Friday, July 22, 2016



In 1986, Coca-Cola launched a new international advertising campaign—“Tomorrow’s People”, which put the spotlight on young people as the “hope of the world”. Several countries were picked to have their own local version—like Peru, Colombia, Brazil, China, Korea, Japanese, Germany, Argentina, Portugal--and of course, the Philippines. When Coca-Cola embarked on a worldwide search for the lead singer of each country, Lilet’s voice tape was recommended for approval by the local Coke agency, McCann-Erickson Philippines.

LILET'S COKE TVC, English version, 1987

The rising teen star, a mainstay of the popular TV variety show, “That’s Entertainment”, was chosen to go to Liverpool, England to shoot the Philippine version of the popular Coke commercial. “Tomorrow’s People”, was shot in Liverpool over a period of 3 days.

Each country talent—in this case, Lilet-- started off the commercial, by singing the first few lines of the ‘anthem’—“I am the future of the world, I am the hope of my nation, I am tomorrow’s people, I am the new inspiration..”. Lilet was then joined by about a thousand young kids who were paid 96 pounds and given all the Coke they could drink.

LILET'S COKE TVC, Pilipino version

When the local version was aired in 1987, Lilet’s popularity soared. McCann-Erickson had to hurriedly shoot a second all-Filipino version of “Tomorrow’s People”, with the jingle translated in Pilipino. Hundreds of Filipino kids were assembled in an outdoor location to join Lilet, replicating the original English version.

 The idea of an international shooting for a local version of a campaign was something new and unexpected then. It used to be that the local agency just shot its own version, following the global ad, frame by frame. So Lilet’s commercial was met with much excitement and national pride.


Of course, rival Pepsi Cola followed suit with its “The Choice of the New Generation Campaign”, that followed the same formula, but this one, even better. In Pepsi’s case, an international star was assigned to perform with a local artist. For the Philippine version, rocker Gino Padilla was handpicked to sing with the legendary Tina Turner. But nobody can deny that Coca Cola’s “Tomorrow’s People” had more heart, with a sincere message delivered simply and memorably by the voices of the world’s youth, led by a Filipina teen, Lilet.

Coke Classic Filipino Ad, uploaded by ADman1909
Lilet and That Coke Advertisement, uploaded by Oliver Damian


Thursday, July 14, 2016

68. Brand Icon: Nestle’s TITA MAGGI (MENCHU GENATO)

EVERYONE'S TITA--TITA MAGGI OF MAGGI NOODLES. As personified by the charming
Menchu Genato, a Maryknoll graduate, ca. 1981.

One of the most famous brand characters ever to be created to promote a line of products was the charming and appealing Tita Maggi. It was in the late 70s that Ace-Compton Advertising conceived of this young “tita” (aunt) to initially launch its new brand of instant, quick-cooking noodles—Maggi Rich Mami Noodles.

 The result was a fresh, endearing kitchen personality in a red and yellow outfit, complete with a yellow apron and a yellow chef’s hat—Tita Maggi-- which differentiated her completely from other female product endorsers at that time, who were either old, matronly or caricatur-ish.

GENATO, in a Westinghouse print ad, 1975

 When it was time to cast Tita Maggi, the agency picked an accomplished beauty-and-brains Maryknoll graduate, Carmencita “Menchu” Genato. Her credentials were impeccable: Menchu came from a well-known Spanish-Filipino family with roots in Manila and Zamboanga, that counted athletes and achievers (grandfathers Gil Fargas and Dr. Jose Genato Sr., competed in the Far East Games, grandmother Sarah Xeres-Burgos Genato was a champion bowler, uncle Antonio was basketball Olympian, brother Pepito was in the national soccer team, cousin Dyan Castillejo was a tennis champ), and beauty queens (Rosario Genato and Carmen Fargas were Carnival beauties).

TITA MAGGI, intro ad for Maggi Instant Mami Noodles.

In her college day, Menchu, herself, had been one of the Top 10 Outstanding Coeds of the Philippines (along with Marilou Diaz-Abaya). As one of the country’s prettiest faces, she dabbled in commercial modeling, mostly print ads. Right after graduation in 1974, San Miguel Corp. offered her a job as PR coordinator for Magnolia, which certainly helped prepare her for her role as Tita Maggi .


Soon, Menchu became even more visible when she forayed into TV and appeared as Bebs in the comedy series “Baltic and Company”(1974-1976) based on the comic strip of Roni Santiago that featured characters like Mr. Baltic (Prospero Luna), Miss Tapia (Mely Tagasa), Johnny the Janitor (Bert Marcelo) and Angelo Castro as her love interest.

 Then came her biggest break. A lucrative modeling contract with Nestle Philippines, which was set to launch the Maggi line of noodles, pre-cooked foods and sauce. She was the perfect choice—embodying the qualities of a young, happy homemaker (by then, she was already married to TV sports journalist Joaquin “Quinito” Henson), ready to spread the message of good taste to a generation of kids as their own “tita”.

 To Nestle’s delight, the first Maggi Rich Mami Noodles advertising campaign with Tita Maggi turned out to be well-received and successful. In time, Tita Maggi began appearing in an array of ads for Maggi Seasoning, Maggi Cook-it-Right Mix, Maggi Bouillon and Maggi Noodles ‘n Sauce.

TITA MAGGI, with other Nestle endorsers like Milo's Bea Lucero and
Bear Brand Mascot

Menchu became one of the busiest talents of the ad industry—when not shooting commercials and print ads, she was appearing in corporate shows, welcoming guests like famous TV chef Stephen Yan, hosting cooking programs, making the rounds of schools with her noodle-feeding drive, doing interviews and fulfilling commitments as an official Maggi brand ambassador. (Note: As Tita Maggi, she was always in character and was not allowed to be seen wearing an incomplete uniform in corporate shows).


 In her heyday, Tita Maggi was one of the most recognizable faces on TV, mobbed by hundreds of adoring kids and mothers wherever she went. There was a Tita Maggi Homemakers Club , and even a Tita Maggi doll made in her likeness. In between, Menchu found time to have a family with her husband; a daughter, Cristina, was born in 1983.


 When the run was over, the Tita Maggi campaign proved to be one of the most successful, most enduring campaigns in Philippine advertising history, spanning a period of some 20 years. Menchu went back to her San Miguel job in charge of Monterey, rose to become Vice president for marketing and retired in 1995. After retiring from San Miguel, she became a real estate broker and now helps her mother-in-law, Marina, in her insurance business. She also heads a foundation that assists abused women.

MENCHU 'TITA MAGGI' GENATO NOW.: therealdeanquinito FB page

 And yes, Tita Maggi gets recognized even to this day, by kids from the ‘80s and ‘90s, who once watched her commercials and introduced them to the world of Maggi—known for good taste the world over!

Quinito Henson and Menchu Genato--Why They Love Squash--the Healthiest of Sports.

Love of My Life, by Joaquin Henson. Sporting Chance. 12 April.2012. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

67. Creative Guild TV Ad of the Month, Dec. 1987: KNORR REAL CHINESE SOUP

The film, “The Last Emperor”, was making waves in Hollywood in 1987 when Pacifica Publicity Bureau launched  KNORR REAL CHINESE SOUP produced  an intro commercial with lush imageries inspired by the said movie. It was entitled "Kowloon"
KNORR SOUP, with Richard Tan. Print Ad, 1987

Knorr Chinese Soups, with their one of a kind flavor-- captured the authentic taste of the real thing—with just the addition of one egg! The product was The commercial this came alive with  a jingle-based commercial that came across as genuinely Chinese.

There was a character who looked suspiciously like PuYi  (the last emperor) garbed in similar costume mouthing a memorable line, “GoodAh!”, a court attendant with a high-pitched voice (a eunuch?) and a pleasant singing presentor who cracks an egg on the head of an attendant who sounds like a high pitch court eunuch.

Then, there's a Westernized Oriental in the person of singer Richard Tan (before he added an extra “n” to his name), who looked dapper in a tuxedo.

Source: aianchan, uploaded 19 Sep. 2017

A 30-second version waslater created to ride on the momentum of the ad's popularity, entitled "Last Emperor", minus Richard Tan.

TVC 30s(2nd version "Last Emperor") here:
Uploaded by MultiJLambo, 5 Mar. 2012

The  popular Knorr Chinese Soup (“Kowloon”) commercial, with the Crab and Corn flavor as lead variant, was directed by well-known director, Boldy Tapales. It was voted by members of the Creative Guild of the Philippines as the best as the top ad for December, and by the year’s end, competed against an array of monthly finalists—including favorites, won by the sleek, technically-produced TVC of Shell Brake Fluid.

ART DIRECTOR: Danny Arada   /  COPYWRITER: Carmille Agana
ACCOUNT: Anna Domingo
DIRECTOR: Boldy Tapales     /   ASST. DIRECTOR: Mae Paner
CLIENT: California Manufacturing Corp.

1987 Creative Guild Ad of the Year Program
de la Torre, Visitacion. History of Advertising in the Philipiines, Torre Publishing. Manila.
youtube, 1988 Knorr Chinese Soup featuting Ruchard Tan,, Uploaded by aianchan, 19 Sep. 2017.
youtube, Knrr Real Chinese Soup,, uploaded by MultiJLambo, 5 March  2012.