Realism with Biogesic

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Nanette Franco-Diyco

I WILL never forget one of the many advertising and public relations basics which the late communications guru and ad industry icon Antonio R. de Joya hammered into his companies’ art directors. That there are three B’s that one should never forget as the easiest ways to attract attention to your visuals: Babies, Beasts and Beauties.

The very first frame of Biogesic’s television commercial simply shows a poodle looking oh-so-sadly straight at the camera along with a little boy whose face expressed parallel sadness that truly touched my heart. The dog had its leash hanging from his mouth — and both the kid and the dog just stood there unmoving! Of course this made me stay glued to my TV set till the end of the commercial. (I hate to categorize this dog as a Beast!)


Then, one after another, others join in. An older brother followed by the father — all with the same morose hang-dog expression (pardon the pun!).

I salute the agency, Havas Ortega, for the creativity and simplicity of this Biogesic commercial. The build-up with the aforementioned characters — the kid, the brother, their father, and the cutest of dogs — all dramatized the core question:

Hahayaan mo ba silang maghintay dahil sa sakit ng ulo o lagnat?” (Are you going to allow all of them to just wait because of a headache or fever?)

Fantastic build-up, I must say. Then, we see the mother making all the gestures of one with a headache, checking if she has a fever, and promptly taking Biogesic for a fast cure.

Here, we have the selling message: “Kapag may sakit ang ulo o lagnat, hindi lang ikaw ang mahihirapan. Kaya huwag nang patagalin.” (If you have a headache or fever, you are not the only one who is suffering. So, don’t tarry.)

Director Ianco dela Cruz deliberately used a radical change of pace — from a very slow gloomy pace at the beginning, to a fast and bright and, of course, cheerful one after the mother takes Biogesic.

I have reviewed two other Biogesic TV commercials in the past, both using John Lloyd as its celebrity endorser. I did say that he was a fitting brand ambassador, projecting a clean-cut, youngish but altogether mature and responsible image. I still believe he has done marvels for the brand.

But the change to a two-feet-on-the-ground approach using everyday real people gives the brand even more realism. It was nonetheless clever for the Havas’ creative team to end the material with what first appeared to be an emotional heart-shaped I.D. showing the Biogesic caplet which revealed John Lloyd as part of the heart. I call it playing it safe — but it’s still a good nemonic device.

We will just have to wait and see if the actor gets pulled back into action for the next Biogesic commercials. I must say Havas has done well without the celebrity.

Take a bow, Unilab and Havas Ortega.

Credits. Client-company, Unilab: Kat Martinez, category head/assistant vice-president; Joana Dy, senior product manager; Tin Navarrete, product manager; Air Forbes, product associate; Ulla Sy, product associate; Mildred Manansala, media manager; Ace Ritualo, media officer. Advertising agency, Havas Ortega: Tony Sarmiento, managing partner and chief creative officer; Lawin Bulatao, executive creative director; Anna Soliman, integrated planning director; Bambi Paguia, business director; Marion Esquillo and Aries Cayabyab associate creative directors. Production house, ProVill: Ianco dela Cruz, director; Monchie Redoble, director of photography; Franny Omampo and Alfonso Bassig, executive producers; Ghelai Padua, production manager; Noel Enriquez, broadcast producer; Khuletthe Rivera, talent caster.

Nanette Franco-Diyco ended her 15th year advertising career as Vice-President of JWT, segueing into the world of academe, teaching communications at the Ateneo de Manila University.