Sunday, January 31, 2016



For over 90 years,, Magnolia has been synonymous with the finest name in ice cream. One of its most distinctive product line was the Flavor of the Month ice cream series which represented the dozen months of the calendar.


 Introduced in March 1954, Magnolia’s Flavor of the Month (FOM) had Tru-Fruit Strawberry as its initial offering. Positioned as a superior ice cream with novel, exciting and various flavors throughout the year, FOM flavors range from fruit-based or confectionery-flavored ice cream with homegrown or imported ingredients.


 The flavor names evoked mouth-watering and sometimes, exotic deliciousness—“Coffee Mangosteen”, “Ube-Nangka Fiesta”, “Corn ‘n Coco Flip”, “Vanilla Macaroon”, “Atis Glacé”. 


FOM’s advertising weaves through the texture of time and growth of the products themselves in terms of sales volume. Initial print advertising featured illustrated ice cream scoops in goblets, but eventually, photography was used to enhance appetite appeal. In the 1970s,

FOM models were used to endorse the product, hence the “Miss Magnolia” search was hatched. The winner pitched the product with all her wholesome charm, in print, poster and TV commercials.


 “Magnolia, the finest name in ice cream, now presents the Ice Cream Flavor of the Month”—goes the jingle which opens the commercial and which then led to Miss Magnolia—“For March, it’s Tutti-Frutti!”, and then proceeds to describe the ingredients of the flavor.


 In the late 70s thru the early 80s, FOM ads, designed by its long-time agency J. Romero & Associates, latched on to seasonal themes and visuals—a wedding setting for June, kite-flying for May. Miss Magnolia was relegated as an inset picture in FOM ads, until she was eased out completely; the last Miss Magnolia quest was held in 1980.

 The Magnolia’s FOM line was discontinued when SMC transferred its ice cream and dairy businesses to Magnolia-Nestlé Corp. In 1998, SMC withdrew from the joint venture with Nestlé and a "non-compete" clause barred it from the ice cream and milk businesses for five years. When the clause lapsed in 2004, SMC revived its ice cream through subsidiary, Magnolia, Inc., but not its FOM line.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

43. Is That Who I Think She Is? ALMA MORENO for TUSSY LOTION

ALMA MORENO, then, Vanessa Laxamana, age 16, a perfect model
for Tussy Lemon Hand & Body Lotion Print Ad, Woman's Home
Companion magazine. 1975.

Erstwhile movie star-politician ALMA MORENO was in the news recently--owing to her awkward interview with broadcast journalist Karen Davila. But indeed, she has come a long way--from being a sexy teen sensation to becoming a senatorial candidate for the 2016 elections.

VANESSA LAXAMANA, the future Alma Moreno.
She was born Vanessa Lacsamana on 25 May 1959, daughter of Frank Lacsmana of Macabebe and Jean Moreno,

Before she starred in her breakout film "Ligaw na Bulaklak", she actually dabbled in commercial modelling--and we have this 1975 print ad for TUSSY hand and Boy Lotion Print ad as proof of her auspicious promise as as future star sensation.

Perfectly cast, the future Alma Moreno possessed a face that exuded beautiful innocence, that seemed incongruous to her nubile, voluptuous and flawless body,

When she was discovered for the movies barely a year after her Tussy ad,  this seeming mismatch--of sexiness and innocence--was played up to the hilt in the aforementioned "Ligaw na Bulaklak, part 2". She was just 16. The movie was big hit and it was followed by another blockbuster, the delicious "Eva Fonda, 16". 
From then until the late 1980s, Moreno starred in a number of revealing movie hits, earning her the title "Sex Goddess of Philippine From then till the 80s, she starred in a number of revealing movie hits, earning her the title,"Sex Goddess of Philippine Movies". Her other notable films include "City After Dark", "Mga Bilanggong Birhen".

Moreno became a TV star too, a headliner in the acclaimed drama series, "Alindog" and in variety shows like "The Other Side of Alma" and " Loveli-Ness",which showcased her dancing talent,

Moreno was a 2-term elected councilor of Paranaque.  She joined United Nationalist Alliance of Vice-President Jejomar Binay, and in 2015, Moreno filed her candidacy for a slot in the Senate under UNA.

Moreno had a son--Mark Anthony--with the late action star, Rudy Fernandez. Her relationship with Dolphy resulted in a son, Van Dolph.

She later married actor-politician Joey Marquez with whom she had 4 children: Yeoj, Winwyn, VJ, and adopted daughter, Em-Em. After the annulment of their marriage in 2004, she wed Sultan Fahad "Pre" Salic, Mayor of Marawi City in 2009 which ended in a divorce in 2014.

Friday, January 22, 2016

42. It's A Small World: 1968 SAN MIGUEL BEER.CAMPAIGN

SAN MIGUEL BEER: From Manila to Madrid, 1968.
The advertising for the Philippines' premier beer--SAN MIGUEL BEER--have always been the cynosure of consumer attention, its TV and print ads, awaited with much expectation. After all, San Miguel consistently command attention and its slogans, often replayed and quoted. "So good...ayos na ang kasunod",for example, became a byword, and so it was retained for the 1968 campaign.

SAN MIGUEL BEER: From Bacolod to Bangkok, 1968
The internationality of San Miguel Beer was highlighted in that year's "small world" campaign, juxtaposing local and foreign imageries; the locales were carefully chosen so that they are alliterative: Manila to Madrid, Bacolod to Bangkok, and so forth.

SAN MIGUEL BEER: From Malabon to Melbourne, 1968.
"The world over, what people want in a beer is flavor..", the copy goes. And "the international beer--- San Miguel Beer is just a walk away from you..", it then concludes.

SAN MIGUEL BEER: From San Fernando to San Francisco, 1968.
As usual, the campaign was received well, even if the shots were faked in the print ad series. The TVC looked expensive and succeeded in conveying the universal appeal of San Miguel Beer, even if the ad looked a bit highbrow. The next year's campaign though, would prove to be more popular, more memorable and enduring though. It is to be noted that the same "international" strategy was rused by Nescafe in the 1980s, using "the great cities of the world" theme, and employing the same juxtaposition of famous places in the world and in the Philippines. Nescafe may have done it better, but San Miguel Beer did it first.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

41. Kulang sa Ebidensya: THE ROYAL TRU-ORANGE-MIRINDA ORANGE WAR, 1976

THE CLAIM THAT STARTED IT ALL. Launched in 1965, Royal Tru-Orange's
"Yung May Pulp Bits Syempre" campaign ran successfully for over a decade,
until Mirinda dared to challenge its taste superiority promise.

Yes, it was MIRINDA who fired the first salvo and it was a deadringer.

 Yes, MIRINDA claimed in a full page ad in the local dailies that the majority of TRU-ORANGE drinkers confessed their love, devotion and surrender to MIRINDA. 

named its primary competitor--RTO--and pointed out its weakness in
a taste challenge conducted by Consumer Pulse. 1976. 

Yes, the conspiracy was hatched by the Pepsi Cola Bottling Company of the Philippines, bottlers of MIRINDA; Ace Compton, the agency which handles the MIRINDA account; and Consumer Pulse, the research firm which supervised the taste test.

 No, TRU-ORANGE retorted. The MIRINDA ad spoke with forked tongue. And so San Miguel Corporation, producer of ROYAL TRU-ORANGE brought their case and wounded pride to the attention of the Philippine Board of Advertisers.

 Yes, the Philippine Board of Advertisers said, we must stop this MIRINDA aggression until MIRINDA and the gang can substantiate their claim by furnishing us the raw data of Consumer Pulse.

ROYAL TRU-ORANGE RESPONSE AD. RTO came up with its own defensive
print ad that encouraged consumers to conduct their own taste-test, while the
case against Mirinda was ongoing at the Philippine Board of Advertising. 1976.

 No, Consumer Pulse volleyed. We will only show our findings to the PBA fathers only if the examination will be made in our premises.

 Yes, other implications arose, Ace-Compton claimed that a butter ad appeared on TV employing the same methods as MIRINDA and got away with it. So why the fuss about our ad.

 Yes, by supreme coincidence, the alleged inferior butter being put down was under the account of Ace Compton. Something was fishy.

 No, the PBA boomed. The butter as was not in anyway the same or similar to the softdrink ad. But from now on, the PBA will prohibit comparative advertising that directly and specifically mentions its competitor.

 Yes, the PBA also pored through the raw data of Consumer Pulse and declared it insubstantial. Yes, the MIRINDA was banned from all media.

 Yes, TRU-ORANGE and the whole San Miguel Corporation were about to drink champagne to their victory when…

MIRINDA'S REVISED CHALLENGE AD. The direct reference to
Royal Tru-Orange was dropped; instead, it was referred to as "the leading
orange soft drink". It didn't matter--the damage has been done.

 Yes, MIRINDA came out again with another ad that complied with the PBA rules and extended their Mirinda Challenge to malignant limits.

No, there’s no telling what ROYAL TRU-ORANGE will do in the next few days to get even. But it sure is getting to be a lovely advertising war.

This article originally appeared on ERMITA, vol. 1, no. 9, October 1976 issue.

Friday, January 8, 2016

40. Commercial Discovery of 1987-88: ALICE DIXSON, Palmolive's "I Can Feel It" Girl

Creative Guild of the Philippines' Top Talent Discovery for 1987 was the refreshingly beautiful Filipina-mestiza, ALICE DIXSON, whose appearance in a Palmolive Commercial created a sensation with its signature "shoulder shrug" choreography.

Watch the 1987 Palmolive commercial here.

Born as Jessie Alice Celones Dixson on 28 July 1969 to an American father and a Filipina, Alice barged into showbiz via the beauty contest route. She first joined the quest for Reyna ng Santacruzan on "Eat Bulaga" which she won. At age 18, Dixson joined the more prestigious Bb. Pilipinas and was chosen as Bb.Pilipinas-International 1986. She went to Nagasaki, Japan to compete in the Miss International Beauty Pageant where she placed among the 15 semifinalists.

Watch her at Miss International 1986  here:

Commercial casters began calling immediately, and she was chosen along with 4 other girls for an undisclosed shampoo project, which was revealed only after they were approved. The product was Palmolive Shampoo.  Dixson was supposed to share equal billing with the other girls, but she registered so well that she was featured in the product demo--and ended the commercial with the memorable "shoulder rotation shrug" as she exuberantly sang "I can feel it!"

Dixson suddenly became a  household name in 1987 through that highly popular Palmolive TV ad, jumpstarting her showbiz career. She was cast in a TV sitcom, Okay Ka, Fairy Ko as the fairy princess, Faye, who fell for a mortal. It was just a matter of time that she transitioned to movies, even earning plaudits for  Hanggang Saan, Hanggang Kailan (1993), Sa Isang Sulok Ng Pangarap, Pangako Ng Kahapon (1994), Sana Dalawa Ang Puso Ko (1995) and Sambahin Ang Ngalan Mo (1998).

Watch Dixson recall her Palmolive commercial here

Dixson left a flourishing career to move to Canada in 1999 where she wed IT specialist Ronnie Miranda, a marriage that would last 3 years. She made a successful comeback in 2011, starring in Babaing Hampaslupa and Ang Panday II.

She co-starred with Christopher de Leon and Richard Gomez in the smash hit telenovela, Ang Iibigin Ay Ikaw (2002 to 2005). In December 2013, she pose for FHM Philippines, making her the oldest woman to cover on that men's magazine, at age 44. As of 2015, she can be seen on TV as Mia Corcuera in the local adaptation of "Marimar."

Dixson's Palmolive TV ad has since become a classic, and, in 2002, the TVC was included as one of the 25 Pilak Awardees, representing the best Philippine ad of the last 50 years--"patalastas na walang kupas".

Monday, January 4, 2016


KATIALIS "Gifts of the Three Kings" Ad, showing the 3 magis presenting Katialis bottles
 as gifts to scab-ridden Filipinos. c. Jan.1936

Time was when the Feast of the Epiphany or Three Kings was a fixed date—January 6—which also marked the end of the Christmas season. With the 1969 revision of the General Roman Calendar, the date has become variable, celebrated on the first Sunday of January.

DEL MONTE PINEAPPLE JUICE, "Little King", a more whimsical depiction of your little king.
 c. Jan. 1965

In the Philippines, the 3 Kings were looked at as gift-givers, the way Americans looked at Santa Claus. This began in the Spanish times when the “Dia de los Tres Reyes Magos” was celebrated in Filipino homes with feasting, merry-making and gift-giving. Children would leave their buffed shoes all in arrow outside their rooms to find them stuffed with gifts the next morning—courtesy of the 3 Kings!

REPUBLIC BANK, "Forty One Kings", Get the royal service
of not just 3 Kings but 41! Bank branches, that is.
 c. Jan.1965

These ads of yesteryears celebrate the Feast of the Three Kings--when the day held more significance to Filipinos. After all, it extended the Christmas season for another week, thus prolonging the feasting and merrymaking--not to mention school vacations.

from La Tondena, Inc. c. 1940

The ads range from the wild (Katialis) to the whimsical (Del Monte), but the highest tribute has got to be La Tondeña's whiskey brand fittingly named "Three Kings", perhaps to capture the intoxicating joy that the holidays bring!