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.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Philippine Daily Inquirer, September 15, 2011

Remember when mobile phones were just for calling and texting?

With technology moving at supersonic speed, the mobile phone has definitely taken us farther than we could imagine, enriching our lives and answering many people’s needs.

And as it grows by leaps and bounds, we enjoy more innovative features and services we never thought could be possible.

Fast-forward. These changes have made life more convenient – even more exciting. Mobile browsing, or Internet on our celfone, for example, opened us to an entire world of connectivity.

The days when we have to go home, stay late in the office to send an email or look for an Internet café just to get connected to the World Wide Web are over.

Now, all we need is our reliable mobile phone and we’re one with the universe in a snap.

Email, which has become an important part of our life to keep in touch with the outside world, can now be accessed anytime, anywhere – through our own mobile phones.

Who doesn’t want to know what is happening around? News. Movie schedules. Traffic situation. Scores at UAAP games. Most downloaded songs? Mobile surfing allows us to find out what we need when we need it - without having to search for a Wi-Fi connection or a PC just to be kept in the loop.

Today’s technology has gave us wide mobile phone applications: from game, travel, reference, lifestyle, and even specialized apps for just about every need.

You can download these into your smartphone if you need to read documents on the road while commuting from one meeting to another.

You can try Springpad or mobile versions of Adobe Reader. Or you can share photos, store and organize recipes, play games with friends — they’re all on the mobile web.

Speaking of websites, you’ve probably got a Facebook, Twitter, or Multiply account and can’t probably stand it when you don’t get to log in for a day.

Mobile internet allows us to let our family and friends online know what we’re thinking, doing, watching, and liking —by the minute, wherever we are.

All these now made possible with your internet-capable handset: a Globe mobile internet plan, and a Globe network that’s made even stronger and faster. Voila, you’re on with Globe.

Customizable Mobile Browsing Plans

So you can enjoy mobile internet your way, Globe has tailor-fit mobile data plans based on your needs, activities and transactions, as well as sites you visit.

After all, the Globe experience is all about personalization, customization and flexibility, providing Globe-fanatics a unique and enjoyable connection all the time.

Want to enjoy the most affordable mobile internet plan? Globe Prepaid PowerSurf15. Send a quick e-mail or two, post a status update, upload a photo of that yummy dessert you just enjoyed, re-tweet the newest MMDA traffic advisory to spread the news, Google-up a word you just encountered, or check if you can make it to the last screening of your fave flick – all for P0.25 a minute.

With Globe, the benefits are endless. Boring yourself to death while on traffic or in a long queue may just be a thing of the past as you find joy in tinkering with your mobile phone while you’re on-line.

Globe Prepaid PowerSurf15 is available for only P0.25 per minute or P15 for 1 hour, consumable for an entire day’s use. With this uber cool and affordable offer, you don’t have to rush to the office or to the nearest ‘Net café just to send an important e-mail.

You can skip the traffic because you know which roads are full. All you need is your mobile phone and Globe PowerSurf to be continuously in-the-know while you’re on the go.

If you’re hungry for more, then, there’s Globe Postpaid PowerSurf for you. It is a mobile internet plan that gives Globe Postpaid subscribers bulk megabytes (MB) of mobile data, consumable per kilobyte (kb) and valid for 30 days.

Postpaid PowerSurf allows you to be ON at fixed charges, enabling you to enjoy push notifications and instant updates on your mobile phone. Globe Postpaid PowerSurf is available in 3 denominations: PowerSurf 99 with 50MB allocation, PowerSurf 299 with 300MB allocation and PowerSurf 499 with 1GB allocation.

Not too privy about KB/MB consumption of mobile data? Fast facts: A 1 one-minute YouTube video viewed is approximately 2MB, 1 pure text e-mail sent is approximately 20KB, 1 pure text tweet sent is approximately 30KB, 1 page of a Google search result is approximately 40KB.

One page of Facebook ( is approximately 25KB. PowerSurf 99 lets you enjoy 1,250 Google searches or viewing of 25 1-minute videos! Visit for a quick assessment of your mobile data usage as well as for more details on KB/MB usage.

Turn on your Globe PowerSurf now! For Prepaid PowerSurf, text POWERSURF15 to 8888 to register. Other available variants: Text POWERSURF30 to 8888, P30 for 3 hours, valid 1 day; text POWERSURF50 to 8888, P50 for 5 hours, valid 3 days. For Postpaid PowerSurf, text POWERSURF 99, POWERSURF 299 and POWERSURF 499 to 8888.

Content-rich Mobile Browsing Experience

Once you’ve selected which mobile data plan suits you best, it’s time to complete your mobile internet experience by choosing applications and content that are sure to hook and make you yearn for more.

Globe has partnered with some of the best content providers to make your experience exciting and relevant.

Catch the latest UAAP games live on your mobile phone* without falling in line to get tickets. You don’t need to be at the court just to see your favorite collegiate cagers and show some school pride.

Key in on your phone browser to watch the games live on your cellphone. You can also text UAAP and send to 2910 to view live streaming of the games on your phone.

Can’t get enough of music and need a dose of it to get you through the day? Download the hottest and latest songs on your phone for free. Just visit the Globe Mobile Portal at to start compiling your list.

Full songs are available for download with new songs added every week. To get the WAP link, text FREESONGS to 2910.

For Facebook junkies who want to be the first to know the latest post, like or comment, download the Facebook Java application on your phone and use it for FREE until October 31, 2011. Just text FB to 2910 and click on the link to start your download.

Just recently, Globe launched m.globe, its all-in-one mobile portal that allows users to enjoy the best of mobile web in a single platform. Through m.globe, users get instant access to Facebook and Twitter, send and receive e-mails via Yahoo, Gmail or Windows Live, search via Google, monitor account balance, get the latest news and entertainment updates, plus enjoy exclusive content on their mobile phones in a snap.

Users of Android phones can also download the Android widget for free from m.globe. To access m.globe for free, text M.GLOBE to 2910 or visit on your mobile phone now.

Isn’t your mobile life more wonderful with this portfolio of mobile internet services from Globe? To be in is to be ON with Globe Mobile Internet. Turn it on now!

Thursday, September 8, 2011


BY Roger Pe
Philippine Daily Inquirer, September 8, 2011

The talent caster became the talent.

She was already resigned but when Myra Mendoza-Portillo visited her Ace-Compton (predecessor of Ace-Saatchi and Saatchi) friends one day, she was asked to try out for a new thematic tv commercial for Camay.

She was chosen from out of many who vtr’d (video tape recording).

The commercial "Sweet Sixteen" was aired in 1983 and Myra was 24 years old then. The setting was in a "ball" where she and Rina Concepcion (Gabby's younger sister) were lead talents.

16 year-old Rina and Myra were dancing to "You're 16, you're beautiful and you're mine..." with their respective partners. The message of the ad was the comparison between a 24 and 16 year old and how her skin was supposed to have looked as young as Rina's.

“It's thrilling that people still remember me as that girl in the “Sweet 16” ad even up to today,” the still gorgeous looking Myra said.

As talent caster for Ace-Compton, Myra’s assignment was brand Camay for a few years. She handled talents Gina Leviste, Angeli Pangilinan and Zsa Zsa Padilla who all appeared in Camay's "BlindfoldTest" tv ads.

In “Sweet Sixteen,” Myra and Rina had dance partners. Hers was Chris Portillo, also an ad executive whom eventually she married and her husband of 25 years. Years later, she went on to appear in an Oil of Olay print ad.


Sixty-one years ago, a brand was so enchanted by the pinay’s maiden-like charm it introduced a global soap to enhance her beauty.

Owing to her great success in London and New York, the mother company put up a plant in Manila. It saw the birth of a classic – Camay Beauty Soap.

Camay had such a high profile status that the first case of the product that came out of Procter and Gamble plant in the country was sent to then Philippine President Elpidio Quirino.

Camay spent big advertising money on advertising, even buying into whole programs (like “Camay Theatre,” a radio soap opera) to neutralize competition from rivals Lux and Palmolive.

On billboards, dailies and magazines, Camay fanned out its advertising positioning: “the soap for beautiful women.”
Soon it became popular and, admit it, your mom, tita and other members of the household swore by Camay, even horded stocks of them.

Morena, chinita, Spanish or American mestiza, Filipino women used Camay like goddesses wary of how they looked when they stepped out of their homes.

Up to the 60s, Lux, Camay, Lifebuoy, Safeguard and Palmolive were the leading bath and beauty soaps.
Lux, Camay’s arch-rival, launched Lux Star of Stars search, a popularity contest open to all female movie stars of the Filipino movie industry.

US-made tv commercials featuring Hollywood stars Sandra Dee and Ursula Andress were also aired to bolster Lux’s global positioning – “the soap of movie stars”. Filipino movie queens Susan Roces and Amalia Fuentes followed later as endorsers.

Camay, on the other hand, didn’t go that route. Instead, they launched a model search with the eventual winner becoming Miss Camay or Camay Girl, a very glamorous and prestigious PR event.

Camay was the key to stardom of many beautiful Manila socialites with Maritess Revilla and Toni Rose Gayda among them. Revilla’s two other sisters also became Camay girls and her mother Francisca Roces Revilla was the original Camay Girl.

Filipino women went on to achieve more after being launched as Camay Girls, notably Aurora Pijuan who captured the 1970 Miss International title and Vida Doria who won Bb. Pilipinas-Universe and chosen as Miss Photogenic in 1972 Miss Universe Beauty Pageant.

Camay Girls made heads turn and lived up to the product’s slogan: “Lahat ay napapalingon … at muling napapalingon.”
From the 50s to the late 80s, a span of almost 40 years, Camay and Lux dominated the Philippine market.

But where are they now?

A marketing guy who has worked with Procter and Gamble says: “Like roses, they must wilt and fade away.” He calls the soap brand a "bygone beauty.”

The brand was supposed to be re-branded in 2005 but nothing has been heard of its marketing reincarnation since then.
“Camay had lost its mass appeal in the United States, much more, in the Philippines when whitening soaps began to sprout like mushrooms in groceries, drugstores and supermarkets,” he says.

There are however many Filipino Camay loyalists, whose faithfulness to the product remained strong in many of our neighborhoods.

A high school principal, for instance, was shocked to find out that her favorite soap had vanished in supermarkets.

A former advertising mentor, who is now based in New York and working for a non-profit welfare organization in Manhattan reminisces how it was like working on Camay account:

“I am dusting cobwebs in my brain and I remember working on Camay, Tide, Pantene and Kotex. Camay was supposed to be a soap that would last and last and last, but alas... it did not,” she said.

“We first present the storyboard without audio. We then let them hear the pre-recorded sound while they veer their eyes away from the storyboard, the reason being -- viewers would take commercial time to pee or snack breaks so their attention gets divided. And yes, the usual "say-the-product-name-within-the-first-10-seconds and mention it at least 5 times within 30 seconds!”

During the early 80s, creative duties for Camay shifted to Leo Burnett Manila.

According to its website, Procter & Gamble still sells Camay to online distributors and abroad, mostly in Eastern Europe, although it may also still be available in some mainstream U.S. stores.

Procter & Gamble introduced Camay in the United States in 1926 as "the soap of beautiful women." The original wrapper featured a cameo of an elegant lady, her profile in silhouette.

Like many women around the world, Camay soap has remained a cultural touchstone to many Filipino women of a past era.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


By Roger Pe
Philippine Daily Inquirer, September 1, 2011

Which way is your brand going – to supermarket shelves or the dustbin?
Here today, gone tomorrow.

Many moons ago, your lola would shop with a list of grocery items in her purse. She’d hie off to the market with a dab of Cashmere Bouquet on her cheeks. A spray of Fressinet and parfum bought from Botica Boie would complete her retinue.

She went to Divisoria every Saturday. On her list were must-buys: Purico (for frying and other ‘ginisa’ cooking), Camay (for your sister’s facial beauty regimen), Lifebuoy (for your kuya’s after-basketball shower), Darigold (for your baby bunso), Perla and Breeze (for your labandera), Pancho Pantera (chocomilk for the unruly kids), and when she’s overly generous, Glo-Co Lipstick (for the maids).
Once upon a time, other pinoy brands also created rhubarb in Escolta, Rizal Avenue, Azcarraga, even as far as the Philippines’ farthest towns.

Esco, Elpo, Ang Tibay Shoes, Chelsea, Siga Siga, Bataan Matamis Cigarettes, Radiowealth, Avegon Transistor radios, Three Flowers, Trocadero, Hour-After-Hour, Halo Shampoo were among them. But where are they now?

Why do some brands do not last long while others stand the tests of time?
Anyone of these could be the answer:

Reformulated and re-branded with another catchy name. Suffered marketing comatose because of bad awareness caused by bad advertising aggravated by bad distribution. Killed by brand strategists because of poor consumer acceptance.
‘Bad fungshui’ could be another reason (remember that many manufacturers were Chinese and many believed in it). Acquired by another company and re-acquired by another. Greed. Offered no distinct product advantage. They became bankrupt or they simply faded away because they became irrelevant.

Like their local counterparts, there are countless brands all over the world that vanished into thin air a few years after they were launched.
There are however, many brands that went beyond expectations, survived changing times and consumer needs they emerged market leaders.

Popular brands that are still available today are Coca Cola, Oreo, Campbell's, Kellogg's, Del Monte, Nabisco, Hersheys, Fig Newtons, Heinz Ketchup, Graham Crackers, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Quaker Oats, Pillsbury Flour, Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce, Wrigley's among others.

“When a brand fails, it means it has lost customer loyalty. And loyalty is lost usually because customers have switched to a competitive brand or different category or altogether new industry that offers a more meaningful benefit while the original brand failed to respond,” says Willy Arcilla, founder and president of Brand Mentors, a management consultancy firm dedicated to helping Filipino companies grow their revenues and compete more effectively in a global economy via marketing leadership.

Arcilla cites a camera film brand as perhaps the best example - being replaced by digital photography.

He also mentions the failed financial institutions from the 2008 crisis. “This emphasizes the need for constant reinvention. Why do you think multinational companies relaunch their soaps and other brands as “New Improved!” practically every year?”

As a seasoned marketer with more than 25 years of experience in marketing, sales and general management roles in P&G, SC Johnson, Coca-Cola and Philippine conglomerates around the Asia-Pacific region (San Miguel, RFM, URC) and managed 50 global, regional and local brands, Arcilla gives us many reasons why in his “Marketing and Advertising with a Conscience” book.

“Brand Healer” Arcilla says, a brand can also fade away from the market along with its set of loyal but dwindling users when it is unable to attract new and younger users to eventually replace an ageing customer base.

“An established brand that is faltering must be careful not to depart from its established positioning just to acquire new customers at the risk of alienating core users,” he says.

Often times, marketers do it with a new but wrong advertising campaign or repositioning exercise, frequently diluting a brand by launching line extensions that are off-strategy.

“Herein lies the challenge for brand managers – how to enhance a brand’s core DNA while constantly evolving,” he says.

In the book, Arcilla says the secret usually lies in rediscovering the core essence of the brand, but translating that into a more contemporary message more relevant for new and younger consumers.

“No other brand can best epitomize this than Apple with its stream of innovations like the iPod, iPhone, iPad – all consistent in delivering its promise of “Think Different”, he says.

Advertising people feel the same way.

A top advertising account director bewails the fact that some advertisers blame their ad agencies when they fail to deliver the bottomline. “They change their ad agency more often not knowing that it boils down to the quality of brand they are manufacturing.”

Indeed, no amount of advertising, can sell a bad product. It will only fast track its death on the shelf.

BBDO-Guerrero copywriter Raymund Sison tells us: “With consumers' ever-changing needs, brands should continue to evolve. For a brand to thrive, let alone survive, it must be flexible in adapting to consumer and dynamic market changes.”

Ogilvy Manila copywriter Paul Palmero believes that brands are like people. He says, “People that are most open to improvement and innovation are the ones that are most successful. People who have the ability to adapt to changes each day are the ones that thrive. In the same manner, brands that are most consistent in their equity and character are the ones that last long.”

San Miguel Beer is perhaps the longest surviving pinoy brand in the Philippines. In 1896, it advertised a young Spanish girl with a beer mug on the front page of Diario de Manila.

Lyle's Golden Syrup, manufactured by United Kingdom’s Tate & Lyle, is the world’s oldest brand, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

The sweet syrup was first put into green and gold tin in 1885. Popular all over the world, its packaging and formula have remained almost completely unchanged and is found in more than 85% of British households.

Nothing lasts forever as they say but when a brand last twenty years or so it is quite a feat. When a brand’s DNA remains undiluted and it continues to provide relevant use and excitement to its target it will not only earn money - but additional years to its lifespan.