If you’ve been to Thailand, or have been spending ample time on social media, you’ve probably seen and gagged about Thai commercials here and there. More fictional, eyebrow-raising, and mind-boggling than anything else, they often leave viewers wanting more.
On the contrary, we know most classic Philippine commercials to be grounded on reality by banking on what Filipinos find relatable, which has also shown merits over the years. So when a particular unorthodox RC Cola commercial in 2020 aired, local audiences were left stunned… yet in a very good way, as far as how international advertising standards go.
A recap of the RC Cola commercial in 2020
For those who need a refresher, the RC Cola commercial in question is about a young boy who goes home to his mother demanding to know if he’s adopted or not. This then leads to an emotional discussion, typical to Filipino-branded television commercials and soap operas.
That is, until the son put up his shirt revealing four glasses attached to his back. This was followed by the mother revealing her what-looks-like a decapitated body with a bottle of RC Cola sticking out from the neck. The latter then goes on to randomly pour some of the soda into the glasses, already filled with ice cubes.
The infamous RC Cola commercial garnered about three million views within a day of posting on RC Cola’s YouTube channel. In a nutshell, local viewers said that it may be one of the weirdest and creepiest Filipino commercials they’ve watched. Others also complimented the top-notch special effects.
The idea of the commercial came from independent agency, GIGIL. In the interviews that followed, they said that they’ve always tried to push the limits when it comes to commercials. The viral RC Cola commercial of 2020, which was meant not to make sense superficially, is just one example.
Winning an international advertising award
Eventually, it was because of this inventiveness that what was formerly dubbed weird television and online content became an internationally recognised work of art.
On 25 Jun 2021, the breakthrough RC Cola commercial of 2020, which is simply entitled Family, was officially awarded a bronze recognition at the 2020/2021 Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. This ultimately attests to how effective an advertisement it actually is. The said event is dubbed the “Oscars of Advertising,” according to GIGIL.
The award is under “Film,” which the agency also said is “one of the toughest categories of the Festival.” In a post, they also acknowledged their production partners, Arcade Film Factory, Riot, Barebones, and Hit Productions, as well as the RC Cola clients who appreciated the commercial.
Earlier, the popular Filipino commercial was additionally recognised at the 42nd Australasian Writers and Art Directors Awards. There, it won a gold citation. Like the one in Europe, this prestigious event honours creative works and their creators particularly from New Zealand, Southeast Asia, and across Australia.
The same commercial also previously reached The Ellen Show in Hollywood. It continues to be one of the most talked-about television and online advertisements in the Philippines. It was even followed by another RC Cola commercial called Band. Almost just as bizarre, it also bagged a silver citation at the regional competition.
Watch both RC Cola commercials here.
All images credited to RC Cola Philippines | Official YouTube Channel