Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Breaking the Booze and Women Go Together Notion

For the typical, chauvinistic Juan, the good times cannot be complete without booze and women. It is evident in the kind of TVCs being aired in the country.

The scenario is always the same: a group of men is having a round of drinks in a bar when all of a sudden, a sexily dressed woman enters the bar and gets everyone's attention. Who could ever forget the Sabado nights commercial that popularized Ina Raymundo in the 90s? Kris Aquino broke her stereotype by getting a bit bolder and sexier in a commercial for the same company that featured Ina Raymundo. Two summers ago, we laugh at the luck that some losers got over having a bottle of liquor slip from their grip. Bilog nga naman talaga ang mundo. They had the time of their lives when centerfold beauties partied with them. The most recent one is that of Katrina Hallili, being a show-stopper as she drives through the crowd in a motorcycle and charms the men among them.

There is always an element of surprise. And it is these women made to portray the "hot chick" image which cause the surprise and hence, bring life to the party. Oops, wait. Maybe I should say bring more life to a party that is already in its full swing.

Now, how about those commercials which are downright provocative? White Castle commercials are famous for its white horse carrying on its back the country's sexiest celebrities like Nanette Medved, Anjanette Abayari and Roxanne Guinoo in a red two-piece bikini. Currently, they have launched a nationwide search for the next White Castle girl.

The Search for the Next White Castle Model is a competition of women who not only have the looks but also the talent and the brains. It is sad that these women's worth are belittled by this senseless campaign. Why would these women need to be talented and intelligent when they will just be models who will adorn White Castle Whiskey's calendars and be nothing but mere sex objects to men. Oh, tell me they don't. Tell me they are works of art. If they are, why can't we have a Search for the Next White Castle Macho?

Emperador and Generoso brandy deserve an acknowledgement for moving out of the box by showing commercials with different themes. Emperador Brandy shows Eddie Gutierrez with his sons who all toast for "sa totoong tagumpay," stressing that the handsome patriarch has taught the values of sipag, tiyaga and determinasyon. Meanwhile, Generoso Brandy print ads show a group of friends having wholesome fun by social drinking. A couple of years ago, one of my favorite TVCs was that of a barkada's reunion where the women were anticipating for the arrival of their best-looking guy friend. Apparently, to their surprise, that friend turned out to have made a commitment to celibacy.

Commercials like these show that the good times can happen without all that machismo involving cleavage-baring women. The Emperador Brandy might be a bit macho but I appreciate it for depicting good father and sons bond rather than a father teaching his sons how to dominate their women.

Commercials, in as much as they depict realities, also have the power to shape perceptions. The media has become an avenue for change that involve ways of thinking and living. Most of the time, the change is aimed to respond to trends and issues that we currently face.
It is good that companies are learning how to become socially responsible. I hope that media, being a powerful tool that shape minds, will be used more adequately to portray wholesome ways to have fun and at the same time, improve the society's perception of women.

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