Thursday, November 24, 2005


I would like to see the stats on the sales figures. Im just curious. This morning, the shuttle to work took a different route to avoid the gridlock on the west service road of the South Superhighway, when I noticed a billboard for something called White Cat detergent, and smiling down upon us lesser folk who have to go to work on the shuttle, was a gigantic Kris Aquino in yet another celebrity endorsement gig. Corporations and ad agencies seem to think Kris has what it takes to move products or else they won't keep getting her services. She's hawked everything from corned beef, to budget cars, to beer, and now laundry detergent. I have to admit that the image of Kris doing the laundry wouldnt register in my frame of reality, but marketing and ad execs spent years studying the inner workings of the Filipino consumer and concluded that Kris Aquino is the gal for the job.

I dont have strong feelings either for or against Kris Aquino. I havent seen any of her movies, and I havent seen any of her TV shows.* But she seems to be doing very well indeed. You dont get paid peanuts for gigs like these.

When Kris's San Miguel Beer ad came out, it had negative ratings from the people at the office. The build-up was great, the general consenus said, and they were expecting San Miguel to reveal another one of those relatively unknown but beautiful models and launch them into the stratosphere like they did with Angela Luz, Rachel Lobangco, and Ina Raymundo. But when Kris made her appearance, the reactions ranged from disappointed groans to 'Why her?' I saw the ad a few days later, and let's just say it didnt make me want to order San Miguel Pale Pilsen the next time we went to the regular after-office haunt, which is what an ad is supposed to do.

Digression: Used to be San Miguel Pale Pilsen ads featured fiestas, blue collar workers, fisherfolk--remember the FPJ ad where he was helping pull in a fishing net? In short, it was masa-oriented, and those inumans were always fun. Now they have yuppies, fashionistas, and Ferraris. Not exactly my idea of drinking buddies, but that's just me. I generally like inumans where my buddies dont have to worry about spilling their sawsawan on their Diesel shirts. At least San Miguel Pale Pilsen ads dont try to target young people like that insidious Colt 45 ad that overtly targeted 18-year olds. "Kaya mo na 'to," it said. Yes of course. Let me just ask Nanay for my pantoma since Im only 18, still in school, and dont have a job yet.

Where were we? After a little googling, I found out that White Cat detergent is the biggest selling detergent in China. We havent heard of it here, and so the ad people probably thought that Kris Aquino would remedy that in a hurry. The positioning of the product is quite strange to my untrained eye. With Tide and Surf going for the masa appeal with their ads, White Cat seems to be targeting the--what? I have no idea. The fashion-savvy, I-know-who-Manolo-Blahnik-is labanderas?

I found this piece on White Cat's signing of Kris Aquino on the Manila Standard Today website, written by Isah Red.

The cat is finally out of the bag

The mood was calm yet pulsating with eager eyes and salivating mouths. The much talked about endorsement of the number one talk show host has finally transpired in one of the welcoming function rooms of Mandarin Oriental. The popular Kris Aquino was presented with an offer to give her two thumbs-up to a detergent that is so economical and an ace performer in the laundry industry, Whitecat detergent.

It has boldly stepped into the market and will prove yet that it is a world-class competitor. Spearheaded by Willie Ang, together with Jenny Sy as the CEO and Louis Sy as the vice president, they have set up a momentous event in launching their product under RMCE Manufacturing Inc. to the Filipino market.

As the contract signing was ongoing, Kris looked very pleased by the warm reception of the press from both TV and Print, while the other guests were very pleased with the American breakfast served with complimentary drinks of coffee and freshly squeezed juice, pastries such as turnovers, freshly baked croissants, brownies, and sweet apple muffins.

Whitecat started in Mainland China. It’s famous for its cleaning properties such as Zeolite, a binding agent that removes stubborn dirt on soiled clothes. White Cat is set to break new grounds in cleaning clothes without compromising quality.

So watch out for Kris Aquino and Whitecat detergent, a tandem that homemakers will surely come to love.

And with that stellar piece of journalistic poetry, I end this blog entry.

* Addendum: Being aired on weekends, the clicker did chance upon The Buzz once. I remember that episode because the cameraman seemed to have been obsessed with Kris's back. Presumably on the director's instructions, the camera angles almost always featured Kris's bare, pale back as foreground. Im not one to second guess the execs over at ABS-CBN. Im sure being the media giant that they are, theyve conducted studies that showed Filipinos have a keen interest in Kris Aquino's back and showing gratuitous views of it would increase ratings. I remember being fascinated by the creativity of the cameraman's shots; these shots havent been tried on Philippine television before as far as I can tell.


grifter said...

one day i am gonna write a rant about that useless b***h.

Jego said...

Did you click the link to the 'news' article? Shows I didnt make it up. Someone actually got paid for writing that. Nyahahahahaa!!!

carmela said...

I know the Kris A. is very irksome. She seemed to have replaced ate Shawee as the endorsement queen when she started spreading mayo on everything and turned into a beached whale (I guess love does that to you...). But thats not half as bad as the Caucasian Models in local ads. Who can forget FAMILY Toothpaste bit with this White Trash Family and close up shots of them brushing teeth without the foam (that must be how the toothpaste sold... they dont produce foam!). But the winner is the Champion cigarrette ad where this White Boy goes through lengths to get cigarrettes to impress this girl's father, thus winning his approval. I should try that.

Jego said...

My favorite is the Dragon katol ad with the cowboy. "Dragon kung umu-soak. La-moke siguradong tay-poke."