Wednesday, August 31, 2016

74. GLAD RAINWEAR AND NOVUS RAINMATES: Gearing Up for the Rains in the 60s-70s:

INCLUDING THE RAINY SEASON--as Glad Rainwear endorser, 1971.

The rainy season is upon us once more, and the wet weather brings to mind a few of the products that people wore to protect themselves from the elements in the 60s and 70s. Between then and now, the rainy weather basics have not changed: umbrellas, wore boots and raincoats. A few companies though, thought of new ways to make these drab and often heavy rain gear more appealing.

In 1970, for example, Union Carbide Philippines Inc., a company primarily known for car batteries and industrial products ventured into the manufacturing of polyvinyl chloride materials. This paved the way for the launch of a revolutionary personal raincoat perfect for the unpredictable rainy season—GLAD RAINWEAR.

It was different from existing bulky plastic raincoats then—GLAD was very light, flexible and can be folded and tucked away in a handy pocket packs. What’s more, the raincoat came in different, fashionable colors.

The company employed no less than 70s teen star Vilma Santos to endorse the products. She appearedin several colored and black and white print ads that showed her exposed to the elements while at work. There was also a non-celebrity version of the ads, featuring people from all walks of life, protected by GLAD RAINWEAR while under the rain.

Needless to say, the handy raincoat enjoyed a measure of success for its anytime-anywhere convenience, its softness and affordability. In a special way, GLAD RAINWEAR made wearing raincoats cool and fashionable.

It was the same tact that PVC Inc. of Malabon  adapted even years earlier, when it launched its NOVUS Rainmates boots for ladies in 1963. Where before, rain boots were made of heavy rubber and were available only in black, PVC manufactured boots that were advertised for their “high style”—smart, casual and comfortable. Novus boots for ladies were also available in 5 colors.

GLAD RAINWEAR and NOVUS RAINMATES have long disappeared from the market, and the companies that made them have also undergone major changes. Union Carbide suffered irreparable damages due to the Bhopal disaster in India in which toxic chemicals were accidentally released from their  plant and killed thousands. The company continues to engage in chemical manufacturing. PVC Inc., still operates in Malabon, making fire and safety equipment.

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