Santos was chosen to model the ladies’ line in 1975.

THE FACE OF JOIE. 1975

JOIE was a cosmetics line produced by Vibelle Manufacturing Corp.—the same maker of the popular Caronia Nail Polish. Introduced in the early 1970s, JOIE COSMETICS included products like lip gloss, capless lipstics, beauty cake, pressed powder and even a herbal shampoo. Charo Santos became the face of JOIE, and for awhile, JOIE had a brief run of commercial success. Marketing of JOIE was gradually discontinued as the personal care market changed due to changing consumer expectations.

After graduation from college where she graduated cum laude, Santos forayed into the movies both as an actress and as a producer. Her performance as the possessed girl in Mike de Leon’s “Itim” won her the 1977 Asian Film Festival Best Actress Award. In the 1980s,  she produced such classics as Oro, Plata, Mata and Himala under the Experimental Cinema of the Philippines. She became the creative force behind the productions of Vanguard Films and Vision Films before moving to Regal Films. In 1987, Santos was invited to join the newly re-opened ABS-CBN and began her ascent to the top of the corporate ladder. The rest is history.


PHOTO SOURCE:

http://www.zimbio.com/pictures/_3AxSd8hgzT/Women+Left+Photocall+73rd+Venice+Film+Festival/wqQ_g0Uq7_v/Charo+Santos-Concio

Monday, November 28, 2016

84. SAN MIGUEL BEER: “O, Anong Sarap, Isa Pa Nga!” 1971

"O, ANONG SARAP...ISA PA NGA", one of San Miguel Beer's widely
 popular ad campaign with a tagline written by Hotdog member,
Dennis Garcia. ca. 1971

For decades now, San Miguel Corporation, led by its flagship product San Miguel Beer has consistently put out advertisements that make the Filipino proud. The signature beer product—SAN MIGUEL BEER PALE PILSEN—has celebrated the Filipino in his most positive facets.


The San Miguel Beer ad campaigns, in varying degrees, have toasted the Filipino at his best—his irrepressible sense of humor, his regard for tradition, his infectious optimism, and most of all, his taste for the good  life. These values find full expression in the campaign , “O, Anong Sarap! So good…ayos na ang kasunod!,” that was launched in 1971.


“O Anong Sarap!”, was the first Tagalog commercial ever for the country’s no. 1 beer. The landmark ad, produced by Philippine Advertising Counselors (PAC) ran for many years, and featured local showbiz stars—from Bert “Tawa” Marcelo to Dencio Padilla, Gary Lising, Cachupoy and Subas Herrero—a tradition by the brand started way back in the 1960s.

WATCH SAN MIGUEL BEER TVC HERE,
"BOSS", with Bert Marcelo & Subas Herrero

One major contributor to this campaign was a young 18 year-old copywriter who penned the tagline, and went on to create many more San Miguel Beer ads, jingles and slogans. Dennis Garcia—who would also gain fame by being a part of the iconic purveyor of original Pilipino music, the Hotdog Band---came up with “O, Anong Sarap—so good, ayos na ang kasunod!”He later re-wrote the second part into “Isa pa nga!”, which became even a more popular catchphrase, it replaced “so good…” permanently.

The agency was recognized for its pioneering use of Filipino talents, themes and values in its commercial in 1979 when PAC received the prestigious Tanglaw Awards from the 4 A’s (Association of the Advertising Agencies of the Philippines”.


After the dreadful Martial law years, San Miguel Beer continued to portray the vibrant and hopeful Pinoy spirit in its campaign “Ito ang Beer!”. Dennis worked on the San Miguel account again in 1990 when he was lured out of his expat job in Malaysia by McCann Erickson, to help keep the client in a multi-agency pitch. The chemistry resulted in the successful “Kahit Kailan, Kaibigan” campaign and helped McCann keep the multi-million-peso account .


“A big idea is big only once,” Dennis, once said. And that was what happened in 1971, when people lapped up his very first campaign for San Miguel Beer in 1971, and never had enough of it—“O, Anong Sarap! Isa Pa Nga!”


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

83. Creative Guild’s 1984 Print Ad of the Year: ASTRA THREADS, “SUPERMAN”

Creative Guild’s 1984 Print Ad of the Year: ASTRA THREADS, “SUPERMAN”, Ace-Compton

The Creative Guild’s very first Print Ad of the Year in 1983 “Superman” was a fitting testament to the sheer power of the image. It would also be the first among the eight winning ads coming from an apparent hotbed of print advertising excellence, Ace/Saatchi & Saatchi, then known as Ace-Compton. 

The client was Allied Threads, an established British thread manufacturer with worldwide operations, but whose product, ASTRA THREAD, was locally known only among neighborhood dressmakers.

“It was a low involvement product”, recalls Jimmy Santiago. “Who really cares much about thread!”.

The client, whose previous advertising experience involved no more than a few fashion posters and some technical TV material harping on the product’s strength, had walked into the Ace-Compton office and announced that they wanted to advertise their product in print.

It was, Santiago recalls, just the kind of job Ace-Compton loved—“A product that gave us the flexibility to be creative without worrying about global constraints”.


The product brief, recalls then creative director Mon Jimenez (now co-CEO of Jimenez/ DMB&B) contained such brass tacks, unappetizing product descriptions as fiber composition, thickness and the like. 

“If you looked at the thread under a microscope.” Jimenez recalls Astra’s titillating claims,”you would see the strands of cotton that made the product much stronger than cheaper products”.

While Jimenez and company sett;ed immediately upon strength as the chief selling point, Jimenez himself refused to take the reader through the whole microscope routine once again. 

In fact, he eschewed any use of scientific data altogether. “We needed a simple idea that would be its own proof, and idea so powerful it would sell itself.”

The questions were then asked, Who would need such prodigiously strong threads? And what image would make this benefit so clear that consumers wouldn’t feel the inclination to ask any more smart questions that the ad didn’t have the space nor the time to answer?

Santiago recalls that it was Jimenez who hit upon the Superman idea, singled out from among other less vivid options, ”and he was jumping up and down about it. How could you not be strong if you had Superman as an endorser?”

“Well, Superman certainly needed strong thread,” Jimenez assert. “And when people have accepted Superman who’s not exactly a real person, then there’ any danger of them looking at the ad and saying,”No, that’s not true”.

Art director Salvador Luna, production manager Rudy Maliglig and photographer Eduviges Huang worked on what was to be a cropped, colorful shot of Superman’s firm shoulder. The picture conveniently conceals the man of Steel’s face, and only a portion of the big, bold trademark on his chest is visible, but there was certainly no mistaking the subject for anybody else.

Superman;s eye catching blue jersey, accentuated by the nice drape of his solid red cape,is conspicuously torn at the shoulder. In an ingeniously contrasting image of gentle persuasion, a decidedly feminine pair of manicured hands, pinkies poised, is set to run a needle through the costume, using of course, you-know-who’s worthy product.

The visual was so clear, copywriters Margarita Arroyo and Alex Castro needed to top off the analogy with a single one-liner, prudently placed above the fine print on product composition and color variety. “Astra is Strength”, the text reads, and the product gets added distinction from the use of its logo.

Did it work?
Santiago reports that Astra became immediately identifiable—“It became most recognized among all other brands of threads”—and the print ad won a Clio citation.”It worked so well,” Jimenez adds,”that they eventually had to go to the serious stuff after that.” At least Superman had its day.

AWARDS WON:
  • Creative Guild of the Philippines, 1984 PRINT AD OF THE YEAR
  • Creative Guild  of the Philippines, APRIL 1984 PRINT AD OF THE MONTH
  • Creative Guild of the Philippines, APRIL 1984, TV AD OF THE MONTH
  • Philippine Advertising Congress, AWARD OF EXCELLENCE, Print,1984
  • CLIO Awards, FINALIST CITATION, New York, 1984

SOURCE:
PERFECT 10: A Decade of Creativity in Philippine Advertising, Published by the Executive Committe of the Creative Guild of the Philippines. 1995. Butch Uy, Alya Honasan

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

82. Brand Icon: PRISCILLA, THE KOLYNOS GIRL

PRISCILLA aka Presentacion "Esen" Bataclan, Kolynos Girl

 KOLYNOS DENTAL CREAM was an American-made toothpaste brand created by Newell Sill Jenkins in 1908.  It was already being advertised in Philippine magazines in the 1930s. Radio then, was already becoming a popular medium for entertainment and promotion then and many companies in the U.S. used it as a channel for marketing. Kolynos was one such product known for program sponsorships.

Kolynos print ad, 1936. Graphic Magazine.

 In 1936, KZRM held auditions for radio singers and one of those who tried out was a 14 year-old high school sophomore from Cavite—Presentacion Bataclan. So impressed were the executives that they gave her a program of her own—The Kolynos Hour. She made her singing debut in 1936 under the screen name Priscilla. Known on-air as “Priscilla, the Kolynos Girl”, she would become the No. 1 radio personality of the Commonwealth Era.

PRISCILLA, THE KOLYNOS GIRL, with pianist
Ariston Avelino and singer, Rafael Artigas.

 “The Kolynos Hour” ran for just fifteen minutes, every Mondays and Fridays—but it lasted for a good three years. Priscilla became a household name, and the radio station was besieged with fan mails (200 letters a week!) and requests for autographs. She earned the then incredible sum of Php 7.50 a show.


 The Kolynos Girl came to typify the toothpaste belle of radio at her likeable best, her toothsome smile and 14-karat crooning voice popularizing songs like Stardust, I’m in the Mood for Love, My Reverie, All the Things You Are, and When Your Love Has Gone. She recorded for RCA and later, Lebran, Bataan Excelsior and Villar Records.

KOLYNOS TOOTHPASTE AD, 1955. The Sunday Times Magazine

 In the next years to follow, until the outbreak of the War, Priscilla divided her time between the radio and the movies. During the Japanese Occupation, she performed at the Life Theater. It was while headlining a show at the Metropolitan Theater that she met her husband, musician-saxophonist Bernardo Aristorenas, whom she married in 1944.

PRISCILLA, as a professional singer, actress, 1951.

 After the war, Priscilla did camp shows for U.S. armed forces and became active again on-air when radio became a flourishing industry in the 1950s. She, along with the Mystery Singer (Cecil Lloyd), signed up with Station KZRH and got top billing in Philippine Refining Company-sponsored shows.



She free-lanced on “Pepsodent’s Hour (another toothpaste brand!), sang on “Vick’s Variety Show”in 1951 and was in the popular “Student Canteen”.

PRISCILLA, minding her gift shop "Eyeful" along Mabini St. 1966

 Overseas, Priscilla sang in Okinawa for a year at the Castle Terrace Club, then made the rounds of clubs in Taipei and Hong Kong. The Aristorenases returned to Manila in 1964 and put up a souvenir gift shop along Mabini St., called “Eyeful”.

LISTEN TO THE KOLYNOS GIRL
SINGING "TOMORROW NEVER COMES":

 Today, the Kolynos Girl is now an nonagenarian, who resides in relative anonymity and quiet in Alabang Hills. Little does one know that for almost 3 decades, she ruled the airwaves as a singing product ambassador , a broadcast icon, and a leading voice in the golden age of the Philippine radio industry.

 SOURCES:
Sunday Times Magazine, 23 Nov. 1966
Literary Movies Magazine, 1951

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

81. THE COPYCAT CASE OF CORTAL AND CORTAPEN


CORTAL 1959 MAGAZINE AD

CORTAL, was introduced in the early 50s as a revolutionary fever, colds and pain reliever. Cortal was basically an aspirin-based medication that has two more active ingredients that work synergistically to fight fever and pain, safely and quickly.

 Widely advertised and easily available, Cortal tablets became the most popular medicine for the relief of headache, fever, and colds—easing out other available medications like the U.S.made-Bayer. Even with the rise of another competitive brand, Cafiaspirina, Cortal’s market lead was insurmountable.

 As expected, other minor players in the analgesic market capitalized on Cortal’s success. In an age where there was no advertising board to police unfair advertising ng practices, another pain relief brand unabashedly copied Cortal’s winning marketing strategies.

CORTAPEN 1960 MAGAZINE AD

Cortapen was the name of the pink tablet brand that fought head-on with Cortal. Its name alone—Cortapen—was similar to Cortal. While Cortal relief was “fast, safe, sure”, Cortapen promised to be “effective, immediate, reliable”.


 Cortal, in its advertising, introduced a sword-wielding mascot called ‘Captain Cortal”, as a symbolic figure “pain fighter”.


Cortapen responded with its own mascot—Corta, the “stop-pain cop”.

CORTAL MAGAZINE AD, 1955

 The early print ads of Cortal followed a comic strip format—the Captain Cortal series--featuring short, problem-solution stories that appeared on weekly magazines,

CORTAPEN MAGAZINE AD, ca. 1954
Of course, Cortapen did the same—it ran its own comic strip ad with Corta.

 This kind of copycat advertising would have been prohibited today by the Philippine Board of Advertising, as the Cortapen ads are blatant rip-offs of Cortal’s creative executions. There is enough basis to warn Cortapen of unethical advertising practice—but this was in the mid 1950s, where ad rules and regulations were nonexistent.

 Cortapen would disappear from botica shelves in the early 1960s, while Cortal would soon be overtaken by the safer acetaminophen and paracetamol analgesics beginning in the late 1970s.

WATCH CORTAL QSR TVC 30
featuring NEIL ETHERIDGE (2011)

Cortal is still available today, reformulated and updated to meet the changing times. In fact, it continues to be advertised, although sparsely—a like this recent TV commercial featuring Neil Etheridge of the Philippine Azkals football team.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

80. Konting Kuskos, Ayos!: SUPERWHEEL DETERGENT BAR TVC 1975

SUPERWHEEL DETERGENT BAR, with Elizabeth Ramsey as "Cleopatra (1976)
Screen grab from 'Superwheel Classic Philippine commercial (1976) by ADman 1909.

From the 50s to the early 70s, the powdered detergents, led by Tide and Breeze, reigned supreme in Philippine households, used by millions of women to keep their laundry clean, white and fresh-smelling. Sure, there were coconut-oil based bars like Perla and Luto (by Philippine Manufacturing Co.), but powders were preferred for their cleaning ability.

Philippjne Refining Co. (PRC) had a soap bar as early as 1952, known as Wheel. It would take twenty two more years before the company could introduce the first non-soap detergent in the country, which would revolutionize the laundry industry and install PRC as Procter & Gamble PMC’s staunchest competitor.

Screen grab from 'Superwheel Classic Philippine commercial (1976)
 by ADman 1909.

The new product was the SUPERWHEEL DETERGENT BAR, introduced to the market in 1974. The synthetic detergent bar had compressed power cleansers that had superior cleaning ability, and could wash more loads of clothes. It lasted longer, as the amount of detergent used  could be controlled by hand-scrubbing, thus it was more economical than powder.

MARISSA DELGADO as Lady Guinever, Superwheel  TVC 1976
Screen grab from 'Superwheel Classic Philippine 

commercial by ADman 1909.

J. Walter Thompson conceived of a massive campaign on TV that did away with real housewives and their problematic washing problems.
  
WATCH SUPERWHEEL "GUINEVERE"
TVC 30s here:

The commercials had outlandish characters spoofed from well-known historical and literary women figures —from Cleopatra, Lady Guinevere and later, in the 80s, Starzan and Barok.

LILY MIRAFLOR, always appeared at the right time with a Superwheel bar,
to save the day for women with laundry problems.
These characters shared a common laundry problem that was solved by the omni-present Lily Miraflor, who appeared magically nearby as the women contemplated on their problems. “Konting kuskos, ayos!”, she says as she saves the day for the ladies with a bar of SUPERWHEEL.


The anachronistic scenes were memorably campy, the acting over-the-top. The ads were among the most popular and most recalled from the 70s era. Most of the punchlines are still known today—most notably, the Cleopatra version (1976) starring the irrepressible Elizabeth Ramsey who, despondent over her washing challenges, declared—“Magapatuka na lang ako sa ahas!” (Might as well have myself bitten by a snake!). A novelty song was even recorded by Ramsey to capitalize on the catchphrase’s popularity.

LISTEN TO "Magapatuka Na Lang Ako sa Ahas"
and WATCH snippets of the "CLEOPATRA" TVC
starring ELIZABETH RAMSEY

The “The King & I” version  showing Gloria Romero as Anna, shining the bald head of the Siamese King (played by Aurelio Estanislao) while exclaiming “Konting kuskos, ayos!” , resulted in a diplomatic row that resulted in the pull-out of the TVC in 1978.  The Thai Embassy had complained that the scene was an affront to their King’s memory as it is forbidden to touch the head of the royalty. 

BARBIE, MAID IN THE PHILIPPINES, a movie character originated
by Joey de Leon, was borrowed by Superwheel for a 1989 commercial.
All through the 80s, the SUPERWHEEL campaign was updated with popular characters from the period, like Starzan, Barok, and Barbie--Maid in the Philippines.

WATCH THE 'STARZAN' SUPERWHEEL TVC (1989) here:

The SUPERWHEEL campaign catapulted the PRC brand to great heights. By 1975, the non-soap market had grown rapidly, until it overtook the declining powder market. The age of the synthetic detergent bars had arrived—and when Procter & Gamble introduced its Mr. Clean Detergnet Bar  in 1977 to square off with SUPERWHEEL, the Great Detergent War was on.

 SOURCES:
Uploadedby ADMan 1909: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouTup4gfL3M
Uploaded by Albert Marc Justine Carreon: (Nov. 2, 2015) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCz9nxyeI34