today's AMAZING TV AD : honda's "cog" 2 minute tv spot

for more on this, go to this post :; april 14 post.
the inspiration is mount pinatubo when some years ago, all of a sudden, after decades of being dormant, it decided to erupt, spewing debris and ash several kilometers high, blowing ashes to float everywhere, far and wide, turning the skies gloomy gray as far away as metro manila, hundreds of kilometers away, covering metro manila streets and rooftops with thick ash. the pinatubo eruption was so powerful that its ashes changed the color of sunsets not only in the philippines but also worldwide.

that's what happens when clients and advertising agencies decide to run ads not worthy to be called advertising. its dark, its huge and very irritating and unfortunately, everywhere!

all they are doing is wawam! what a waste of advertising money!

here is a first row view of Philippine Advertising and Philippine Marketing.

mount pinatubo erupts shooting ashes several kilometers high, then floating to blanket many other towns hundreds of kilometers away

World Clocks

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Monday, August 24, 2009

The Magician - 21st Philippine Advertising Congress TVC

did i miss something in this tvc? a hidden message i did not get? a footage that did not show in my computer?

i swear at the start of the ad, the whole theater was full of people watching the magic show. it is wall-to-wall people. then, as the camera panned to show the stage again, a flash of light, the theater was half empty of people. in fact the density of the audience gyrated from half empty to just one third full from shot to shot.

was there a meaning to that slight of hand of the audience (pun intended). i watched the commercial a few times trying to understand what it meant. i thought maybe the magic was not was happening to the volunteer but the audience, that the magician was making the audience disappear. but if that was the message, i don't get it. it does not make sense. and there were not enough visual and copy clues that that was what the ad meant. i gave up on that ideas.

this ad really has great production values. the colors are great, the characters are excellent, the set design and art design were very well done. even the slanted english spoken was a good touch to the ad. it was very pinoy and it works very well.

but with all the terrific production values, the ending was so cheaply done. it was obvious a dummy, a badly made one was what fell from the enclosure. it certainly did not leave you hanging if what fell was the woman or a dummy. i don't know if it was the way the clothes were put on the dummy or the way it fell to the ground that made it so obvious as a dummy. or maybe both.

this tv ad left a lot of questions in my mind. and the question was not the one that was asked at the end of the commercial.. they are - why did the ad start with a full audience then all of a sudden much less than full and why did they not make an effort to make that falling dummy look better.

its a WAWAM!


  1. Hi wawam! I agree. For all the effort they expended on the set-up, I was expecting a better payoff.

    Love the blog. I'll peek around and see what else you have here.


  2. Maybe those who made this TVC was just being creative for creativity's sake. There really is no rhyme or reason, or the TVC creators couldn't figure it out for themselves?

  3. yes, i agree they were just being creative for creativity's sake. trying to be cute. the problem with that is that it does not work, nor does it impress.

  4. @ John-D - thanks for dropping by. not much lately on this blog, too busy on the politics side of things for 2010.

  5. Part 1:
    How amusing. You are simplistic.

    The magician was imagining a full house because as a performer... that was what he wanted to see. *Every* performer longs to live in the limelight, to be acknowledged and cheered on by a crowd. The sad reality for him was, the 'standing ovation' was nothing more than an illusion, a thing he conjured up in his own mind OR it could have been a memory of his former glory days. Hence, with a flicker of the light, the hurrahs are replaced with yawns, from a less than ecstatic audience.

    In this way, it is creatively intellectual, (as opposed to "just being creative for creativity's sake"), for its irony, for he, who gives illusions to please others, creates an illusion for himself, to keep his spirit alive. You may see this in Psychology books filed under the subject: "Coping Mechanism." You see, performers die a little inside every time they realize that nobody gives a crap about their "art". However, he also knows that the show must go on, and that he must prop up that smile because that is what 'professionals' do.

    How can you not get that? Anyway, let us move on...

    I agree with you on the woman/dummy scene: "the ending was so cheaply done... certainly did not leave you hanging..." True. There was even no tint of blood on the woman for heaven's sake. However, permit your mind to wander into the possibility that it was the director's *style* to end it that way. No blood. No stunt doubles. No dramatic portrayal of her fall. Perhaps in his eyes the scene was enough and perhaps in his perspective, it needed no further emphasis.

    Now why do I say this? It is because I understand that the point of the ad was not to question whether that scene used a dummy or the woman. The point, and I'm sure you know this, was to ask viewers "Who do you think killed the female?" Why must you base the WAWAM-criteria on this single scene alone, when you have acknowledged "all the terrific production values" the tvc had? Could your answer be: "Because every second of the short ad counts... every element must fall into place and it must send a clear message all throughout because as an ad, that is its job!"?

  6. Part 2:
    Just because YOU don't get the style, just because a part was unclear to YOU, or simply just because YOUR imagination does not meet halfway with others' perspectives doesn't make an advertisement any less intellectual, or a WAWAM-level ad, for that matter. You should know full well that there exists a difference in perspectives, in all aspects. So for fairness' sake, let us try the above statement in a different perspective... on me.

    Just because I THINK i get the style, just because I THINK a part was clear to me, or simply just because I THINK my imagination meets halfway with the directors' perspectives DOESN'T MAKE AN AD ANY BETTER.

    We are all entitled to our own interpretations and our own opinions so I am in no way trying to *convince* you to think outside of yours. But I share this (no matter how unwarranted my thoughts are) because I wanted you to see how other people, myself included, thought the ad a stroke of pure Pinoy genius. The advertisement wasn't perfect (with that 3-5 second mishap), but it has achieved its original purpose: to toy with the minds of the viewer with the question, "Who killed her?" not "Was it a dummy or not?".

    Is that not the whole point of an advertisement? To send out a message? And what was the grand message of the whole 4-part collaboration: the Date, the Stagehand, the Assistant and the Magician were different points of views? I assume that it says thus "one reality can bring about a multitude of perspectives." Was that altered or blurred in any way over that 'cheap death scene'?

    No. You and I know very well that it was not.

    And so I end with this, it is my strong opinion that this tvc should not be here, labeled as a WAWAM. But of course, that is just me. :)

    I apologize, for taking much of your time for this long... long... opinion... and well, if it the post came out too passionately. It is already 3 am.

    ~ Anonymous is not in any way related to the 21st Philippine Advertising Congress. She was just randomly surfing the net when she stumbled here, and then felt the strong need to post a counter response.

  7. when there is a debate on what an ad is all about, then it is a WAWAM!

    an ad by its nature of ebing no more than 30 seconds need to clearly commmunicate its message and without deviation from one viewer to the next. if there are disparities, then the ad has failed.

  8. Hi i actually think that this commercial has great value.

    In seeing the world through different eyes, even if it is the same event, we learn that each person interprets and puts meaning to their own worlds.

    i think its good that the advertising industry is showing this to us because it gives us viewers more importance and more SAY into what we watch. by asking us, ano sa tingin mo, they are also telling us that the way we will interpret it in our own way. why do we always have to be told things by the media anyway? we are not a passive audience. we think for ourselves. and i think, for the first time actually that advertisers are making our thought valuable.

    perspectives is important maybe in todays age where we are not anymore bound to just one or a few set of ideologies. there are so many new thoughts being shared to the public through youtube, etc. and this commercial shows us that our interpretations of reality, our thoughts, the way WE SEE THINGS, we are all different.

    its nice that we finally acknowledge this :D

  9. the whole point of the advertisement is to pose questions, regardless of what the nature of the questions are. my god, this is just stupid. good think Mr. Anonymous up there gave such a comprehensive and insightful analysis of the advertisement. huwag kayo maniwala kay WAWAM, it is not the commercial that's cheap, it's his analysis that sells so short.


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