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Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Monday, December 21, 2009

The 10 Gayest Pinoy Commercials Of The Decade

Two or so weeks ago The Bakla Review (TBR) approached me with a decent proposal: can I help him come up with the top 10 gay Pinoy commercials from 2000 to 2009?

First we had to agree: what is a “gay commercial”? Here’s what TBR and I came up with, in our own non-scientific way:

• An ad is gay if its sensibilities—whether deliberately or accidentally—are gay. Mas madaling intindihin sa Tagalog eh: pag napanood mo, andaling sabihin na, “Shet, ambakla ng commercial!” at walang kokontra.
• An ad is gay if, by the looks of it and to our best assessment, it’s aimed at pleasing/titillating/appealing primarily to a gay audience.
• An ad is gay if its theme/big idea is anchored on a gay concern, issue or insight.

Notice that we used bullet points instead of numbering them? It’s because those reasons couldn’t be ranked according to which one is gayer than the others.

Of course, a list will always be contentious; TBR and I emailed back-and-forth several times before we agreed on one. But that’s really part of the game. So feel free to react, to agree or disagree.

(The list below can also be seen in The Bakla Review’s blog. It is part of his series called “The Bakla Review’s 2000’s Decade in Review.” Check out his site!)

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10. Lucky Me! Pancit Canton "Almost Kiss"

McVie: Two guys, seemingly straight (or just straight-acting closeted ones?), are drawn together by their love of, uhm, noodles. This commercial gives new embodiment to the naughty phrase, “Pa-canton ka naman!”
TBR: I think it’s really sweet. I hear the longer version ends in bed, with less guilt.

9. Penshoppe "Cogie"

McVie: The ad is for a body cologne, yet while watching the young Cogie Domingo in his jailbait days, one forgets the cologne and just focuses on the body. Subtlety? Time to throw in the towel.
TBR: The 30-second definition of a cocktease. I hear girls swooning, or maybe they’re old men.

8. Bench "20 years"

McVie: Kris Aquino, sexy guys romping around the woods in skimpy underwear, Richard Gomez in his heyday—what is gay? Repeat from the top.
TBR: And they’re sprinkled with fairy dust! Or feathers. Or birds. It’s a testament to how gay the Bench ads have been through the years.

7. KFC "Shrimp"

McVie: Wonderful casting, wonderful acting, wonderful timing. Nothing’s overtly stated, and it’s not meant to be taken seriously.
TBR: They want to out their officemate so they can have an excuse to group hug.
(The clip above includes a spoof after the original ad.)

6. PLDT "Billy"

McVie: The success of this commercial lies in the gay punchline in the end, when the male mannequin is revealed. The commercial doesn’t make fun of being gay; rather, it shows the gay condition as is. It’s funny without being condescending.
TBR: Always the best man, never the bride.

5. Nesvita "Trio"

McVie: Guaranteed to give gay viewers a nosebleed thrice over, with Derek Ramsey, Chris Tiu and Will Devaughn. Towards the end, the camera lingers at the backside of Derek before panning up to him and he asks, “Want some?” Do we!
TBR: Okay guys, you win. You may seduce me now.

4. Sunkist "Basketball"

McVie: Audaciously funny. It is a gay man’s fantasy-come-true in full orange color—hot, cute basketball player with other hot, cute basketball players.
TBR: Sunkist should replace Gatorade during practice.

3. Ponds “Holding Hands”

McVie: The first time this came out, people were a-buzz the next day: “Did you see that Ponds commercial?” What made it even more impactful for me is the portrayal of the gay couple as something very ordinary and matter-of-fact. (Plus points for making them a gorgeous-looking one, but hey! This is advertising.) Now if only they had cast Hayden Kho instead of Maricar Reyes, this would have leapt to the top spot of this list.
TBR: Who hasn't fallen in love with this—or them? I want to be in that kind of relationship, too. I don't care if some girl thinks she can steal my boyfriend away with her soft skin.

2. Ad Congress "Kiss"

McVie: Not only does the commercial flip over the hot-dude-meets-hot-chick set-up, it also subverts the old-fashion image of a gay man as a mujerista but instead shows him as straight-looking and straight-acting as any other guy. It misses being audaciously subversive by not showing a full-blown kiss, but hey.
TBR: A tear just ran down my cheek. Thank you for recognizing us.

1. Rexona "Everybody"

McVie: This commercial out-gays ‘em all because, not only does it show a gay man’s fantasy (hot men in towels), it shows them in abundance! And it’s a musical! Using a Backstreet Boys song! And it has Jordan Herrera at his hottest! Despite—or precisely because of—the guys’ macho posturing, this commercial goes way over the top and onto rainbow land. In the end when Jordan asks, “Wala ba kayong mga kamay?” we all feel like giving them a standing ovation, in more ways than one.
TBR: Yeah, it couldn’t get any gayer unless the towels came off. We were hypnotized by it, and we'll never recover.

Didn't Make The Cut:
Aside from the gamut of Bench spots that could easily fill its own top ten (see #8), we considered some hotdog commercials, just because they’re about hotdogs, and endorsements from personalities trailed by gay rumours – sometimes, they're also about hotdogs. Any commercial with hot guys was up to scrutiny, passing through the straight/gay litmus test. But it was hardest to say goodbye to these two undeniably gay creations: an uber-campy shampoo musical with perky ingenue Sandara Park, and a refreshingly sincere double entedre from macho symbol Robin Padilla.

Did we miss any of your favorites?


Herbs D. said...

Rexona's nostalgic. Had fun reading this post :D

Ponds will always be my number one XD

~Carrie~ said...

Panalo ang entry na ito! I love it.

Barny said...

awesome post! couldn't agree more with the top pick. i remember being a gay kid and ALWAYS looking forward to that rexona commercial...yum.

with the adcon tvc, baka kaya naging bading yung lalaki kasi mukang hooker yung chicks na naglandi sa kanya. chos!

the spy in the sandwich said...

loving this list...

Anonymous said...

Number 1 is the gayest of em all. :-) Haha!

engel said...

best post of the year!!! =D

Prince_Cloud said...

enjoyed this list.

loved that ponds commercial. never realized si maricar pala yun.

Flipping Felipe said...

The KFC Shrimp commercial still made me laugh.

Theo Martin said...

i loveeet! ;P how about the bench commercial with jomari in it? or the am milby behind the bushes and piolo bench denim commercial but i guess the 20years of bench covered it. hahahaha ;P

mrs.j said...

the colt 45 commercial?

i dont know if it falls in ur category but anyways i love the post ill link it...

ponds is still my number 1!

but pasok sa banga ang ad congress na yan!

Aris said...

Merry Christmas, Joel dear! :)

Angelo said...

The Greenwich "Ang Cheesy" commercial with JLC. :(