Sunday, March 12, 2017

99. Brand Stories: STAR MARGARINE, Philippine Manufacturing Company (PMC)

STAR MARGARINE, in a new, more colorful air-tight packaging with a lid. 1955.

The company that would come to be known as the giant  Procter & Gamble PMC  started in 1908 as a partnership called the Manila Refining Company, with the purpose of manufacturing candles and fertilizer. In 1913, the company was incorporated into the Philippine Manufacturing Company (PMC), initially capitalized at Php One Thousand pesos, which was later increased to half a million.
 
AN EARLY STAR PRINT AD, late 40s.
 It shifted its objective to the manufacture and selling of coconut oil—as up to 1914, there was only one coconut oil mill operating in the country. Besides, edible oils in the Philippines came largely from pork lard and imported peanut oil from Hong Kong and Shanghai.
 
HAPPINESS IS A STAR. early 1951 print ad.
In 1917, PMC employed a chemist to develop edible products from coconut oil—and in 1919—PURICO was introduced to the market---the first vegetable shortening made in the Philippines. The reception to this coconut oil-based produt was overwhelming so PMC sought to produce another consumer food product.
 
TYPICAL B&W STAR PRINT AD,1950s.
It would take 12 years to introduce the first vegetable-base margarine to the country i—known then in 1931, and still now—as STAR MARGARINE. The creamy-rich flavored golden yellow margarine was fortified with Vitamins A and D, and came packaged in small, circular tins, branded with a . By the time Procter and Gamble of Cincinnati, Ohio acquired PMC in 1935, STAR MARGARINE had already a steady following.
 
NEW STAR VITAMINIZED WITH VIT. B1, AGAINST BERI-BERI. 1951
From the 1940s to the 50s,  STAR MARGARINE was actively pushed in the trade as well as through advertising,  a marketing tool that P&G always believed in. Black and white print ads in leading women’s and general family magazines were used to promote the healthy benefits of STAR, using the early slogan—“Stars for Flavors”. The use of STAR as filler for sandwiches or a spread for bibingka and puto was encouraged in the early print ads.
 
STAR DAILY ON RICE & BREAD TO PREVENT BERI-BERI, 1951
Then, in 1951, a major product development was introduced---the addition of Vitamin B1 in STAR. Vitamin B1 was touted as an effective ingredient against beri-beri which was a common affliction of Filipino children in the 50s.
 
GET YOUR DRIVE & ENERGY FROM STAR, 1960.
In the 1960s, STAR MARGARINE shifted to energy stories in its print ads, even targeting young adults in the brand’s quest for a broader appeal. It was only a decade later that P&G and its ad agency, Ace-Compton Advertising, re-looked at theVitamin B1 ingredient of STAR MARGARINE, which happened to be a growth-stimulating vitamin. Thus, the campaign,”Iba na’ng Matangkad!” (Being Tall Makes A Difference) was born. The famous tagline embodied the aspiration of the generally height-challenged Filipino to tower—and triumph--over the competition.

Early TV executions dramatized the advantage of being tall—hence a child basketball player performed better, and even mundane tasks as reaching for a fruit hanging from a tree branch was a breeze for a vertically-superior youngster. When statuesque Aurora Pijuan won Miss International 1970, she became the face of STAR. Her popular commercial showed her standing shoulder to shoulder with other international beauties, while we hear her voice-over: “Magaganda sila…Matatangkad..Buti, ako rin!”.

WATCH THIS 2008 STAR MARGARINE
"Iba Na'ng Matangkad-James Yap" TVC

The “Iba Na’ng Matangkad” campaign  endures to this day, even as P&G PMC sold STAR MARGARINE along with Dari Creme, to the Magnolia division of San Miguel Corporation in 1994. It has evolved into “Angat sa Height, Ang Future Mas Bright” (“Increased height, for a brighter future”). It’s pro-growth equity has also crossed over to other San Miguel-Purefoods brands like the Purefoods STAR Hotdogs and Purefoods STAR Corned Beef--which just goes to show that nothing succeeds like success.

3 comments:

  1. Wasn't Dairy Creme's slogan was: "Pinipili ng Mapiling ina"?

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