Tuesday, June 26, 2018

168. Jack 'n Jill CHIZ CURLS, Print Ads, 1969-1975

CHIZ CURLS, "The Irresistibles!", early print ad, 1969.

The company that introduced us to the world of munchy, crunchy snacking began with Mr. John Gokongwei in 1954, when he thought of going into the business of glucose and cornstarch production. Thus, he had a corn milling plant built that would lay the foundation for his fledgling company—Universal Corn Products, that ould become Universal Robina Corporation (URC)  in 1966.

URC would go on to bring to the Philippines the concept of ‘salty snacks’  that have now become a staple part of Filipino snacking culture. There have been attempts to do this in limited forms—like Carol Ann’s, which gave us our first shoestring potato chips in 1964, and Maya’s short-lived Wheat Crunch. Only the cheap, ubiquitous “kropek” could be had readily from sari-sari stores.

A new line of salty snack treats was conceived by URC and was named “Jack ‘n Jill” by founder Gokongwei. He thought it had easy recall and recognition owing to the popular nursery rhyme, and he was right.

JACK 'N JILL CHIZ-CURLS, "You can hear how great they taste!', 1975.

Jack ‘n Jill CHIZ CURLS was one of the very first products to roll out of the URC production plant, along with Chippy and Potato Chips. But the CHIZ CURLS had novel forms and taste---crunchy, puffy corn curls, generously powdered with rich, cheddar cheese that burst into more cheesy flavor when eaten.

 CHIZ CURLS were attractively sold in foil packs to preserve the freshness and crunchiness of the novel curly, yummy, corn ‘n cheese snacks. The front panel showed a bowl-ful of CHIZ CURLS with, curiously, a cow by the side—an image that one would associate with cereals.

Nonetheless, Jack ‘n Jill CHIZ CURLS were an instant hit, and found favor among kids and the younger set.  Together with Chippy and Potato Chips, Students loved them to bits, and CHIZ CURLS became a national sensation, and outlets like school and office canteens, groceries and sari-sari storesbegan clamoring for them.

CHIPPY AD, with New Munchees blurb. Today, Jack
'n Jill has about 11 snack varieties. ca. 1980.

Advertising propelled the brand even further, and the first campaign in 1969 used the slogan,”The irresistibles!”. The most-remembered campaign broke in 1975, with a slogan that capitalized on the crunchiness of the snack treats:   “You can hear how they great they taste!”

Forty years after, Jack ‘n Jill continue to be the dominant name in the snack culture of the country, considered a megabrand with 11  different lip-smacking snack varieties—Chiz Curls, Chippy, Potato Chips, V-Cut, Taquitos, Mr. Chips, Tostillas, Roller Coaster, Piattos, Spuds, and Sea Crunch-- to suit the taste of snack-loving Pinoys.

 The name that popularized the culture of snacking in the country, Jack ‘n Jill presently has an expansive line of snack varieties totaling to 11 different brands: Chippy, Taquitos, Mr. Chips, Tostillas, Roller Coaster, Piattos, Spuds, Potato Chips, V-Cut, Chiz Curls and Sea Crunch.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

167. CANADA DRY Beverage Advertising, 1960-1962

CANADA DRY BEVERAGES Print ad, 1962, featuring fruit-flavored drinks.
Canadian pharmacist John J. McLaughlin of Ontario is credited with giving the world the first ‘Pale Ginger Ale’ in 1904, a product of his carbonated water plant he founded in Toronto in 1890. He perfected a lighter version that became CANADA DRY Ginger Ale—the “dry” refers to its not-so-sweety taste as in “dry” wine.  The drink was a hit, especially in the U.S., that he set up a manufacturing plant in Manhattan, New York.

Canada Dry Ginger Ale and
Beverage bottle
Upon McLaughlin's death in 1914,  his brother, Samuel took over but later sold the business to .P. D. Saylor and Associates in 1923, which then set up  CANADA DRY Ginger Ale, Inc.

The business grew exponentially, and by the 1930s, CANADA DRY was available worldwide. From the 1950s onward, the company ventured into soft drinks and mixers, which proved also successful.

CANADA DRY Beverages reached the country in the 1950s when the Canada Dry Bottling Co.  of the Philippines was put up in Parañaque, Rizal, by authority of the CANADA DRY International Corp. New York, U.S.A.

The CANADA DRY bottles all featured the map of Canada on a shield, topped by a crown, in reference to the drink’s appointment to the Viceregal Household of the Governor General of Canada in 1907.

UVA, the grape-flavored drink, was the most popular Canada Dry beverage introduced in 1960.
Its mid 50s product line include CANADA DRY Ginger Ale, Spur Cola, Hi-Spot Lemon Soda, Dry Water. In the 1960s,its quality flavored beverage line  was introduced bannered by Uva (Grape), Strawberry, Tru-Fruit Orange (later, Real Orange), Kola Champagne and Root Beer (Sarsaparilla).

CANADA DRY beverages had its own following in the country, and the fruity flavors were heavily advertised in magazines, via both full color and black and white print ads. Many of the print ads carried charming illustrations done locally.

Norton Simon Inc. bought CANADA DRY in 1964, which, after a few years, decided to close the Philippine operations. It was later sold to Dr. Pepper, but when Forstmann Little & Co. bought the latter, CANADA DRY was acquired by Del Monte Foods. CANADA DRY is owned by Dr.Pepper Snapple Group today.


Tuesday, June 12, 2018


Panasonic Corporation (formerly, Matsushita) used to have a popular brand of home appliances known as NATIONAL. It was one of the most famous brands in Asia, the Philippines included. 1980s were the heyday years of the brand, as NATIONAL made available to Filipinos, a wide range of domestic, industrial and personal appliances –including the munch in-demand line of  NATIONAL Panacycle Electric Fans introduced in 1983.

The NATIONAL Panacycle Electric Fans featured aero-pitch blades that provided more air volume for maximum comfort and quiet. There are 5-way oscillations to choose from, for spreading cool air evenly around the room. NATIONAL Panacycle Electric Fans models included  Stand Fan, Living Fan, Desk Fan, Box Fan, and Wall Fan.

NATIONAL Panacycle Fans were extensively advertised and the launch ads featured the hot singing group The Apolinario Mabini Hiking Society, later popularly known as APO Hiking Society, or simply APO (named after the hero, Apolinario Mabini). The group was composed of Ateneo High students Jim Paredes, Boboy Garovillo, and Danny Javier, who joined the group during their college years. APO  first made waves  in a 1973  concert held at the Meralco Theater where they became the talk of the campus circuit with their music and witty humor.

The APO Hiking Society first gained recognition in 1973 when they gave a farewell concert at the Meralco Theater in Pasig City, Metro Manila, Philippines. Just out of college, the group was the talk of the Ateneo de Manila University and adjoining campuses for their music and humor.

Five years later, they placed 2nd in the Metro Pop Song Festival with the song “Ewan’, by Louie Ocampo which became a hit for them. At their peak, they had their own noontime Sunday show "Sa Linggo nAPO Sila", which catapulted APO to national stardom. They cut over 22 records with such hits as “Handog ng Pilipino sa Mundo” (1986) recorded by 15 artists during the People Power Revolution in 1986. They were the first group to perform in Carnegie Hall, and were much in demand in international shows as purveyors of Original Pilipino Music.

As positive role models to the youth, the APO Hiking Society began appearing in commercials and these NATIONAL Panacycle Fan ads were one of their earliest endorsements (their biggest would be for San Miguel Beer).

Retired as a group in late 2009, the members continue to be active in their chosen fields. Only Buboy Garovillo remained in showbiz, with acting roles movies and tele-novelas. Entrepreneur Danny Javier is retired from singing and recetly overcame a serious kidney disease and  is settled in Cagayan de Oro; he also owns Pidro: Ang Saplot Ng Bayan T-shirts. Jim Paredes forayed into advertising, then moved to Australia, but came back to the country to work as columnist and a tireless activist.

As to the fate of the NATIONAL brand, it was phased out in Asia gradually beginning in 2004. The products NATIONAL bannered were unified and re-branded as Panasonic. Home appliances retained the name NATIONAL until September 2008, and today all products are marketed under the "Panasonic" brand.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

165. Brand Icon: THE ENGLISHMAN of Fibisco Biscuits

THE ENGLISHMAN, still in use in a magazine print ad, 1983.

Filipinas Biscuit Corporation, or more commonly known as Fisbisco, was set up on 23 January 1959. The next year, Fibisco  started producing biscuit brands that would become household favorites—like  Choco-Mallows, Marie, Hi-Ro, Jolly, Butter Crunch and Ginger Snaps.


These were collectively marketed as “English Quality Biscuits” as they were produced using English-made machinery, set up by English consultants in the Fibisco Mandaluyong factory. The initial operations was even supervised by an English plant manager.


As biscuits of fine quality were associated with the English, an “ENGLISHMAN” character was introduced to drive home that point. The white-moustachioed ENGLISHMAN, wearing a smart blue suit, bowler hat and wielding a cane, was featured in print and TV advertising, as early as 1960 .


For over 20 years, the ENGLISHMAN breezed through the screen as its memorable jingle played:

“Ho, ho, did you know?
The ENGLISHMAN bakes Fibisco Biscuits.
Ho, ho, did you know?
We've got the Englishman here!”.

The ENGLISHMAN, once a familiar figure to Filipino children, may have long been gone, but his Fibisco biscuits are still here!