"That commercial is so gay!" You might think that's an insult, but not to us. The Bakla Review and The McVie Show put together a list of TV ads from the Philippines in the last ten years that are campy, outrageous, provocative, uplifting, or moving -- in short, those that have made a special connection with us, people like us, or the queer in anyone of us. Heck, they may have even convinced us to buy the product! (McVie painstakingly details our not-so-scientific process and criteria here.) These commercials are so gay, and we salute them.
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 before 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?
This article is part of a series of The Bakla Review's 2000's Decade in Review. Check back often for more.
Reviews of Commercials