Admit it: No matter how pesky commercials breaks can be (especially when you’re in the middle of watching your fave soap opera), ads do have their golden moments—and some of them stay with us forever. Here are the top ten most iconic commercials on Philippine TV. How many of these do you remember?
- Safeguard – Conscience
Safeguard defined the “konsensiya” forever with their series of ads featuring the sage conscience as a guide. It’s the major element in any Safeguard commercial, and why wouldn’t it be? Of course, no Safeguard commercial would be complete without the recommendation and/or explanation from a PAMET representative. How else will we know that the germ-fighting claims are legit?
- Royal Tru Orange – Ito Ang Gusto Ko
Aside from the nostalgic RJ Ledesma commercials, Royal Tru Orange made their mark on Philippine television with the ad they released featuring the late Francis M, the master rapper himself. RTO indeed! The theme from the iconic commercial speaks about freedom, justice, peace, and the youth, just like any true Francis Magalona lyric should. Rest in peace, Sir Kiko. Thank you for all the inspiration.
- Milo – Growing Up With Milo
Nothing pumps up our desire to fulfill our dreams more than a Milo commercial. Growing up with Olympic energy sounds totally awesome, doesn’t it? Featuring various sports and renowned award-winning athletes, Milo did a fantastic job of helping us remember that great things truly do start from small beginnings.
- Nips – Bag of Nips
I’ll admit it—I used to sing this jingle in my head whenever my mom would buy me a bag of Nips as a kid. I’d open the tiny pouches and happily munch on chocolatey goodness while humming the song. It was pure bliss. Wouldn’t it be lovely to feel like a kid again? And judging on the giddy animated kid in the commercial, I’d say being a kid is just like running around the fields of grass with a bag of Nips—rainbows in the sky and all.
- Cornetto – Saan Aabot Ang Twenty Pesos Mo?
The Lowe and Partners ad agency sure knows how to market a concept and make it stick. It’s true that a 20-peso bill won’t get you much these days, which is exactly what the Cornetto ads are trying to say. It’s also a plus that the Cornetto dude really knows how to act the part. Done with witty humor and relatable situations, the Cornetto commercials definitely make us think about “Saan aabot ang Php20 mo?”
- PLDT NDD – Kung Saan Ka Masaya, Suportahan Taka
This is probably what launched Christian Vasquez’s career from the very beginning. How can we not remember his face after he played the part of a man torn between his loyalty to his dad and his own passion? The touching exchange between father and son made the tagline “suportahan taka” an instant classic among Filipinos. In a nation that values family above all else, this ad really hits the spot.
- Coca Cola – Coke Ko ‘To
Admit it—you tried to master the moves, too, didn’t you? My friends and I used to play this game to see who could do it faster without fumbling—that’s brilliant advertising right there. Then again, Coca Cola has always shown ingenuity when it comes to their television commercials. They made the Santa Claus commercials work, after all. Let’s not forget the Nikki Gil jingle and all the “Share Happiness” campaigns over the years, too. We can expect nothing less from Coke.
- Purefoods Tender Juicy Hotdog – Dear Diary
It’s the commercial that made girls around the country question their decisions and priorities in life—men or food? It’s the ultimate question, isn’t it? We certainly know what ended up being the better choice in the ad, hence, the epic goodbye to Carlo (who was actually played by Patrick Garcia). Chantal Umali, the little chubby girl in the commercial, is now a yoga mom, so we can pretty much guess that she laid low on the hotdogs a bit. Still, because of her iconic commercial, what comes next after “Dear Diary” has now become automatic: “Carlo sat beside me today!”
- Jollibee – I Love You, Sabado
I have memorized this song to heart. This is what makes Saturday mornings brighter, and as a kid, nothing means happiness more than Jollibee. And for your benefit, here are the words to the jingle, because you know you want to sing along. You’re welcome: “Isang tulog na lang, Jollibee na naman. Ang araw lulubog, bukas mabubusog, sa Chicken Joy manok at Yum Burger bilog. I love you, Sabado, pati na rin Linggo. Hintay ka lang Jollibee, nandiyan na ako. Panlasang Pilipino, at home sa Jollibee!”
1.McDonald’s – Lolo or Karen, Ang Huling El Bimbo
And now, at the number one spot, here come the creative ads from Mcdo. They always seem to know exactly what to show. All the “Love Ko ‘To” and “Hooray for Today” campaigns were extremely effective. The company has a knack for making taglines stick, just like the “Pa-burger ka naman” commercials way back as well. Still, the one that truly tugged at the heartstrings is the “Lolo” or “Karen” commercial, which resonated with viewers everywhere despite its brevity and simplicity.
As an added bonus, here’s another Mcdo ad that strikes a chord for those still pining over the one that got away. Featuring the already bittersweet “Ang Huling El Bimbo” by the Eraserheads, this ad tells an even more bittersweet story of having loved and lost—and of the fries dipped in sundaes along the way.
Other old school classics of famous Pinoy commercials include ads for Family Rubbing Alcohol (“Di lang pampamilya, pang-sports pa!”), Dragon Katol (“Dragon kung umusok, lamok siguradong tey-pok”), and Sprite (“I love you, Piolo!”). What’s your favorite? Did any of these actually make you want to buy whatever they were selling? Share your thoughts with us below!
Cathy Dellosa Lo is a freelance writer by day and a geek by night. She constantly struggles between sniffing the novels lined up in her bookshelf and trying to whip up something unusual in the kitchen, much to the dismay of her loving husband. To this day, she still has not cooked a decent meal. She one day hopes to soar the skies as a superhero for her future children, but for now, she strongly believes in saving lives through her works in fiction. She also maintains a personal blog on her rookie misadventures as a noob wife at http://