Wednesday, February 17, 2016

46. 1987 TV AD OF THE YEAR: MILO’s “Gymnast Bea Lucero”

MILO'S BEA LUCERO, Ad of the Year, 1987.

MILO's Olympic Energy story began way back in 1968, when it bagged the accreditation as the energy drink of the premiere world sports competition. But actually, it was rival Ovaltine that exploited the Olympic energy angle even earlier in 1936.

 Milo, however, then a new brand, pulled the rug out from under the then market Goliath Ovaltine, by getting the sponsorship for the Philippine Olympic team. The people behind Milo even had the foresight to reserve in advance, media space for the 1972 Olympics! By the time Ovaltine realized what happened, Milo had gained much ground in the marketplace—and the sole glory of an Olympic association.

 MILO’s “overly serious” image. The campaign, “Let’s build champions” began to seem grand. Could every child become an Olympic winner?

By the 1980s, the prime account was with AMA-DDB Needham, a longtime Nestle agency. In 1983, its Executive Creative Director Bambi Borromeo had gotten worried about

 “The winning situation,” Borromeo insists, “could be as a simple as being able to complete a difficult routine, or going over an initial hurdle.” A new theme that brought the campaign closer to home was crafted and set to music—“A Milo a day…for Olympic energy!”.

 Borromeo had the additional challenge of finding a sport that has not been used in previous MILO executions. After some brainstorm, he chose the graceful discipline of Gymnastics. The agency caster scoured Manila gymnastic clubs for a possible talent and discovered the young prodigy, Bea Lucero, who had been training in the U.S. and winning age meets there.

 An approved storyboard showed the young girl flying through a full day’s schedule of school and sports, with glasses of MILO and Bea’s sensational somersaults figuring significantly in the story.

 The directorial details were turned over to veteran director, Jun Urbano, who captured Bea’s fresh face in natural moments that left the audience charmed.


From the opening frames, when Bea wakes up and washer her face to Trisha Amper’s voice light-heartedly singing..”I’m getting ready, getting ready…oh, boy, what a day it’s gonna be!...”, the ad sends a refreshing message, mesmerizing MILO-chugging youngsters, inspiring a new generation to be Bea Lucero wanna-bes.

 Not only did MILO sales dramatically increased with the refreshed campaign, but when it was time for the Creative Guild of the Philippines to select their TV Ad of the Year for 1987, MILO’s 60 sec.”Gymnast”, was their top choice.

 The ad also catapulted Bea Lucero to instant stardom, and Nestle Philippines showed its corporate gratitude by sponsoring Bea’s many international sports outings. The year she made the Milo commercial, she competed at the 1987 Southeast Asian Games in Jakarta and won 2 Golds—one for the prized All-Around Gymnast—and 3 Silvers.

 MILO and Bea helped create a new level of awareness for the sports of gymnastics that had never existed in the country before.

AGENCY: AMA-DDB Needham                            ADVERTISER: Nestle Ph. 
CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Bambi Borromeo           WRITER: Cynthia de Castro 
ART DIRECTOR: Roberto B. Miranda                   PRODUCER: Romy A. Esio 
PRODUCTION HOUSE: Filmex                            DIRECTOR: Jun Urbano 
FILM EDITOR: Dante de Leon


  1. Coming soon: Eugene Herrera, Prince Carlos and Lukas Magallano for MILO.

  2. did the production design of this ad....

    1. That's why it's award-winning, Butch!!