|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.
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