Monday, February 26, 2018

152. Aren’t You Glad You Use Dial? DIAL SOAP, 1961-1978

DIAL SOAP PRINT AD, ca. 1978-1979
DIAL Soap was available in the Philippines as early as the late, distributed by Corona Bazar, with offices at Rizal venue. The bath soap had been developed by a meat-packing company which had originally produced soap since 1888—Armour and Co.. DIAL, with its antibacterial hexachlorophene that promised to protect “round-the-clock”, was  introduced in Chicago in 1948. B

DIAL was rolled out nationally in 1949, and by 1953 was a market leader in America. Six years after, it found its way to the Philippines to a warm, receptive market. It came in packed foils of Gold, Pink and Aqua, and the front panel features a “clock” illustration to visualize its all-day deodorant protection.

DIAL PRINT ADS, Sunday Times Magazine, Apr. 1961
By 1961, the first print ads of DIAL were seen on local weekend magazines, featuring the same ads in U.S. publications that showed male and women models under a shower. It was one of the first products to have standardized campaign around the world, using the thematic line “Aren’t you glad you use DIAL?”. The tagline, created by Foote Cone & Belding (FCB),  first appeared in the product’s 1953 ads, and was used all the way to the 2000s, making it one of the world’s most enduring campaigns responsible for its global success.


All throughout the 60s, DIAL was promoted on primetime evening TV,within the program, “Not for Hire”, aired on Channel 3. It reached its peak in the 1970s when even superstar Nora Aunor, agreed to appear and sing the DIAL jingle in a TV commercial produced by Basic/FCB. It was major casting coup for the brand. The premium product expanded its appeal to common consumers because of the pulling power of Aunor’s campaign.


DIAL was actively advertised all through the 1970s, such as this one, featuring model Pilar Zaragoza. By the 1990s, its popularity waned as other new alternatives came to fore, and Safeguard managed its hold on the germicidal soap market.

Today, DIAL Soaps are no longer produced in the Philippines, but imported ones can be had in specialty shops and can be ordered online.

youtube, Dial Soap Classic Philippine TVC (1979), uploaded by ADman 1909, uploaded Jul. 2007

Monday, February 19, 2018


A brand name defines and differentiates a product from its competitiors in the eyes of the customer. So important are brand names that they can make or break a product---a car manufacturer once named its new vehicle “Nova”, not knowing that “no va” meant “not going” in Spanish. On the other hand, there are perfect brand names like “Jollibee”, “Hapee” and “Mr.Clean” that evoke positive images of joy, clean living and fun. Before marketing experts offered their brand-naming services, many makers of products just coined their own brand names, resulting in odd, unusual names.
1. ATOMI-CHLOR (Anti-fleas and ticks)
This liquid product, designed to rid pet dogs, insects, plants and lawns, was forlumated in the 1950s –known as the Atomic Age—hence the brand name ATOMI-CHLOR. The other half is derived from its active ingredient—Chlordane. The ad dates from 1951.

2. BARRY’S TRICOPHEROUS (For baldness, thinning hair and dandruff)
BARRY’S TRICOPHEROUS was introduced in the late 1840s by "professor" and former New York wig-maker, Alexander C. Barry. The product surprisingly did well in the market and was sold to Thomas Barclay in 1871, who sold it  until 1906. The product contains 97% alcohol, 1.5% castor oil, and 1% tincture of cantharides (Spanish fly), which supposedly help stimulate the scalp’s blood supply. The product is still being sold today.  Ads from 1951.

3. DUSGOCYL (For cough relief)
The name of this cough relief medication is a challenge to spelling bee contestants; DUSGOCYL sounds like the name of a prehistoric creature, a winged dinosaur perhaps—not some product that “combats cough at the start”. It actually contains Cocillana, which has expectorant properties.  Curiously, it also lists wild lettuce as among its ingredients.  Ad from 1935.

4. ELIXIR AURI-BROMIDE (For all acute and infectious coughs)
This elixir has a unique 24K gold tri-bromide ingredient from which its brand name was derived. “Aurum”, the chemical symbol for gold, plus “bromide”, resulted in ELIXR AURI-BROMIDE, that provides soothing relief for whooping coughs, bronchial asthma, pulmonary and other obstinate coughs. Ad from 1961.

5. GALISATUM (For all diseases of the skin)
GALISATUM was a skin ointment developed by Dr. Carlos Jahrling of Botica Sta. Cruz in the 1930s.  “Galis” was an all-encompassing local  term for any skin conditions—from scabies, eczema to skin chafing and mange.  “-Atum” was a suffix that was  commonly used in pharmaceuticl products  like “mentholatum”and “petrolatum”. Ad from 1936.

6. JAGGING JAGGING (Face Powder)
There really is no reason why a  cosmetic product guaranteed to make you “lovely to look at” be named JAGGING JAGGING. It is nonsensical, unfeminine and the sound is far from mellifluous. But  Chun Huat Pomade Factory, the manufacturer, did just that, making it hard to believe that Jagging Jagging  is indeed,  a “girls’ favorite”. Ad from 1934.

7. KULSO-ALIS (Anti-diarrhea, anti-dysentery)
Another product coming from Botica St. Cruz is  KULSO-ALIS, a concoction with a brand name that comes from “Kulso” (diarrhea, loose bowel movement) and “Alis” (to be free from, begone). It was a common way to coin brand names for products—Katialis, the popular skin cream was coined in the same way. It is interesting that Kulso-Alis lists Opium as one of its ingredients. Ad from 1937

8. MONG ALING (Remedy for anemia)
This medicine intended for a serious disease has such a comical-sounding name, that it’s hard to believe it can bring relief to anemic women and mothers with disorders associated with pregnancy and their menses. Even the ingredients do not give a clue as why it was named MONG ALING. To make it more difficult to decipher, the word and numbers “Silang Lab.  No. 8368”, are appended to the brand name. Is this a trademark registration number? It remains a mystery to this day. Ad from 1936.

9. ODORODO (Body odor protection)
The brand name of this early deodorant spray is a palindrome—ODORODO—it reads the same way when read backwards. Such literary devices were used to increase memorability of the brand name, but unfortunately Odorodo, even with its catchy name and unque Action-Proof formula, did not catch on. But at least, the euphemistic “B.O.” (for body other) is still in our vocabulary today. Ad from 1960.

10. PENETRO (For chest colds)
St. Joseph Laboratories gave us this medicated rub with  the name PENETRO, which conjures images of soothing, penetrating vapors to give relief to chest colds. But it is also ideal for tired feet, burns and other aches, which makes  ”Penetro” very apt, as it does sound almost like a name for a multi-powered superhero! Ca. 1935.

11. REUTER’S  SOAP (Skin Soap)
The early toilet soap designed to beautify a woman’s complexion is a trademark of Lanman & Kemp-Barclay & Co., Inc., The company, itself was founded in 1808 by Robert I. Murray and its business was conducted under the firm name Murray & Lanman in New York.  The brand name--REUTER’S SOAP-- has nothing to do with the world-famous news bureau. It was named after its creator, Dr. John Reuter. The classic bar soap was sold under its Spanish brand name, Jabon de Reuter, in the Philippines. The company still is in cooperation today with headquarters in Westwood, New Jersey, and continues to sell the soap.  Ads from early 1950s.

12. SAIZ DE CARLOS (Stomach elixir against gas and diarrhea)
It would seem at first that this brand name came from someone named Carlos the Sixth.  However, the famous stomach elixir  bears the name of its maker, pharmacist and doctor Ramón Sáiz de Carlos (b.26  Jan. 1857) whose interest in oenological research led him to pursue laboratory work and develop new medicines and drugs. The acclaimed  Sáiz de Carlos gave his name to such new products that were exported all over the world---Neuranémico, Dinamogeno, Reumator, Purgantina,  Quinofebrina and the popular SAIZ DE CARLOS ELIXIR ESTOMACAL, recommended for gas pains and diarrhea. In the Philippines, the product was distributed by Metro Drugs.

13. SUSPIRO DE AMOR (Women’s perfume)
Not a exactly an odd name, but certainly mysterious, if not sensual. SUSPIRO DE AMOR—“Sigh of Love”—is the brand name of this lady’s perfume guaranteed to arouse passion and love. Even the ad copy is full of innuendos—“the lady languishes  on her silken couch—she murmurs in accents of wild sweetness—“Midnight and after!”. Ad from 1951.

14. TIMOSINA (For cough relief)
Thymosins, small proteins in animal tissues, were originally isolated from the thymus, hence the name. They are used in mucolytics and expectorants to clear coughs, improve hydrations and volume of secretions. TIMOSINA Cough Syrup, a product of the pharmaceutical company in the Philippines—Botica Boie--  is the Spanish term for thymosin. It is indicated for convulsive spasms of whooping coughs. Ad from 1953.

15. VIN DÉSILES (Energy drink)
The brand name of this revitalizing drink popular in the 1950s seem anachronistic as it sound like the name of contemporary Hollywood action star, Vin Diesel. VIN DÉSILES, which claims to restore energy and appetite, was distributed by Oceanic Commercial, Inc. in the Philippines. ca. early 1950s.

Monday, February 12, 2018

150. THE LOST JINGLES OF D.O.T.: "Huwag Maging Dayuhan sa Sariling Bayan”, ca. 1986-87

It was just  after the People Revolution, sometime in late 1986. Filipinos were still reeling from the events of February when a peaceful revolution ousted Marcos which forced him to flee the country. 

Everyone was getting ready for a clean start, and one priority was rebuilding the battered economy. The DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM, under the new leadership of Sec. Antonio Gonzales, with undersecretary Narzalina Lim, decided to ask the help of advertising agencies to come up with a concept for the country’s Domestic Tourism campaign.

It made sense to call upon Filipinos first to rediscover their own, beautiful country as nationalistic pride was at its highest at this time. Ace-Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising was asked to pitch an idea, and the creative team--led by Creative Director Jimmy F. Santiago, who eventully wrote the slogan-- came up with a winning campaign theme that is still being quoted to this day: “Huwag Maging Dayuhan sa Sariling Bayan” (English translation” Don’t Be A Stranger in your Own Paradise”).

Part of the agency pitch was the presentation of jingle studies so that the concept can be better illustrated, and these two initial studies, with different melodies for the two versions  (Pilipino and English), were composed by jinglemaker, Caloy Agawa. For some reason, the D.O.T. jingle project  never pushed through, and these two studies were never finalized and produced.

For the first time, these jingles are being presented here:


CREATIVE DIRECTORS: Cid Reyes, Ramon Jimenez Jr., Jimmy F. Santiago
LYRICISTS: Pilipino Version: Jimmy F. Santiago / English Lyrics: Alex R. Castro
COMPOSER: Caloy Agawa / PRODUCER: Paul Suarez

Sunday, February 4, 2018

149. Boxers or Briefs?: MEN’S UNDERWEAR ADS, 1950s-1970s.

Before BENCH underwear introduced the Filipino males to skimpy underwear fit for cavorting on the fashion runway, our ancestors wore loin clothes or g-string to cover their modesty, over 7,000 years ago.  In fact we have local terms for those early undies—“bahag” in Pilipino,  “pinang” in Kapampangan, “kuval” in Ibaloy, “wanes” in Bontoc, and “ba-ag” in Kalinga.

As Filipinos were already wearing shorts before the Spaniards arrived , they took to wearing the Western ‘calzonsillos’ --drawstring shorts-- which were often hand-sewn. These evolved into buttoned-up,  commercially-produced white drawers, with opening in front. They were to become  staple underwear,  found in every man’s aparador from the pre-war American-occupied Philippines all the way through the 60s.

Modern briefs were introduced only in 1935, sold first by Cooper’s Inc. in Chicago. They were the invention of hosiery designer, Arthur Kneibler, who was inspired after seeing a leg-less male swimsuit. He made a fitted underwear, with an overlapping Y-front fly—and thus the Jockey shorts was born.

Boxer shorts in the U.S. found favor only after the war, adapted from pugilist’s shorts that came with elastic waistband introduced by Everlast in 1925 (Pinoys would take to them only in the '90s). Meanwhile, local Chinese undershirt and pants manufacturers cashed in on the growing demand for modern underwear that provided support and style, by branching out into underwear. Classic briefs were made of cotton, but in the 1970s, nylon briefs came into vogue.

On this page are early Philippine ads that show the evolution of the modern briefs and shorts over 3 decades.

DE LUXE STETSON SHORTS (1955,1957). “Once Tried, Always Used”. LEFT, Stetson Shirt and Pants factory was a leading manufacturer of shorts, pants and later, briefs, in the 1950s.  The  popular brand was available at all leading bazaars and department stores and it regularly advertised in major dailies, like this magazine ad, 1955. RIGHT. De Luxe Stetson Shorts, 1958.

YANKEE SHORTS (1955). “The Perfect Cut”, Shift to Tankee Shorts yourself, and feel real fine! A generic pair of white, snap-buttoned shorts popular during the post-war era, 1955.

HANFORD BRIEFS (1957). The brand HANFORD began in 1954, in the business district of Juan Luna, started by the Te family. HANFORD has become a well-loved tradition that has been passed from one generation to the next an continues to operate to this day. Currently, its signature model is Mikhail Daza who appears in their advertising, a far cry from this illustrated ad from 1957.

GUARD BRIEFS (1961). This “comfort brief” has all the elements of a modern brief—elastic waistband supported by 20 bands of rubber;  fine, duraknit fabric that will not shrink, and  a snug fit that will not chafe inner thighs. The manufacturer is not named. 1961.

LEFT: DERBY MEN’S BRIEFS (1961). DERBY is cut along the body line to allow for freedom of movement and a conforming pouch for gentle, ample support. Uncle Sam Associated manufactured this underwear, along with undershirts. RIGHT: MAYFLOWER (1961).A popular shirts that is the only one in  the market with a bar-tack reinforcement to prevent tear on the crotch area,

CRISPA BRIEFS (1963). Named after the department store chain & textile company owned by the Floro Family, led by Valeriano “Danny” Floro in 1956. The fabrics are ‘redmanized’, a process which pre-shrinks them, so the products are guaranteed to stay snug and fit. One of the most successful garments factory in the 60s thru the 80s, CRISPA even fielded a basketball team (‘Crispa Redmanizers’) in the games Philippine Basketbal Association (PBA) and won 13 championships. 1963.

VERTEX BRIEFS (1963). One of the earliest printed bikini briefs (without a front opening), is Vertex Briefs, that is made from cool, absorbent fabric yarn.

LEFT: WALKER (1963). WALKER brand was distributed nationally by Sehwani Marketing Corp. in Mandaluyong. It became a market leader in shirt and briefs manufacturing in the 60s decade. It s Gold Line briefs featured innovations like the superior elastic Lactron 37 and Permalex leg openings to ensure no irritation. RIGHT: DMC (1971). DMC was one of the first to introduce lightweight, nylon briefs in the market.

WARREN BRIEFS (1971). WARREN BRIEFS popularized the use of 100% nylon in underwear, which were lighter, softer, and easier-to-dry than cotton. The only problem was that they felt hotter, despite being thin,  and absorbed less. Thus, WARREN also had cotton, terry-towel and de-hilo briefs. WARREN also introduced the first unisex briefs in the market. It reached its peak in the mid 1980s, with full color advertising on TV and print.

MONSIEUR NYLON BRIEFS (1973). MONSIEUR was another briefs brand that jumped into the nylon briefs bandwagon. It enjoyed a measure of success, as it was looked at as a premium underwear, right down to its innovative cylindrical packaging.

FALCON BRIEFS (1975). A product of Veindra Garments Industries, Falcon Briefs was a short-lived brand in the mid 1970s, but the company still exists to this day but as a textile merchant firm.

LEFT: MONTAGUT (1975). MONTAGUT is a clothing company with origins in France, which, in 1925 sold lingerie and silk stockings. In the 60s, Montagut expanded to include clothing and polo shirts manufactured with Fil Lumière which became international brands. Its Philippine partner, French Fashion Philippines, Inc., launched the premium MONTAGUT brand of classic and fashion briefs, which featured a variety of prints. RIGHT: PURITAN (1978). PURITAN Quality Mens Underwear is manufactured and exclusively distributed in the Philippines by General Garments Corporation. Launched in the Philippines over 40 years ago, it is currently one of the leading brands in the market, with 3  main product categories: Briefs, T-shirts and Undershirts.