Thursday, December 29, 2011


by Roger Pe
Philippine Daily Inquirer
December 30, 2011

Whoever dares give away pillows to sleepy commuters on a stressful, exhausting day?

Who’ll dare dress up bus stops and metro stations to show what a furniture store can do?

This Swedish retailer is a cult word.

Too bad Filipinos have to fly to Hongkong to experience how it is to shop at this “one-stop sanctuary curator of people’s lifestyles,” as one fanatic calls it.

Even Kuala Lumpur has an exclusive wing of a giant mall, all four story modern warehouse, devoted to the entire brand famous all over the world for its chic and contemporary designs.

Tasteful, unconventional advertising, low prices and wacky promotions have earned Ikea more than 50 Cannes Lions.

It was 2010 Advertiser of the Year in the same award show, an honor that has become today as significant as winning the Grand Prix.

Nike, on the other hand, was Advertiser of the Year for the second time last year in the Clio, Cannes fiercest rival.

The AOY award for both competitions is given to a manufacturer, which tallies the most number of points earned from Grand Prix, gold, silver and bronze wins. Each trophy has equivalent points.

You may think that it is just a mathematical tally of awards. No.

Beyond the metal plate, Clio describes it as an honor given to any advertiser, which “achieves creative leadership and consistently demonstrated a commitment to innovation in advertising.”

Cannes calls it a tribute to maverick companies who encourage, nurture and value creativity and inventiveness as the best weapons for selling.

The AOY has become a permanent fixture in Cannes when clients began trickling in to the Mediterranean resort in the mid-90s.

Once an exclusive enclave of creative directors, marketing directors, accounts men, production house directors and just about any person who has a stake in advertising have joined the annual rendezvous.

To lure advertisers and maintain its sparkle as a prestigious global industry award-giving body,
Clio, the Oscars of advertising, also embraced the AOY idea, handing out the award beginning in 2001.

The Philippines’ Ad Congress “Araw” awards couldn’t be left behind and also adopted the same format.

And this year’s winner is, Nestle Philippines.


At Ad Congress’ penultimate day, the food and dairy company hauled 5 Gold, 10 Silver and 14 Bronze “Araw” awards to upstage some of the country’s heaviest adspenders.

Earlier this year, Nestle celebrated its 100th anniversary in the country with a tv spot made by Publicis-Manila, its AOR (Agency on Record).

An ambitious project followed suit – a 100-minute anthology of 10 short films, filmed by the best Filipino directors and cameramen who have done Nestle commercials in the past.

Each short film featured a Nestlé brand unobtrusively woven seamlessly into the film without the usual hard sell.

SM Theatres in Manila and in selected urban centers showed the film, which also made a rousing debut in Cannes last June.

Business Friday interviewed Matec Villanueva, Chairman of Publicis Manila and Sandra Puno, Nestle Senior Vice-President and Director of Communications:

BF: Give 5 great reasons why Nestle should be named Advertiser of the Year – not only by Ad Congress standards but also by the marketing industry as a whole.

Matec Villanueva: 1. It dominates almost all the categories it competes in.

2. It serves as the benchmark company for competitors.

3. Although its brands are global, they respect and understand, knowing and accepting that “local” will be the point of difference.

4. They take the word partnership to heart, whether it’s with the consumer or business partners.

5. They are downright decent.

Sandra Puno: 1. For brand ads that aim to inspire

2. Campaigns that celebrate the joy and value of being Pinoy and being part of the Pinoy family

3. Work that showcased the extraordinary creative talent of people in our industry: the producers, the talents, the production crew, the sound and lights engineers, the make-up artist, media practitioners, etc.

4.Kasambuhay Habambuhay films that got so many ad industry people involved, excited and happy

5.Storytelling done the advertising way – brief, concise and straight to the heart.

BF: Why is Nestle such a wholesome name?

SP: Nestlé takes to heart its commitment to put consumers at the heart of what we do. Nestlé lives by its mission to continually help nourish Filipino families in the next 100 years as it has done so the past 100 years.

The wholesome image is likely a result of the positive experience consumers have had with its quality products through the years.

The communication also works at ensuring strict adherence to the company’s core values, its business and communication principles.

BF: What is Nestle’s most challenging but successful encounter this year and how you and your team managed to pull it off?

MV: The centennial project was a killer. When it was crunch time, good relationships in the past served as the strong glue that kept us from breaking apart.

SP: To come up with a Centennial celebration that our consumers and their families would feel very much a part of. It was as simple as listening to our consumers.

The consumers will always be the source of inspiration. With the outstanding creativity of our agency, they were able to translate the consumer sentiment into projects that then inspired so many of us.

BF: The general perception, or reality is, Publicis is very well liked by Nestle. Why do you think so and what is Publicis’ competitive edge?

MV: Perception is reality (laughs heartily).

Harmony in a relationship happens when both parties deliver on the expectations. And we make it a point that we do deliver on what is expected of us and that is communications that help sell the brand and nurture the brand’s health. That is our role in Nestle.

We have 4 advantages: Solid insighting and strategic planning; business-building creatives and passionate servicing. We understand how our clients’ business runs.

BF: Whom do you wish to thank for this great honor?

SP: Our heartfelt thanks to our Filipino families, our true Kasambuhays, our agencies, without whose support we would not be where we are today. I wish you and your family health and happiness as we celebrate our 100th Christmas. Maligayang Pasko at Manigong Bagong Taon sa inyong lahat: John Martin Miller (Chairman & CEO, Nestlé Philippines)

BF: As early as November, global trade magazines were forecasting a not-so-rosy picture for 2012 adspend, what are your thoughts?

MV: There are bases for the forecast.

Europe’s crazy economic twists and turns, the US’s never-ending recession, natural calamities hurting even the first world countries, etc. At the very least, it is going to be like 2011.

BF: Describe the Villanueva-Rivera tandem partnership (Marlon River is President and Executive Creative Director).

MV: It is a rare creative-account tandem because it works and works well. That is because we share the same business and personal values. Our sense of business was molded during our Basic Advertising days.

The best teachers mentored us: Tony Mercado, Minyong Ordonez and Nonoy Gallardo. We constantly learn from each other. “Tanggap namin ang isa’t isa,” and most importantly, we trust each other, unconditionally.

BF: A few pieces of advice for a great, enduring agency-client relationship?

MV: Clients look for a partner who will do communications that will deliver the business. Be that partner. Understanding and embracing the market realities will help develop better communications.

SP: So many people pay lip service to partnership but it is only true partnership that inspires. Inspiration will then spark creativity and creativity in turn will spark inspiration

Thursday, December 22, 2011


by Roger Pe
Philippine Daily Inquirer
December 23, 2011

Now on its second decade of helping the best upcoming talents get the recognition they deserve, YoungGuns International Ad Awards recently announced its global winners for year 2011.

Nina Fides Garcia, a junior Art Director at DDB Philippines, bested hundreds of competitors from all over the world in Illustration category, romping off with 1 Gold and 2 Silver Bullets from the awards show. The win also pushed DDB Philippines to become Agency of the Year in Design.

The award giving body is the only recognized awards competition for young talents below 30 years old, honoring future creative leaders and influencers who will “mould the future and the organizations incubating them”, says organizers and founding members Kristian Barnes, Jason Williams and Michael Kean who are all based in Australia.

The judges included distinguished creative directors, art directors and copywriters from all over the world, about the same field that are invited in prestigious creative competitions worldwide.

“We are deeply honored with this award from YoungGuns. It’s a validation of our undying commitment of nurturing young talents and developing them to excel.
We share the same commitment with YoungGuns,” says DDB Group Philippines Chairman and CEO Gil G. Chua.


by Roger Pe
Philippine Daily Inquirer
December 23, 2011

Has it ever occurred to you that visually communicating to an audience is a joy and the results are almost close to magic?

Want to engage more people so intently and hear them gosh with “ohs” and “ahs”?

What if this Christmas season, you can make your own virtual parol and are able to share it with your loved ones on social media? Great fun indeed.

Now you can put an end to boring print ads and presentations. Dazzle your audience!

With Globe’s Augmented Reality (AR), you can now say goodbye to one-dimensional marketing presentations, even in conceptualizing advertising campaigns.
Last December 14, Globe launched a full-page Christmas ad in major broadsheets with a colorful 5-part “Parol” (Christmas lantern) depicting how Filipinos celebrate Christmas in diversity.

The interactive ad allowed the audience to make their own Christmas “parol” and provided instant access for them to share it with their friends in social media.

Want to experience how the magic works? All you need to do is log on to Once you’re there, look for the AR icon made of three small lanterns located at the lower left corner. From there, you’re now ready to feast on a new visual treat.

By trailblazing another amazing first in the country, Globe changes the game and takes print advertising and visual presentations to new heights.

Globe’s AR transforms the way information is communicated. To say the least, Globe makes it in the most exciting way possible.

What exactly is Augmented Reality?

Augmented Reality is a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment in which elements are intensified by computer-generated sensory input (like sound, video or graphics).

It involves layering of computer-generated imageries of the real world as seen through the camera of a smartphone or tablet computer.

In laymen’s terms, how does the AR work?

To jumpstart the use of AR in its marketing campaigns, Globe used the technology on its Christmas campaign entitled “Globe Gets Me”.

To see how it works, simply follow these simple steps:

1. Look for “Globe Gets Me” print ad in any publication
2. Go to this site:
3. Allow the app to access your webcam
4. Point the black-and-white image code (found at the lower corner of the ad) at your webcam and wait for the image to appear

Tip: Don’t point the image too close. You can place the ad on your table and point the webcam down to face the image code so you can rotate it easily.

A most valuable and indispensable tool for marketing communications, Globe’s AR is a fast growing technology.

And the way it engages consumers for a specific product or service, is a wonderful new visual experience.

How’ that for a new visual treat? Want more excitement? Here’s more:

For digital campaigns, Globe AR is amazing. It can drive visual communicators to various social media freeways via the smoothest, most fascinating visual rendezvous ever.

For those who are using redemption-led strategies like couponing for promotion efforts, Globe AR is a tremendous traffic booster, a fact validated by ABI Research forecast: that market for Augmented Reality will reach US$350 million by 2014, in the United States alone.

At the recently concluded Philippine Advertising Congress, Singapore Press Holdings general manager Geoff Tan observed that the use of AR is already prevalent and widely accepted by the Singapore market.

AR is typically seen and used in events, exhibitions and roadshows, point-of-sale programs, interactive installation, website and digital marketing, and mobile marketing and m-commerce solutions.

Where new innovations begin, Globe is at the forefront, once again taking the lead and taking a big pioneering effort to advance technology for the advertising industry.

With AR, Globe hopes to establish a “more personal engagement and intimate affiliations with brands, immersing them through different senses and forge a more robust interaction with its products and services,” said Yoly Crisanto, Head of Globe Corporate Communications.

“Indeed, this is taking technology a notch higher and we are happy that we have made this milestone in the Philippine advertising industry,” she said.

Through the AR-empowered print campaign, Globe joins Filipinos in celebrating the yuletide season in diversity, and the way they connect and communicate with loved ones.

As a brand that lets subscribers enjoy their way, Globe leads with a strong portfolio of innovative, customized and affordable offers that truly enrich the lives of Filipinos, especially this Christmas.

Inventive. Innovative. Exciting. Creative. Globe adapts your way.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


by Roger Pe
Philippine Daily Inquirer
December 16, 2011

Beginning January 2012, Filipina Mio Chongson will face the most challenging chapter of her storied advertising career.

She will replace a topnotch expat who’s helped built not only JWT Manila into a formidable international award-winning agency but also one of the most potent forces in making Ace-Saatchi & Saatchi Manila emerge as Philippines’ Agency of the Year (by Campaign Brief Asia ranking) in 2010.

UK-born Matt Seddon, commonly known as “Turnaround Man” will relocate to India as Saatchi & Saatchi CEO after 15 years of energizing the network’s agencies in Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines.

The news about Chongson’s appointment spread like wildfire during the ad industry’s biennial bash at CamSur Ad Congress last November. The announcement came from Ace Saatchi & Saatchi chairman, Arthur Young, Jr.

Into the lion’s den, can Chongson measure up with the post Seddon is vacating, considering that she is not a home grown Saatchi baby, let alone a seemingly coy and sweet young lady?

Make no mistake, judging from her credentials, Chongson is ready to rock or tame, as the case may be, an agency that has bred many of the industry’s creative and management hotshots.

“I am truly excited to be given the opportunity to lead the Ace-Saatchi team, to further inspire an already charged-up creative powerhouse. That will be a fun challenge,” said Chongson on her announcement as the agency’s new COO.

She is currently president of close to 80-member 4A’s (Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies of the Philippines).

By that alone, one should speak highly about Chongson as it is not easy to manage a group of ad agency presidents and managing directors of different molds with different business philosophies.

“She is not a sitting president, she is a doer, an inspiring president who is not only sharp but exudes a lot of positive aura,” says an ad agency president.

Chongson is a hands-on manager of the 4A’s Agency of the Year project, a distinguished annual task to help push the industry’s standards to new heights, and a very proactive council member of Adboard’s Ad Standards Council.

Prior to her Ace-Saatchi & Saatchi post, Chongson is CEO of Blue Bottle, a dynamic independent local agency, which she owned since 2005.

The charming Chongson is proud about the agency she is sad leaving and helped nurture from ground zero.

At the helm, the agency had acquired a measure of respectable roster of accounts, because some clients followed her.

She attributes this to through sheer hardwork, dedication, impeccable servicing, not to mention her most devastating weapon – charisma.

The Economics graduate from UP plunged into advertising as soon as she stepped out of college.

She first ventured into accounts management team of then AMA (Advertising and Marketing Associates, predecessor of DDB) then cut her business acumen at Pacifica Publicity Bureau.

At Jimenez D’ Arcy (now Publicis Jimenez), she began to rise from the ranks, eventually becoming Client Services Director for 11 years.

Chongson considers her stint at BBDO-Guerrero one of her most memorable. Also as CSD, she remembers having to deal with a mixture of different kinds of advertising people and clients.

Her career affair at the country’s most consistently awarded ad agency likened her to an iron, honed by fire, shaped by fire, sharpened by fire … but still emerging unscathed, even sharper.

On Saatchi & Saatchi website, Mio is given a heartwarming welcome and described as someone “who has built a reputation as a dynamic leader and passionate supporter of breakthrough creative work.”

“I’d like to focus on people. Even with our high dependency on technology, I still believe people are still the greatest assets of an advertising agency,” Chongson said.

When asked what is her immediate goal as soon as she buckles down to work, Chongson said she wanted to be a people’s president, first and foremost.

Not surprising for a management veteran whose people skills can be rated above excellent.

If there are industry despots, Chongson belongs to another category. She easily ranks as one of the most pleasant and lovable, ever smiling, profuse with sunny disposition and not easily dampened leader.

Come January, Chongson will begin working with close to 110 Ace-Saatchi & Saatchi staff, churning out world changing ideas for clients Mead Johnson, P&G, Toyota, Lexus, PLDT, Roche, SM, Petron, Kraft and Diageo.

“When I get in, I’d like to get a deeper understanding of the strengths of people and how we can make use of our collective strength towards more creative achievements and client satisfaction,” she says as part of her immediate target.

On long-term goals, Chongson eyes lit up, and said: “Every agency head wants to achieve high business growths for his company. It’s difficult, but we can do it as a team.”

Ace-Saatchi & Saatchi’s new COO wants to make creativity the best driver to achieving business goals.

“But then again, she says, “creativity comes from inspired people, so I’d put it this way: My goal is to help make Saatchi a desirable company with an esteemed creative reputation and happy employees.”

At the Lovemark Company, (marketing concept created by Kevin Roberts, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi intended to replace the idea of brands), Chongson will have her hands full.

In the book authored by Roberts, he said: "Brands are running out of juice. Love is what is needed to rescue brands. What builds Loyalty that goes Beyond Reason? Leaving lovemarks unconditionally.”

With Chongson on board, expect Saatchi’s staff feeling the love from a determined lady who’s helped built many of today’s top brands. Chongson is determined to make a mark.

She is just perfect for the global network’s Lovemarks Credo - a product, service or entity that inspires ‘Loyalty Beyond Reason’, which in turn blesses anyone who believes in them - with the ability to create and sustain growth even in the toughest, most illogical times.

Friday, December 9, 2011


By Roger Pe
Philippine Daily Inquirer
December 9, 2011

If Manny Pacquiao did not punch his way out of poverty and become today’s greatest fighter would any advertiser even know his name?

Would our congressmen even travel thousand of miles away just to see him fight?

Would Leila Lopes have a tv commercial if she weren’t Miss Universe?

The Angolan beauty that stole the thunder from our Shamcey Supsup was in a recently released Doritos tv commercial.

Would football superstars Cristiano Ronaldo, Didier Drogba and Wayne Rooney get juicy contracts for Nike’s epic “Write The Future” tv campaign if they weren’t hot and couldn’t fill huge stadiums to capacity crowd?

The tv spot was chosen as the world’s best tv commercial at Cannes last year winning the Film Grand Prix Lion. It is also one of the most viewed viral videos because it featured three of the most idolized football players in the world.

For sure David Beckham would have gotten offers to star in a Pinoy tv commercial had he stayed longer in Manila and advertisers can afford him.

There is a difference between celebrity endorsements and talents that started in advertising before they became celebrities.

Let’s talk about the latter.

Whether in the olden days or in this current generation of exploding new media, advertising still is, the best celebrity maker and builder of dreams.

Starring in an advertising campaign is a stepping-stone to dizzying popularity. It is someone else’s door to fame and glory.

Being seen in print or tv spot makes the lucky and deserving sparkle up on the marquee. Being in advertising is people’s ticket to stardom.

No wonder talent agencies knock on ad agencies’ doors to sell their wards and celebrity wanabes knock on talent agencies doors twice as hard.

Long before celebrities became one, for sure, they were already spotted by some star-struck talent scout in some place.

Either they were handed out a business card asking them for a “go-see” (term used for initial photo or video audition) or were frisked pronto for an urgent production shoot.

Talent agents normally scour malls, school campuses, discos, university sports tournament venues and other high traffic areas to hunt for specific model requirements by ad agencies.

Some great finds might appear just out of nowhere - spotted in a movie theatre queue, walked in a restaurant. They could be waiting to board a plane in an airport or simply bumped into by someone on the way to the restroom.

The world is filled with many great faces. If you only know how to look, they can be found in bus stations, a friend’s wedding, unexpected places. They could be right next-door residing where you are or a distant cousin you haven’t seen for a long time.

The road to celebrity stardom is not easy. Some pre-celebrity status talents appeared in print, outdoor or tv advertising in varying degrees of exposure. They were nameless, struggling ‘ugly ducklings’ before Lady Luck smiled at them, and said: “Go forth and shine.”

Brooke Shields began as an ad model barely at the age of 11 months for Ivory Soap. That was the beginning of her steady climb to fame being as an Eileen Ford model. She rose to the top as a Hollywood actress.

John Travolta was playing basketball and singing under the shower for a Safeguard tv commercial before he shot into our consciousness. He burst into “Saturday Night Fever” fame and he became every girl’s poster boy in the late 70’s.

Keannu Reeves was a refreshing face on many Kellogs tv commercials prior to gaining superstar status for his films “Point Break” “My Private Idaho” and “The Matrix” series.

Jodie Foster starred in Crest Toothpaste tv commercial before she became popular and an Oscar-award-winning actress.

Whitney Houston was in Canada Dry Ginger Ale tv spot singing with two other damsels before she became a huge singing sensation.

Most of today’s local movie stars started out in commercials before they became popular.

Nino Muhlach, for example, was a local Milkmaid tv ad talent before he became a child star.

Gabby Concepcion belonged to a long list of Close-Up talents that were offered lucrative movie contracts after appearing in the brand’s glossy tv commercials.

Among them were William Martinez, Lloyd Samartino, Alfie Anido and Miguel Rodriguez (the last two now deceased).

Later batch of Close-Up commercials featured newcomer Sam Milby who instantly became a hit and went on to appear in Centrum, Bench, Lipton Milk Tea and Jollibee commercials.

Rachel Lobangco played a smashing lead role in San Miguel Beer Pale Pilsen’s tv commercial “Shh Boom”. That paved the way for her movie career, which saw her starring in “Kokak”, a movie whose title stuck wherever she went.

Lea Salonga appeared in a Swift Hotdog tv ad while a small kid. She got the part from a tedious selection process because she was smart, pretty, projected well on screen and, most of all, could sing.

Dingdong Dantes was a chubby, little boy who started appearing in a tv ad at age 2. Dantes bloomed as a child model and was seen on several commercials.

Prior to becoming popular with teeny boppers, he was part of an all-male dance group called Abztract Dancers and his group became regulars on “Eat Bulaga” and “That’s Entertainment”.

In a poignant PLDT tv commercial a couple of years back, a young man was talking to his father about shifting to another course in college. Many people remembered that scene and the guy who played the role would eventually be seen in many more print advertising campaigns, even stardom. He was Christian Vasquez, former PAL steward.

Before he became a Star Magic talent, Juddha Paolo was hot in Coke’s “Hottah, Hottah Summer” tv commercial. He soon became popular, including being a video jock.

Body Shot winners Ricky Salumbides and Brent Javier did walk on and cameo roles in a Smart Telecom tv commercial. The former became a global Pinoy model sensation in Paris, New York, Milan, Rome, London, and around Asia. The latter is still a much sought after male ramp model.

Shaina Magdayao started out in advertising, modelling for children's clothing and appeared in television commercials for Magnolia Chocolait, Lemon Squares Products and Goldilocks. She was also one of Bench’s youngest models before she ventured into t shows and movies.

The Younghusbands, Phil and James, had sporadic ad appearances before their popularity rose to new heights after the Asian Football Circuit. They were on a roll after that.

Like Nikki Gil, Cogie Domingo, Iya Villania, Toni Gonzaga, Ryan Agoncillo, Drew Arellano, there are countless others who’ve achieved celebrity status by being chosen by advertisers to appear in tv commercials.

Do you think you’ve got what it takes to be a celebrity? You can start by being discovered by talent agents and ad agencies. Find them if they can’t find you. Hang out where they usually hang out.

Remember though that a pretty or handsome face alone is not a guarantee. In a world that is loaded with good-looking people, talent is hard currency.

Some of today’s Hollywood celebrities took up drama and learned to act. They didn't just make it on great looks. They worked hard to get to where they are today.

Spread yourself far and wide. Use social media to get talent agents to know and find you. Nowadays, a lot of people are getting discovered online. Log in on where many talent scouts, ad agencies and entertainment industry people go to look for talents.

Are talent scouts constantly hounding you wherever you go? Be cautious but don’t shoo them away. They could be the bearer of good news you’ve been waiting for.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


By Roger Pe
Philippine Daily Inquirer
November 25, 2011

Every last Saturday of March, half of the world is plunged in total darkness.

To date, more than one billion people on the planet have participated in what Leo Burnett calls “HumanKind” act, just one of the network’s creativity- with-a-purpose campaigns that has gone monumental in connecting to consumers or to put it aptly now - to humans.

Leo Burnett Sydney originally conceived Earth Hour in 2007 in collaboration with its client World Wildlife Fund.

A year after its successful launching, 94 Burnett offices around the world began a festive tradition.

“When people participate and the whole population share in a good purpose, it is effective creativity at work,” said Mark Tutssel, Leo Burnett Global Chief Creative Officer.

“We are in the business of humanizing creativity,” that’s how far as Mark Tutssel is concerned if you ask him about advertising beyond the usual practice.

Cannes Grand Prix Lion winner and awarded with about 24 other Lions, Tutsell was in Manila last week as one of Ad Congress’ stellar speakers.

He spoke about “Effective Populism,” a worldwide Leo Burnett advertising mantra that is helping change the way some of the world’s best brands talk to their target audience.

“As brands have purpose, we are one with that purpose, “ he said.

That purpose is helping the network gain more stars to its stature as one of today’s most creative and effective brand builders.

“We are in people’s business, therefore, we focus on people,” Tutssel said.

The man who initiated the agency’s innovative and first-in-the-industry Global Product Committee (quarterly creative review), Tutssel said every Burnett office creates advertising that zeroes in on how people behave.

He kept stressing: “We need a human purpose communicated in real time, not just a branding purpose. At Burnett, we involve people and create human interest so that a greater community can participate and respond to it.”

Tutssel explicitly mentioned Burnett’s 4Ps: People, Purpose, Participation and Populism, to demonstrate why they’re important in changing behaviors.

“In McDonald’s, for example, we are not selling burgers, fries, or sundaes. We are selling a great, clean and fun place where everyone can have simple enjoyment,” he stresses.

Following his line of thinking, brands should sell products in their totality. They should sell the intangible, not just the obvious, according to Tutssel.

Shangrila, for example, shouldn’t just be selling a room for the night. It should sell the pleasure of personally taking care of someone and embracing him or her as its own.

Heinz shouldn’t sell us just a bottle of catsup - but a pleasurable morning with a meal enhanced by a honest-to-goodness sauce made only from freshly grown tomatoes.

Coca Cola shouldn’t sell us just a bottle of softdrink but simple happiness in every which way.

Mercedes Benz shouldn’t just be selling us a vehicle. It should sell us the future of automobile.

Tutssel pointed to his heart as he talked about the co-relation of creativity between greater effectivity.

He laments about brands that are only advertising, and making people merely passive receivers of messages, unengaging and talking coldly.

“People respond when we talk to them like people. When we behave like humans, we effect change and they change their behavior,” he said.

He also said that more than ever today, agencies should go beyond and advertise the brand’s higher purpose of existence, serve long term, make their advertising more humanly stimulating, engaging, entertaining, and most of all, relevant.

When a brand is embraced by all, loved by all and shared by all, that is Effective Populism, creativity focusing on people.

People’s fun place, people’s hotel, people’s catsup, people’s cola, people’s car, people’s camera. For a brand to become popular with people, there’s an easy formula. Talk to people like real people do.


Tutssel made Canon 2010 DLSR Camera a fine example of how a technology-driven brand can be engaging other than cold and boring.

To crack the brief, Burnett’s Sydney’s team focused on why people do photography.
They found out that people wanted to share like how people do on Facebook and other social media - they want to be involved and they want to do an active part.

To create buzz and critical mass, Canon encouraged people to take a photo and select a detail that then served as inspiration for the next photograph, taken by another photographer. The photo chain became bigger and longer, photographers uploaded their pictures and created photo chains.

"It started from a simple human insight -- people are interested in photography and not ... technology, and they're interested in inspiration," said Cannes jury President Laura Desmond, global CEO of Starcom MediaVest Group. "It was a terrific way of connecting people to people and inspiring them to share.”

The results were mind-boggling, creating a tsunami of awards: Cannes Grand Prix Lion and six other Lions, One Show, Clio and a dizzying performance in Spike Asia last year.

Leo Burnett took home a total of 40 Spike awards including two coveted Grand Prix, four Gold, 10 Silver and 24 Bronze. Leo Burnett Sydney scooped the prestigious Grand Prix awards. Out of the four Gold Spikes, two were also awarded to Canon EOS. The other two Gold Spikes were won by Leo Burnett Hong Kong and Leo Burnett Shanghai.

Eleven Leo Burnett offices – Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, Mumbai, Sydney, Manila, Guangzhou, Melbourne, Singapore, Tokyo, and Bangkok contributed to the impressive haul.


Asked what’s his definition of a great campaign, Tutssel replies: “It should be mesmerizing, must have rewatchability, you’d want to see it again and again, can spread anywhere without borders and must build a brand, that’s the hallmark of a great campaign.”

As Burtnett’s Global Chief Creative Officer, Tutssell loves to roll up his sleeves during ideation process playing coach. He wants to get the best out of people and wants people to get the best out of him.

Tutsell is one who doesn’t pigeonhole a talent as copy or art-based. His only concern is what people can contribute and to explore different talents from different culture.

Along with Leo Burnett Worldwide Chairman and CEO Tom Bernardin, Tutssel wrote a book titled “HumanKind” which touches on the network’s new world thinking and human purpose of creativity.

Identified early on by Miguel Angel Furones, formerly worldwide CCO, as the network’s creative leader of the future, Tutssel joined Leo Burnett USA in 2002.

Prior to that, Tutssel served as executive creative director of Leo Burnett London. Under him, the agency became number 1 creative agency in the UK, most awarded agency in Cannes and the world in 2001.

He has chaired and served on a number of prestigious awards juries including Cannes, Clios, D&AD, One Show, ANDY and ADDY Awards, Eurobest, YoungGuns and SpikeAsia.

Tutssel is also known for his fearless Annual Cannes Predictions, a collection of probable Cannes Lion winners monitored from global and local award shows displaying “out-of-the-box, genre-defying and brilliant future-facing efforts.”

Last year, the 40 campaigns he and his Burnett team handpicked went on to win 90 Lions, including 11 of the 15 Grand Prix, one Titanium, 32 Gold, 29 Silver and 27 Bronze Lions

(The author personally interviewed Mark Tutssel prior to the latter’s Ad Congress speaking engagement in CamSur last November 18, 2011).

Thursday, November 17, 2011


by Roger Pe
Philippine Daily Inquirer
November 18, 2011

We are talking about brands that make our lives a little better and ads that are not just art, but sharper than ever before - more effective in making the bottom lines.

As the 22nd Ad Congress comes to a close tomorrow, we hope that the event’s call for “Change the Game” not remain a passive, lonely, meaningless slogan up there beside the ubiquitous logo – reverberating for one week, forgotten the next.

Today is a game-changing moment.

Ad Congress delegates must believe that it is not just a convention of ad agencies but learning to adapt to new changes that have begun.

Today, we ask if we’re in synch with marketers’ brand building efforts, expanding and shifting media options, embracing global trends, or even mentoring communication students who are going to take their turn in the next few years.

Today, we want to call it The Brand Congress.

Advertising denizens should believe that times have changed and come to terms that this every-other-year love affair is about building brands no matter how new things have surfaced.

In today’s world of apps, tablets and amazing innovations in new media, our aim is to make brands stand the test of time.

Our role is to make creative but also effective advertising.

We are stressing creative because it is given and not to be asked for. That we are in the business of creativity means nobody should remind us to be more inventive than the usual other than ourselves.

When we champion creativity, we move as the world moves, not get stuck to the old and passé. Creativity is encompassing whatever the medium. Creativity means creativity in every facet of marketing. It is brand responsibility.

“It must be able to connect to consumers to be meaningful,” as Margot Torres, McDonald’s VP for Marketing keeps on saying.

As we all know, that creativity is just a means to drive home the point - arrive at the final destination: to sell.

While selling is an art, our goods shouldn’t look like works mounted in art galleries. We are not selling works created from abstract strategies and marketing backgrounds that offer no unique selling propositions.

We are not a rehash of previous award-winning campaigns, either.

When we keep repeating the words “to sell” and do effective advertising, we don’t mean that we choke our advertising with loads of product freights that they indundate even Lago del Ray. We should believe that moderation is a class act.

While consumers love to be told and wooed, today’s audience is no longer an audience, listeners are not just listeners. Certainly, they’re not morons.

The days when ad congresses were exclusive for creative people are gone. Today is collaboration day and that’s part of changing the game.
The days when advertisers and clients emptied the awards night because they thought the winning ads were ‘irrelevant, self-serving, made a few days away from entry deadline and only bored and insomniac people saw them ran’.

The weekend for celebrating creativity with a purpose should be once more savored. It should not be relegated as the eternal runner-up in any marketing task.

It should not end tomorrow night but continuously experienced regardless of boardroom catfights when you, all dear delegates, trek back home.

Make Ad Congresses and Festivals Relevant

Cannes was once the domain of the very best and most creative advertising in the world – putting less or zilch emphasis on market performance.

Not anymore. The world’s largest and probably the longest advertising festival, now deems it mandatory.

Two years ago at the Subic Ad Congress, the competition committee required entries to be backed up by market results, more so in integrated campaign category.

This year in Camsur, market results are prerequisite in almost half of all categories.

Last June, Cannes launched the Creative-Effectiveness Lion, in response to insistent global clamor: make awards relevant and reward creative but effective advertising.

As the winds of change kept blowing, Creative Effectiveness Lions debuted with 142 entries from 33 countries. The goal: probe if indeed, creative winners the year preceding actually worked in their respective marketplaces.

Here’s the rub: to be eligible for a Creative Effectiveness award, entries had to be either shortlisted or a Lion winner at the 2010 festival.

The category had the biggest client presence in a single jury, with global marketers from US, Europe and Asia and Brazil.

The 20-man jury head was Jean-Marie Dru, TBWA Worldwide chair and 50% of the judging criteria were split evenly between strategy and idea.

The new category honored creativity that affected consumer behavior, brand equity, shown a measurable and proven impact on a client's business via sales and profit.

USA had the most number of entries with 27, followed by UK with 17. Germany had nine, Australia eight, and India and Brazil with seven each.

Southeast Asia, one of the most prolific Cannes winners in the last 7 years, surprisingly had little or no entries at all.

The Grand Prix went to Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO London for its work on Walkers Potato Chips using a solid PR strategy, combining traditional and social media and engaged millions of people across Britain.

The campaign earned 1.6 million views on youtube, generated more than $5 million worth of media coverage and helped boost sales by 15 percent. No gold, silver or bronze winners were declared but Cannes Creative Effectiveness Lions were given to the following:

• Leo Burnett, London, for McDonald's ("There's a McDonald's for Everyone")

• Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Oregon, for Old Spice Body Wash ("The Man Your Man Could Smell Like")

• Colenso BBDO, Auckland, New Zealand, for TVNZ television show “The Pacific”

• BBDO, Mumbai, for Procter & Gamble's Gillette Mach3 ("W.A.L.S. - Women Against Lazy Stubble")

• BBDO, New York, for Snickers ("You're Not You When You're Hungry")

How Times Have Changed

People used to gosh over ‘award-winning’ ads even if they were recycled from old campaigns, clients didn’t approve them, and impressionable young admen, in a hurry to make it to the top, became like them.

Do people still adore them like rock stars today? The answer could be ego shattering.
On Ad Age, this week, Bart Cleveland, partner and creative director at McKee Wallwork Cleveland, wrote and asked: “Are we not frustrated by the fact that we are no longer considered as important to our clients as we once were?”

He recommended to those who are involved in brand building to make transition fast in getting the job done and spend more time becoming more valuable to marketers.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

HOW TO MAKE A "BENTA" (Conclusion)

by Roger Pe
Philippine Daily Inquirer
November 11, 2011

In social media, the word “Benta” is cool, meaning everyone, especially the young, likes your joke.

The word your neighbor sari-sari-store owner only knew is now coated with approbations, dusted with sweet meanings.

“Benta” is an idea sold and retold.

On Facebook, it is a validation that your comments made sense and things you posted moved people to click the “like” button.

On Twitter, it’s an opinion you made and people ticked it as their “favorite”, retweeted and passed on.

In your favorite bookstores, the word is part of Greg Macabenta’s book title, quietly sitting on top of a turn-of-the-century Filipino salesman on the cover, doing, what else, making a sales pitch.

The title is highlighted with a different color tone to make the word pun rise above the seemingly plain Advertising 101 phrase. It’s actually very clever. Look closely.
It’s by fate’s design that Greg Macabenta got into advertising. He did not gate crash into it like many did. As in “Slumdog Millionaire,” the Oscar-winning movie said, it was written.

Thus, the book, after a fruitful, colorful, rollercoaster career ride replete with dramatic moments - was written, engagingly, rambunctiously funny, peppered with local brand case studies that are easy-to-read.

The book’s full of anecdotes, funny and poignant, insightful and revealing, and most of all, filled with accurate accounts of events in Philippine advertising during one its most unforgettable days.

Why The Book?

“When I landed my first ad agency job, there were no advertising schools in Manila, not even Masscom as a course.

We all had to learn the business through trial and error. Making up solutions to problems others had not encountered before,” Macabenta said in his book.

To those who think winning awards is the be-all and end-all of advertising, they better read Macabenta’s book.

To those who are prone to doing campaigns without solid marketing backgrounds and well-thought of strategies to back them up, Macabenta has these to say:

“Advertising is a job for the streetwise. Books can feed you theories and principles but unless you’ve taken a ride in a sales truck, smelled the stink in ‘palengkes’, listened to tens of thousands consumers, seen your copy demolished by harsh realities of the marketplace, twisted the arms of media reps, and matched wits with a savvy competitor, you don’t really know what advertising is all about.”

Well said by the battle-tested and formidable marketing warrior.

Are you a freshman in advertising? Are you the jaded adman who’s only worked within the confines of your ad agency walls and never ever really felt what it’s like marketing in the dingy side of Divisoria and other similar markets?

Lest anyone think that everything in Macabenta’s book has no value in today’s digital age and ever-exploding social media, he’ll be proven wrong.

From beginning to end, Macabenta’s invaluable insights are very relevant in the context of the 21st century and beyond.

For the disciplines he has experienced and learned in the past, and he’s now sharing are the same principles - “as valid today as they were several decades ago.”

Funnyman Macabenta explains another reason why he wrote the book.

It is to honor advertising’s unsung heroes whose people he referred to as ghosts - because they don’t carry bylines like journalists, columnists, book authors, poets and painters do.

While he said paintings carry the artist’s signature, a musical piece bears the composer’s and lyricist’s names, advertising people are “like speech writers consigned to anonymity”.

Macabenta writes it not only for himself but as a tribute to “the crazy, creative, driven, flighty, sober, soused, incomparable and unforgettable folks who populate the ad industry – men and women, and variations, thereof, for whom I have the greatest affection and to whom this book is dedicated.”

Macabenta Who?

For those who only know advertising as “Kidlat Awards”, a yearly gig and booze in the white sandy beaches of Boracay, and Ad Congress every two years, Macabenta is known for his biting wit and mastery of satire.

He worked in broadcast production, copy, creative direction, account management, PR and general management before becoming president and CEO of Advertising & Marketing Associates (predecessor of DDB), one of the top 5 ad agencies in the Philippines during its heyday.

He was president of the Philippine 4A’s and chairman of Ad Congress before he immigrated to the U.S. in the late 80's to set up his own agency, Minority Media Services, now considered one of the pioneers in ethnic marketing in the U.S.

“How To Make A Benta” is the author’s first book, full of his trademark irreverent humor, garnished with revealing stories culled from real trade practices and situations.

“It is a virtual history of the advertising industry over the past half century,” according to one of advertising’s most respected chairmen.

Students of marketing, advertising, communications and public relations will find it a “rich source of insights, as well as a nostalgic treat for veterans of the advertising wars”.

Macabenta’s legacy to advertising lists as follows:

Milo "Olympic Energy", where he and his team used conventional and guerilla strategies and tactics to wrest market leadership from Ovaltine

Nescafé "Great Cities of the World," one of Nestlé's most successful coffee campaigns that kept the brand dominant in the Philippine market

When Philippine ad agencies could hardly land on Clio finalists’ list, Macabenta’s Milkmaid "Grow Tall Little Man" garnered two Clio certificates, an All-Japan commercial competition trophy and an Award of Excellence in the Philippine Ad Congress, and made a film star out of Niño Muhlach.

He created "World's Number One Child," an ordinary product claim into a powerful selling proposition, thus solidly reinforcing the brand's market leadership in the face of strong competition onslaught.

In, Macabenta shares his out-of-the-box approach to creativity, positioning, niche marketing and media strategy - the highlight of which was a Gold Effie for the most effective non-English campaign in the US, winning it for Wells Fargo ATM Remittance Account launch.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


by Roger Pe
November 4, 2011, Philippine Daily Inquirer

Who could forget Storck, called the Philippines’ ultimate menthol candy, staple of cigarette smokers on the streets?

People who smoke loved its cool, throat mentholating sensation. It was like a mouthwash in candy form, hugely popular, found and sold everywhere.

You see this candy in bowls during corporate boardroom meetings. You see it in group discussions, get-togethers or simple gatherings.

Storck Menthol Candy’s distribution is an excellent case study. The critical mass that it has built from lean years to heyday was nothing short of massive.

You see them sold across all channels - from wholesalers to retailers down to ambulant peddlers. It was even exported to the US mainland.

In busy areas, it was a phenomenon why ambulant vendors didn’t want to carry other candy brands other than Storck, proof of its wild popularity and acceptance.

On the street, in concerts, moviehouse snack kiosks, parks, school and office canteens, Storck was there.

In bright green twist wrapper, Storck was following you like your own shadow so much so that it overshadowed its nearest competition by a distant mile.

To quote it’s long-time advertising campaign tagline, “Storck, masarap kasama” (good company).

What happened?

In August 1996, Los Angeles Times published an article and to quote:

“Consumers were warned not to eat a menthol candy imported from the Philippines, after tests showed that the wrappers contain dangerously high levels of lead, according to officials of U.S. Drug Administration.

Sadly for Storck, the item was very damaging.

Republic Biscuit Corporation (Rebisco), owned by businessman Jacinto Ng, bought 60% of Storck Products Incorporated, maker of the candy, for an undisclosed amount and took control over the company licensed to produce it locally.

In the ensuing story, Storck would stage a comeback and reborne as Starr, its new name with conspicuously almost identical packaging.

SPI also manufactured Lipps, California Fruits candies, Bazooka and Judge bubble gums.


If Storck was the king of menthol candies, White Rabbit was the queen of toffy version.
The sweet, chewable, nougat candy was also a favorite among kids, teens and adults.

Like Storck, it made its presence in boardroom meetings, jam sessions, soirees, parties, political campaign sorties, fiesta time “palosebo” games and Halloween Trick or Treats.

“White Rabbit was my comfort candy, said a neighbor. “It was my sweet bird of youth, “ said a successful doctor. A former athlete with a sweet tooth said it was her ‘pampaalis ng suya” (brightens my day) after a hard day’s grinding training.

But just like Storck, White Rabbit was slapped by frightening warnings from Philippine Bureau of Food and Drugs Administration, (BFAD).

Wikipedia chronicled an incident in July 2007: “BFAD claimed that four imported foods made in China contained formalin and should be recalled.”

One of those listed was White Rabbit. The brand, however contested the findings saying: “counterfeit candies, known to exist in the Philippines, might have been the real culprits.”

White Rabbit exhausted all efforts to defend the brand after it presented an independent report by the Shanghai affiliate of the Swiss-based SGS Group - the world's largest inspection and testing company.

The document argued that samples of candy, “ready to be exported overseas,” contained no toxic substances.

Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) of Singapore also supported the former’s findings, conducted tests on their own and found the candy safe for consumption.

On July 24, 2007, however, the local Philippine distributor of White Rabbit, Cheng Ban Yek & Company bowed to the BFAD recall order.

In 2009, White Rabbit was reincarnated as Golden Rabbit, returning to the market after undergoing a name change.

To avoid the market stigma stained by the White Rabbit name, Golden Rabbit candy used milk from Australia instead of China.

Meanwhile, Candyman Philippines, manufaturer of local White Rabbit candies, which were not as soft as those that were imported from China, said their candies were safe and free of formalin compared to its Chinese sibling.

The company even opened its factory doors to media to clarify reports about the BFAD pullout order.

“Candyman complained that TV networks mistook the locally manufactured White Rabbit from China made candies.

The company also called on BFAD to be clear with its announcements because it severely affected its candy business.”

It was part and parcel of every kid’s growing up years during the 60s till the 80s.

Bazooka was a gum made by Topps, the company based in New York since 1953. It was available in Strawberry Shake, Cherry Berry, Watermelon Whirl and Grape Rage but was only sold as one-flavored gum in the country.

A bestseller among kids, it became all the more popular because of a comic strip found inside the wrapper whom many die-hard fans collected all.

The selling gimmick was a big hit, largely because of the comic strip’s main character hero – Bazooka Joe.

Bazooka’s success spawned a number of clones, among them Bolero and Big Boy Bubble. It would face a much tougher competition with the entry of Tarzan.


If you grew up in the mid 60s, this bubble gum can’t be missed.

And If Bazooka had comic strip for avid fans, this one had playing cards, featuring Tarzan and his exploits, all in 66 colors accompanying each set.

There are still avid collectors of Tarzan cards today and each set has become hot collectors’ items.

Tarzan was wrapped in multi-colored wrappers – purple, green, red, orange and other colors. They cost only 25 centavo each during that time.

The flavor was strong and lingered long before the gum had been chewed away from continuous puffing.

“My favorite candy was Regal Crown Sours,” said Joel Villaflor, a Fil-Am creative guy and a Manila entrepreneur.

“Back in the mid 60's, my Dad use to surprise me with a roll he would pull from his pocket. Just the thought of those candies makes my jaw painful. All I could find was its photo from Ebay now. I'm guessing someone has a vintage roll left. They were individually wrapped sour candies wrapped in wax paper. They were perhaps my first introduction to "sour" kind of candies long before they became popular. I suspect they are now literally extinct,” he said.

WikiPilipinas, Philippine Candy and Nostalgia Filipina list other candies:

Chivarly Pusit, known for its rubbery texture but sweet flavor
Pom-poms, available in a white box featuring balls of chocolate-covered caramel candy
Serg's, famous for its chocolatey goodness
Señorita candy balls, sugar-coated, the sweet and sour lemony goodness was unforgettable
Sugar Daddy, easy for chewing because of its caramel goodness
Butter Ball, everyone’s darling because of its rich butter flavor
Horlicks – Creamy, chocolatey oval shaped goodness
Milk Duds, Also a runaway favorite
Curly Tops, the chocolate teens love to gift their friends during Christmas
Caramel Candy, toffee-like goodness and kids’ favorite
Chocobot, a Choc Nut wanabe with a strange name that faded gently into the night and did not survive

Thursday, October 27, 2011


by Roger Pe
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Advertising is a double-edged sword. It can cut down your competition to size or it could backfire.

It could be your best ammunition for generating sales or call attention to your product flaws.

It could make your product very desirable. It could expose your brand to closer scrutiny against competition—benefit for benefit, feature for feature, strength for strength.

Many brands have reached iconic levels because they gallantly stood the tests of time and evolved with the changing needs of the world.

Look at Apple. It rolls with the times and Steve Jobs, before he died, kept saying, “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”

20 years and counting, and not just existing—but continuously improving to keep people’s lives a little better. That’s what brands should be.

When brands improve with the times the results are beautiful. Harvests are aplenty. They bust sales charts and laugh all the way to the bank. Does your favorite brand belong to this category?

“Quite a number of brands are now better off forgotten because they made more harm than good to consumers,” says a marketing guru.

Some brands, like detergents and deodorants, were harmful to the skin consumers just stopped buying them. They caused not only allergies and skin rashes they also left stains and darkened some sensitive parts of the body like armpits.

They contained harsh formulations, aggravating frustrations of people who used them.

A number of consumers have also become allergic to some whitening soap and cream brands for causing facial blemishes and rashes.

Many, for sure, will have horror stories to tell about brands that make promises they don’t deliver—soaps that melt easily and last only a couple of days; detergent powders and bars that don’t give much cleaning power and lather.

Acne ointments that only made your zits worse, anti-perspirants that do the opposite, moisturizers that make you look greasy all day.

Scents that dissipate in a few minutes after wearing them.

Hotel and restaurant bills that are not worth the hard money you pay for.

These brands are best forgotten. They would never be archived in London’s Museum of Brands, the largest repository of existing brands and those that died through the years.

Museum of Brands, as the name implies, houses an astonishing collection of brands collected by social historian Robert Opie. It is a “‘trip down memory lane,” according to its website, beginning with the Victorian era down to the present day.

As one steps into the premises, visitors will be overwhelmed by the amount of items on display.

Every inch is filled with packages, toys, games, books and ads from each era of the bygone days.

Great brands, bad brands

“There are great brands and brands that are just brands. There’s a big gap between the two,” says a veteran ad man.

“Some brands were ideas created with consumers in mind. Some brands were made just to get fast bucks out of naïve consumers,” he says.

“Oh, yes, some brands belonged to the flash-in-the-pan category,” he laments.

The black panty liners

“The color black rocks,” says a famous panty liner brand on its blog. “It does the job when it comes to feminine hygiene and 66 percent of women say it’s a favorite because it’s comfortable, breathable, dermatologically tested, unscented and discreet.”

Ten years ago, another packaged goods multinational giant launched an all-black version of its top feminine hygiene product.

In order to create excitement in Europe, it launched a web auction of used black clothing’s donated by celebrities. Imagine owning a piece of black dress from Mel C of the Spice Girls, and American actresses Brooke Shields and Meryl Streep?

Throughout the promotion, the auction site logged in 45,000 visits and averaged 5,000 daily hits. All proceeds from the sale went to charity, and the company was hoping the goodwill generated would rub off on its panty black liner products sold in some countries in Europe.

What happened?

Consumer acceptance, among the ladies of course, was lukewarm.

The packaging was great. And because it was thin and small, it was easy to slip in a small purse and women can be fresh all day.

The product had an odor control, which kept women smelling fresh at the end of the day. The only problem women found out was that the adhesive left marks on the underwear, a negative attribute many women disliked.

The product was launched in Manila in 2002 by J & J Philippines in an all-black party in Makati.

A check with the distribution network of black panty liners in the Philippines, specifically big Makati supermarkets, reveals that they are not available anymore. They can, however, be purchased online.

Starts with the product

Many great men in advertising always referred back to the product as a marketer’s best weapon for advertising. “No amount of advertising can sell a bad product. It will only enhance its demise,” says Bernbach, the famous B in the DDB acronym.

Another advertising icon, Leo Burnett, gave us two of the most often quoted lines about a product: “The greatest thing to be achieved in advertising, in my opinion, is believability, and nothing is more believable than the product itself.”

“We want consumers to say, “That’s a hell of a product” instead of, “That’s a hell of an ad,” Burnett said.

Another advertising great, David Ogilvy, stated: “It has taken more than a hundred scientists two years to find out how to make the product in question. I have been given 30 days to create its personality and plan its launching. If I do my job well, I shall contribute as much as the hundred scientists.”

A product that delivers and keeps abreast with the times has a bright future of making it a brand. Great products make great brands.

And a great brand will forever remain in the hearts and minds of consumers. Bad brands will pass like a ship in the night, virtually not remembered and buried in the dustbin.
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Thursday, October 20, 2011



Philippine Daily Inquirer, October 20, 2011

It was almost synonymous to bouncy, healthy kids, made your lola’s summer “Halo-Halo” delightfully creamy, and turned her leche flan so delicious the whole family kept craving for more.

But as in some love stories, the whirlwind romance must end and lovers drift apart, never to see each other again.

Darigold would have become a generic name for milk, had it not pulled out of the country during martial law days. But that’s going ahead of the story.

Under Darigold Company Seattle subsidiary, Darigold produced the first canned evaporated milk in the country in 1957.

At the height of its popularity, Darigold bought a 30-minute segment (on tv and radio) and launched “Darigold Jamboree” to strengthen its presence in the Philippines.

Media biggies Johnny Wilson, Eddie Ilarde, Bobby Ledesma, Bentot, Pepe Pimentel, Thelma Kennedy, Leila Benitez and newcomer Luz Valdez alternately took turns in hosting in what would become the country’s most popular noon time show.

The “Eat Bulaga” of the 60s (without the gyrating promo girls in the background) helped Darigold became a dominating market leader in the evap milk category.

In this show, “Darigold Jamboree” introduced the “lucky home partner” mechanics we always see today (send in your labels and you and the contestant win a prize if your label is picked).

“Darigold Jamboree” also set the stage for the debut of a Bicolana girl from Iriga, the bus station drinking water peddler who would soon become a superstar.

Hard-pressed to win because her parents couldn’t afford her older sister’s tuition, Nora Cabaltera Villamayor joined the show’s “Bulilit” singing contest. She won the 20-peso major cash prize, exactly what her parents needed.

She bested older singers in the main competition bracket, winning the top prize once more.

On a roll, she won another, this time from Darigold’s archrival - Liberty Milk’s “The Big Show,” where she would later change her name to Nora Aunor.

Aunor later on joined “Tawag ng Tanghalan,” where she stood out on her first try, was defeated on the second, but unstoppable for 14 suspenseful weeks. The rest is history.

“Darigold Jamboree” enjoyed a great 8-year run, starting in 1964 and bowed out in 1972.

The brand first advertised in 1958 and would eventually square off with Liberty Milk for two decades.
Like reigning movie queens Susan Roces and Amalia Fuentes in that era, the competition was ominous for it led to another generation of movie star rivalry: Nora Aunor and Vilma Santos. But that’s an entirely different story.

Darigold is best remembered as a milk brand the whole nation fell in love with because of its creamy goodness.
It had aggressive marketing, wider media presence and fundamental basic fact: good product quality.

“Darigold was an example of a brand worth selling. You stock crates of them, you sold them easy,” said a big grocery owner who is now owner of a supermarket.

“Brand-wise, everything was going for Darigold,” he said.

“Darigold scored high in research ratings,” says a successful Rockwell restaurant owner.

Many moms called their kids “Darigold” for being energetic, active and healthy. “Laki sa Darigold,” they say. The jingle, sung by a little boy went with these lyrics: “Gusto ko ng gatas ng Darigold” (brand name repeated 3 times). Darigold ang inyong bilhin!”

Multinational brand heritage, rich creamy smell and taste, attractive red label with visible bold font, omnipresent media presence, top-of-mind awareness, wide distribution and strong non-traditional advertising support, what could possibly go wrong with a brand with tremendous consumer acceptability?


Why did the brand evaporate from supermarket shelves, household kitchen refs and cupboards?

The same questions throngs of consumers asked when Darigold slowly began to fade away, until it totally vanished.

For 20 years, Darigold operated a processing and tin can plant in the Philippines.
As it was lording the evap category and close to upstaging Liberty in condensed milk segment, the local Darigold partners were locked in a bitter legal battle with its mother company.

After the courts handed down painful decisions for both, the brand vowed out of existence in the mid 70s.


Liberty Evap and Liberty Condensada were very popular during the 50s but tapered down in the last two decades after ownership of the brand changed hands.

For many years, pinoy families loved the goodness of Liberty Condensada, the better selling product variant. It said “Ang paborito ng pamilya”, throughout its advertising campaign. Thematically, Liberty had a bouncy jingle with a woman singing the brand name repetitively, the predictable genre during that time.

In strategic alliances with global food giant Societe de Produits Nestle, Alaska Manufacturing Company acquired Liberty, along with Alpine and Krem-Top brands in April 16, 2007.

A most recent supermarket store check however, proved futile - the brand can’t be found. Storeowners say it doesn’t exist anymore.

On its website, Alaska mentions Liberty and Alpine as its strong regional brands, particularly in Visayas and Mindanao.
Alpine is a made from whole cow's milk with “The Creamier Evap” market positioning.

In the 50s, Klim, Milkmaid and Dutch Baby also advertised heavily in the country’s best selling magazines: Philippine Free Press, Nation and Kislap-Graphic as well as in leading newspapers like Manila Times, Manila Chronicle, Manila Daily Bulletin, The Daily Mirror and Evening News.

With the coming of more magazines targeting women and housewives, like Women’s and Woman’s, these milk brands cranked up the heat and advertised heavily, in full page, full color almost all-year round.

Pancho Pantera Choco was another favorite that totally disappeared, a powder brand marketed in the Philippines during the 1960s. PPC was manufactured in the U.S. but distributed locally by Garrick Enterprises, Philippines Inc.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


By Roger Pe
Philippine Daily Inquirer, October 13, 2011

Advertising and Media in Hollywood movies? Yes, and why not? There are plenty.

“The Easiest Way” (1931) was the earliest film made with advertising as theme.

“Crazy People” (1990), “Suits” (1999), “Art and Copy” (2009) were among those made in the last three decades.

In the 1976 movie “Network”, Faye Dunaway won the Best Actress Oscar for her explosive portrayal of a ratings-obsessed producer. The top-grossing movie told abuses inside television networks.

Surely you must have heard of “Mad Men”, the long-running tv drama about “madvertising” people, highly acclaimed for its truthful delineation of real characters that inhabit the world of advertising.

The Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning series is about an intricate web of manipulation woven by men and women who prowl inside the walls of a prestigious ad agency in Madison Avenue, the famous street in New York.

Admen anywhere in the world can easily spot themselves in the series, thanks to its author Matthew Weiner, who also created a very apt title.

When 20 ad agencies sprouted in that part of the Big Apple in 1861, Madison became synonymous to the American advertising industry.

A number of these ad agencies went on to become big multinational brands. With Madison as a glamorous address their value increased and the street became the hub of American 4A’s.

Across the Pacific and after the war, a street in Malate, Manila was beginning to resemble like Madison.

Vito Cruz, now Pablo Ocampo Street, was a virtual advertising row, a “Pinoy Madison Avenue”, said Greg Macabenta in his soon-to-be-launched book, “How To Make A Benta”.

Vito Cruz played host to a number of local ad agencies that were brands by themselves owing to the number of important clients they do business with.

Grant Advertising was the queen on that street, handling most, if not all Colgate-Palmolive products and other top accounts like Kodak, Ajinomoto and Philippine Plaza Hotel (now Sofitel).

The agency eventually became Bates-Alcantara, rebranded as Dentsu, Young & Rubicam, and finally repackaged as Y&R when the Alcantaras sold out to the former.

Just three houses away was the Tony Cantero-owned The Group, another dynamic agency, which honed many outstanding creative people in the years to come.

Toward Roxas, Philprom, owned by industry pioneer Pete Teodoro, lorded it over and was considered one of the top shops in terms of billings.

Admakers occupied a heritage house just off Vito Cruz until it transferred to Balete Drive in Quezon City.

QSV (Quiambao, Soriano and de Venecia, yes, the former Speaker of the House) located just across Rizal Memorial Coliseum was aggressive and had the budget-rich Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office business.

Right close to Manila Hotel, J. Walter Thompson held office in Mary Bachrach building whom many gossipped as having nightly paranormal occupants.

The Manila Hotel lobby was the place to be seen and rub elbows with admen. “It was the equivalent of today’s watering holes at Shangrila and Manila Pen where businessmen held luncheon meetings, sipped coffee, and acted important,” recalled Macabenta.

Before the invasion of multinationals in Manila, there were the formidable locals: Pacifica Publicity Bureau, Hemisphere, Reach, Link, Avellana, Tactica, Summit, Commerce, Advance, Ideas, Nation-Ad, Asia-Com, Asia-West, Comstrat, Motivators, Compedge, Mascom, Mojica, de la Paz and Roy, Nancy Harel, Aviacom among others. They’re all gone now.

Ace Advertising, before it became Ace Compton was in chic Escolta.

Macabenta’s memoirs of the Madisonization of Manila, details his personal anecdotes, lectures, and articles from real Filipino advertising battlegrounds, unlike most ad books we know that use foreign case studies.

Making a word pun on his “Macabenta” name which literally means “to make a sale”, the writer, jingle-maker, radio and tv producer, cartoonist, account executive, creative director, patriot, former Philippine 4A’s president, Ad Congress chair and CEO of AMA, gives us a style with a large dose of humor, solid with “insights drawn from campaigns that are considered classics in Philippine advertising.”

Greg Garcia III, former chair and ECD of Leo Burnett Manila, describes it as “the definitive book on Philippine advertising as seen and lived by Greg.”

Macabenta also gives tribute to the almost forgotten drillmaster, one of the country’s legends in advertising and founding chairman of Asian Federation of Advertising Association (AFAA), Antonio de Joya.

He rebukes younger colleagues in the industry with no sense of history, calling it “such an irony”.

For those who were not born yet when de Joya spearheaded the country in the Philippines and Asian advertising zenith, de Joya set up Ace Advertising, forerunner of Ace-Saatchi.

De Joya founded AMA using “The Total Approach” philosophy long before the advertising jargon “integrated, 360-degree campaign” became cool to flaunt in creative briefs.

De Joya was also a brilliant copywriter who penned a Philippine copywriting classic, “a little can buy a lot” for Sta. Mesa Heights, one of the earliest upscale subdivisions in greater Manila.

In his book, Macabenta walks down in history and remembers when Filipro needed a hardworking PR group.
He recalls how Filipro hired AMA to handle sensitive government lobbying. The relationship paved way for the entry of Swiss-company Nestle in the Philippines and thus began one of the longest and most envied Manila client-agency relationships in marketing.

Macabenta consummates the entire golden era of AMA in one engaging book, including the launching of “One World of Nescafe” and “Great Cities of the World” campaigns where he partnered with Nestle’s marketing honcho Levi Castillo.

The book described it as “undoubtedly, the most successful ever mounted for a coffee brand in the Philippines.”
Macabenta details how Milo toppled a seemingly unstoppable market leader Ovaltine and how AMA became a round-the-clock “Milo Olympic Energy” ad agency.

“How To Make A Benta” includes hard-to-find dissertations and best practices documents - all very Pinoy case studies, step-by-step teachings in advertising, especially the hard way - when computers and digital age were zilch and all the agency had were Pinoy guts, ingenuity, hardwork and nothing more.

Full of punchlines and replete with witticisms in most of the paragraphs of the entire book, Macabenta takes us to a joyful, poignant, revealing, absorbing reading.

His commentary on the Filipino diaspora is one such. Every Filipino who has left his country to look for the proverbial American dream should read it.

The book also chronicles the setting up of AMA USA after the assassination of Ninoy Aquino brought uncertainties in the mid-80s and clients eased down on spending.

When it did, Joselito de Joya, Antonio de Joya’s eldest son, planted the seeds in America together with his wife Julie. The two “literally had to be a Task Force Total Approach”.

Lito, being president was also AE, copywriter, producer, an occasional videographer and media director.
Julie, a former Ateneo school teacher, multi-tasked as production manager, caster, make-up artist, video editor, credit collector and bookkeeper.

When the elder de Joya died, Lito came back to the Philippines to head the agency. He and Macabenta switched roles. The latter retired and manned the US operations.

To keep its Nestle business, AMA partnered with Publicis, the globally aligned Nestle agency based in Paris. But as in the intricate and mind-boggling “Mad Men” drama, the partnership would not last long.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


By Roger Pe
Philippine Daily Inquirer, September 30, 2011

Baby boomers will never forget this rich, creamy, healthy, flavorful milk chocolate brand in different shaped bottles: square, round, squat, cute like your typical cola.

It was so delicious especially when it’s freezing cold. And what a delightful summer treat it was when the energizing drink would harden like ice.

Many referred to Choco-Vim as their comfort drink. At 35-50 centavos then, Choco-Vim was perfect to cool the tropical heat down.

It was a big come-on for kids, teens and adults alike. When stocked for hours in the freezer, you can see all the choco-goodness settle at the bottom.

All you need is just shake it and, voila, the delightful flavor is yours and you get a refreshing drink that’s full of yummy goodnes.

Some people might remember this Choco-Vim ad, which featured a “tisay” girl in a photo shoot, coquettishly posing like a Karilagan model.

Karilagan was the most prestigious during that time similar to today’s Calcaries. Ping Valencia, Toni Serrano, Baby Santiago, Baboo Mondonedo, Pearlie Picache, Conchitina Bernardo were some of the famous models idolized by many.

On top of the ad was this headline: “Someday, I’ll be a glamorous model.”

The print campaign also ran with cute, cuddly kids holding the bottle up and sipping its chocolicious taste.

The ads made a splash in top weekly magazines like Women’s, Graphic, Philippines Free Press and dailies.

“Choco-Vim was my idea of chocolate heaven back when I was a kid in the 60s,” said Alex Castro, a veteran advertising creative director and writer of many Tessie Tomas stand-up comedy shows.

Now Senior Executive Officer in one of the country’s top advertising agencies Jimenez Publicis, Castro waxes romantic on his childhood favorite.

In his interesting “A Fly And A Flea” blog that archives a wide collection of vintage Filipiniana and other pleasant finds, Castro wrote how the chocolate drink became the darling of everyone during the 60s till the late 70s.

“When the family would go visit my aunt in Manila, she would welcome us with servings of Choco-Vim, picked out from her freezer,” Castro recalled.

Castro’s aunt ran “Herran Kiosk”, a popular hangout for students and office workers where a lot of Magnolia goodies were served.

Herran is now named Pedro Gil Street. Many Magnolia stores then were called “kiosks” selling Magnolia products like twin popsies, drumsticks, ice cream in cups, etc.

Little did Castro also know that he would one day be working closely with Choco-Vim, even write, compose songs and do ads for his favorite choco-milk drink.

As fate would have it, Choco-Vim and Castro’s paths crossed once again, this time in the halls of one of the country’s most dynamic ad agencies in the early 80s – Ace-Compton.

By then, Choco-Vim was rebranded as Magnolia Chocolait and was assigned to the ad agency. Castro found himself writing the ads for it as a copywriter.

“Magnolia Chocolait was made to appeal to the young go-go crowd and one of the product’s most memorable tv ads was one that featured teeners cavorting on a beach as the jingle "Superdelicious Chocolait, Supernutritious Chocolait.." played on and on,” Castro mused in his widely-read blog.

“I guess my love and affinity for Choco-Vim, a.k.a.Magnolia Chocolait, showed. It won a lot of creative awards,” Castro said with pride.

Even if Castro knows that Magnolia Chocolait“ is the reincarnation of Choco-Vim, he still longs for the day for the brand to return to its original name, bottle, flavor and all.

“People from my generation still pine for the nourishing, revitalizing Choco-Vim. There's even a Facebook group devoted to this bottled chocolate goodness!” he said.

Why the Choco-Vim brand name change? It is quite amazing how people remember Choco-Vim rather than the company that made it.

It was all about branding Magnolia.
“The strategy was to position Magnolia as the premium name in dairy products whether in cheese, milk or ice cream,” said a marketing analyst.

On close scrutiny, Choco-Vim’s advertising during its heyday made the word more prominent than the ubiquitous Magnolia logo on top of it.

Size-wise, the Choco-Vim brand name stood bigger and much bolder than Magnolia, relegating it to the background. Perhaps that explained why people remembered Choco-Vim more than the word Magnolia.

“The move was needed to push Magnolia become a generic brand … like Colgate as the best in dental care and Kodak as the best in film.

There was also a foreign brand with a similar name which made things complicated. It enhanced the name change faster,” said another ad agency veteran.

With the resurgence of Milo in the 80s powered by a relentless marketing blitzkrieg and more aggressive advertising support than ever before, the writing on the wall became clearer and bigger. Magnolia Chocolait has to give way.

Magnolia still manufactures and distributes Magnolia Chocolait, with raw materials sourced from the Philippines, New Zealand, Australia, Europe and the United States.

Milo lopsidedly dominates the powdered market category while Nestle Chuckie leads in Ready-to-Drink.
Key players in the market include: Nestle Philippines, AB Food & Beverages, Columbia Int'l Food Products, Magnolia, RFM, Hersheys, Richland Food Industry, Zest-O, and Nutritive Snack Food Corporation.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


By Roger Pe
Philippine Daily Inquirer, September 22, 2011

The vintage black and white animation tv commercial opens with a mermaid on a rock by the sea.

She’s on the verge of throwing a tantrum, and keeps complaining how the torturous sun had robbed her hair of luster and stripped of its natural glow.

Ugly hair, she says, makes her unappealing and to her, that is a serious problem.

Neptune, her knight of shining armor, windsurfs to the rescue, with a bottle of Halo Shampoo.

Right on cue, voices blurt out this bouncy song: “Halo, Everybody, Halo (repeated twice) … Halo Brings Back The Glow!”
Little Miss Mermaid lathers her hair with gusto, flirting with the waves, as the jingle song continues to blare.

In perfect timing, a naval ship full of men on board passes by, and like Venus coming out of her shell, what else could she expect? A tsunami of wolf whistles, dumbfounding her. Happy ending.

The commercial was made sixty-one years ago and aired throughout America. In the song, it also mentions the product “glorifies your hair” and punctuates this tagline at the end: “Leaves Your Hair Whistle Clean”.

Hollywood actress Angie Dickinson starred in the succeeding campaigns and more versions followed featuring different women.

The Halo marketing strategy was very emphatic in selling that it’s not a soap that dries one’s hair - but a shampoo that lathers gently to bring back the softness and shine.

In the Philippines, Halo was best remembered as a shampoo manufactured locally.

In 1950, President Elpidio Quirino inaugurated what was to become one of the country’s most modern plants – the Colgate-Palmolive subsidiary along J.P. Rizal, Makati (it has also vanished from the site, a spitting distance from the present day’s Rockwell Power Plant Mall and moved its corporate office in Global City).

Halo was in a pear-shaped red bottle available in different sizes.
To gain critical mass, the brand used a very pretty Filipina mestiza as endorser, a university campus darling.

Older people will recall a stunning UP coed Lulette Moran, Margie Moran’s younger sister, playfully lathering her hair with sudsy figures on her head.

In the commercial, the bubbly Moran said, "Incredible lather, isn't it? Look what I can do with it! I'm a geisha, I'm a rabbit!"
From the early 70s, the ad ran for several years until it eventually disappeared in 1984 - one of the longest running Filipino tv commercials made by Grant Advertising (then located along Vito Cruz St., across Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium).

Ad agency Grant (predecessor of Bates-Alcantara and DYR-Alcantara which also disappeared and later on evolved as Bates 101 and DY&R Manila) was one of the Big 4 during that time, along with JWT (J. Walter Thompson), PAC (Philippine Advertising Counselors) and Ace-Compton.

“Before I handled Halo Shampoo, the brand’s tv ads were mostly canned, showing American beauties with glorious hair and getting lots of admiration from handsome men,” said Eleanor Agulto, former Executive Creative Director of DYR-Alcantara, now a successful ad agency partner and professor at UP Diliman and Collegio de San de Letran teaching Mass Communications.

“Inspite of eye-catching visuals, sales went down. Maybe the promise of "rich, abundant lather" wasn't compelling enough. I mean, a shampoo shouldn't be a shampoo if it's not bubbly, right?

So Halo was relaunched with three new variants and a new, artsy packaging. It was even given a new positioning: "For hair that behaves...beautifully!" recalled Agulto.

The former president of Creative Guild of the Philippines, the award-giving body of Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies of the Philippines (4A’s), Agulto vividly remembers:

“The manageability story was executed in a problem-solution format, very much like today’s Sunsilk ad with Sarah Geronimo.
“Some things never change. But hey, those were the days when computer graphics were still crude and very expensive, so we had to shoot hair shots "naturally." No special effects. Hair that seems to have a life of its own was not yet heard of,” Agulto emphasized.

Agulto said the tv campaign that she and her team labored for months didn't do much for the brand either.

“Maybe this brand which, if I'm not mistaken saw the light of day in the '50s, had already lived its life span.
Or, maybe Colgate-Palmolive simply decided that instead of having two shampoo brands, they'd just have one so it could be given full marketing support and undivided resources.

That's probably why Palmolive Shampoo is a very strong brand today,” she said.

A few years back, Halo was on the forefront, close behind some of the market’s major brands: Sunsilk and Luster Crème, another brand that disappeared on supermarket shelves.

The reality now is, it’s been completely wiped out of people’s minds, due to the onslaught of new, better, more innovative, noisier brands with more frequency and heavier media weights.

Remember “Charling Balakubak” tv ads? The original version had a dapper, handsome man (Charlie) in a party. His dance partner is shocked witless, seeing dandruff flakes on his dark-colored suit.

Another version featured a woman sharing her umbrella with a man under the rain. As in the template story, the girl is turned off after seeing dandruff flakes on the guy’s shoulder.

Gard Shampoo tv commercials drove many men to buy the product in supermarkets. But with the coming of Head and Shoulders, Clear, Pantene, Rejoice and the others, the brand, like its rival Selsun Blue, also retreated like bats into the night.

Does anyone miss Gee-Your-Hair-Smells-Terrific, the fragrant shampoo with its benefit promise attached to its kilometric brand name? It is quite a puzzle why a favorite brand such as this made a sad farewell.

As far as the beauteous Halo girl Lulette Moran is concerned, she did not say goodbye like her old shampoo brand.
The Economics UP grad now lives in England happily married to a half-English, half French businessman Philip Monbiot.
They have a lovely daughter and two sons, and, along with bosom friend Mercedes Zobel, she devotes part of her time in civic causes, notably - Women For Women International: a group based in London helping women survivors of wars rebuild their lives.