Friday, April 21, 2017

105. PALMOLIVE SOAP, “Like Mother, Like Daughter” Campaign, 1965

WHO IS THE MOTHER? WHO IS THE DAUGHTER? The future actress-comedian Tessie Tomas--known then as Teresita Hermosa--poses with her mother, radio icon Laura Hermosa--in this launch ad for Palmolive's new camapign that sought to point out t-its consumer promise of delivering "younger-looking skin". 

PALMOLIVE SOAP was produced in 1916, and it was only 12 years later that the soap was imported by the company of Arthur Brent, for sale in the Philippines. Brent’s company was the pre-cursor of Colgate-Palmolive Philippines.

The soap got its name from its ingredients—palm oil and olive oil. It was the second brand of the company, after Colgate, and would become one of the best-selling soaps in the world. In the Philippines, PALMOLIVE was also one of the leading beauty soaps in the market along with Camay and Lux. Ad agency Grant Advertising (which became Bates-Alcantara, then DYR-Alacantara) acquired the account in 1949.

In 1965, a new campaign for PALMOLIVE SOAP was launched which created talk-of-the-town buzz and would endure for many years.  Its proposition latched on to the promise of giving “younger-looking skin”. A TV commercial version dramatized this in a commercial that featured a Santacruzan where the Reyna Elena was recognized by a female onlooker who tells his malE friend—“Classmate ko siya 5 years ago!”.  To which the male friend quipped—“Bakit mas mukhang bata pa siya kaysa sa iyo?”. 

The compelling story was translated to a print campaign entitled, “Like Mother, Like Daughter” which sought to visualize mild PALMOLIVE’s  ability to give clean, clear, and radiantly beautiful skin.
tandem in 1967 and 1970 Palmolive print ads.
The main picture of the ad shows a real-life mother and daughter, posed side-by-side. The headline read—“Sisters?…or Mother and Daughter?”.  The perfectly-cast ad draws the reader to the youthful appearance of the mother, whose looks are comparable to the daughter. It invites the reader to look at the picture and pick out the mother (or daughter)—a clever way to go around the rules of comparative advertising which was not allowed in Philippine advertising at that time.

The first models for this barrier-breaking PALMOLIVE campaign were the radio personality Laura Hermosa and her 15 year-old daughter, Teresita Hermosa. Teresita would go on to become a creative director of a multinational agency and find greater fame in showbiz as the award-winning comedienne-actress, Tessie Tomas.
THE BURGOS AND THE FARGAS mother and daughter tandem
in 1966 and 1970 Palmolive print ads.
The campaign lasted for at least 5 years, and the ad looked pretty much the same except for some copy tweaks. In subsequent years, the ads carried headlines like “Like mother, like daughter”, and a more direct call-to-action, “Which one is Mother?"

PALMOLIVE SOAP, took a backseat with the introduction of the highly-popular PALMOLIVE Shampoo line. It was in recent years that the soap was resurrected as a line of PALMOLIVE Naturals, each formulated with a distinctive ingredient to suit a person’s needs.


Tessie Tomas photo:
Palmolive vintage ad:,palmolive/Recent

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