the new kris: not new enough

23 May 2010

kris says she’s leaving the buzz and snn by the end of the month para hindi siya makadagdag-problema sa administrasyon ng kuya niya with her tactless foot-in-mouth ways.   but is that all she’s giving up?   what about the product endorsements?   will she continue to promote unbridled conspicuous consumerism, continue to sell sell sell any product that meets with her very-very-very-personal approval, continue to encourage her tens of millions of fans to buy buy buy the products she likes, continue to sell sell sell herself herself herself like nothing else matters?

Kris Aquino feels at home
by Dinna Chan Vasquez

There is no doubt that Kris Aquino is one of the most sought after product endorsers in the country. Even the mere mention of a brand or label by the actress-TV host in any of her shows will result in brisk sales. For example, when she started wearing a jade bangle from Joy Lim’s Charms & Crystals, women flocked to the feng shui shop’s outlets to buy the same thing.

When Aquino says that she loves a restaurant, expect her fans to patronize the place. If she says that something is good, the public believes her.

“Kris really tests the products that she endorses,” says a source. “I have seen her refuse fat endorsement fees because she doesn’t like what she is supposed to sell to the public.”

For the record, getting Kris Aquino as an image model doesn’t come cheap, but according to one advertiser whose service the actress endorsed in the past, “herendorsement is worth every penny.”

It is no surprise that Aquino is the image model for a wide range of brands including telecommunications services, skin care, food and beverage, laundry soap, washing machine and many others. Advertisers send her products all the time because if she likes it, she will say so and the cash registers will work overtime. She even has inspirational CDs, one which includes her son. No, Kris doesn’t sing in any of the CDs. Rather, the songs were personally chosen for their inspirational and uplifting values.

When she launched her own magazine called K for ABS-CBN Publishing, it became a bestseller. As if her endorsements aren’t enough, they wanted to know what Kris Aquino is really like in private, what instant coffee she drinks (Nescafé); what body care products she prefers (The Body Shop) and what type of food she loves best (steaks).

A year ago, Aquino and ABS-CBN Licensing thought of releasing a line of home products that would bear her name. On TV, Aquino admitted that for the past year, products like pillows, cooking utensils and even plastic containers would arrive at her house and she would try them out to see if they passed her standards.

If they did, it was a go. If she didn’t like the products, it was back to the drawing board.

Karen Eve Coloma, licensing manager for the synergy division of ABS-CBN’s licensing group, says the products under the K Everyday Home Collection—from the linens to the cookware—have all been personally tested by Kris for reasonable periods of time.

“The suppliers were carefully chosen for the project because Kris didn’t want to put her name to anything that the public will be disappointed in,” Coloma says during the preview for the collection held at SM Makati.

She explains that Kris is very meticulous when it comes to her home and the things that she and her family use.

“The collection emulates Kris’ style and is inspired by her personal choices,” Coloma adds.

The first collection focuses on two of the actress’ favorite areas of her home, the bedroom and kitchen. There are bed linens and pillows from Dakki; cookware and kitchen accessories from Metro; stationery, journals, gift wrappers and gift boxes from Sterling Paper. A personal favorite of Kris is the home organization and storage solutions by Sawasdee,

“I am into boxes and storage these days. I even put notes on each box,” says the actress.

Kris shares that since she is in mourning for her mother, former President Corazon Aquino, for a year and promised to wear only black and yellow for the period, most of her “personal” clothes or the ones she doesn’t use for shooting movies and commercials and taping TV shows that are not in those colors are in storage. Thus, they need to be organized and labelled properly for future use.

Expect to see a lot of bright colors in the collection. Kris reveals that during the testing period for the products, she had to reject some of the colors as “they were not me.” The linens are in pinks and purples and everything—from the packaging to the items— is pretty and pleasing to the eye.

back in the reagan days, when the actor was campaigning for the presidency of the U.S., his opponents would show old tv commercials of the young handsome ronald selling a laundry detergent (a la tide or breeze), which was a huge turn-off for many.   it was my first sense that for celebs, selling commercial products on the idiot box was not something to be proud of because it means you’ve sold out to the multinationals that greedily rule the world.

reagan won anyway but he certainly stopped his showbiz ways as it would have diminished the presidency and held it hostage to vested interests.    i know, i know, kris is only a soon-to-be presidential sis.   and i can hear the howls:   but what’s wrong with selling/endorsing products, it’s an honest living, and so lucrative, she’d be crazy to give it all up.   ah yes, the money is too good, the money makes it okay, and hey she pays tens of millions in taxes, as in role model, di ba.

i suppose if we were a first world country like holland where there are no poor, no beggars, no hungry, okay lang.   but in a third world country where the televiewing masses can barely manage three meals a day and television is the great escape, it’s the height of cruelty (witting or unwitting) to raise material needs the way kris does when she sells non-essential products that the masses can only yearn for, dream of, but never ever in reality afford.   and, by the way, let’s be clear:   it’s not the fault of the poor that they’re poor.   it’s the fault of the rich, who know only how to get richer at the expense of the masses, which is so terribly uncreative.

inquirer‘s marinel cruz writes:

In her Twitter account, Aquino said that she would likewise stop appearing in the drama series “Kung Tayo’y Magkakalayo” in mid-August. She hinted on the possibility of hosting a lifestyle/travel program when she returns from a three-week vacation in September.

Kris does not want to be in a program where she can make comments, opinionate or articulate her personal views,” Abunda said.

ganoon? but when she appears in tv commercials selling all kinds of commercial goods, isn’t that a super favorable comment, opinion, articulation, reflection on/of her personal worldview and lifestyle?  inquirer‘s ige ramos writes: 

I just hope she’s aware of the power she wields. And I pray that she uses that power to transform this country into something bigger than herself, and not waste it on mundane show-biz activities.

Now that her brother is President, this is an opportunity for her to do something positive, great and wonderful. Something she missed out on when her mother was president.

actually, kung di niya ma-gets o di niya kakayanin, or if sayang the money, paano siya makakatulong kung wala siyang pera pang give-away, ok lang naman din.   she can keep doing product endorsements and soap operas, do a lifestyle/travel show, even glamorize dole-outs with a million pesos worth of school supplies to favored barangays (they voted for noynoy kasi), just please please please, no talk about caring for the poor, or honestly trying to improve the lot of poor pinoys.   because really, all that showbiz stuff is anti-poor.   one cannot be for the poor on the one hand, and anti-poor on the other, and have ANY kind of credibility.

if kris truly wants to make a difference in the next 6 years, WHAT IF she embraced instead an environmental concern, what if she focused her super powers instead on metromanila’s garbage problem.   zero-waste is the target.   she can spend the millions she’s so happy to give away on plastic garbage pails, 2 to a household metro-wide, for segregating biodegradable from non-biodegradable.   she could put together educational tv shows that would promote the campaign and get the public to join the bandwagon.   she could collaborate with garbage truck contractors in putting up recycling centers.   she could create a market for recycled goods by being the number-one customer and product endorser.   o di ba.   new jobs created, and no more flash floods, no more ondoys, no more blocked-up waterways, inang lupa would be so happy, and kris would come out smelling so good, even make it on the cover of time and newsweek, for sure, on her own merits.   we could all be so proud.

28 Responses to the new kris: not new enough

  1. May 24, 2010 at 2:26 am
    GabbyD

    but in a third world country where the televiewing masses can barely manage three meals a day and television is the great escape, it’s the height of cruelty (witting or unwitting) to raise material needs the way kris does when she sells non-essential products that the masses can only yearn for, dream of, but never ever in reality afford.”

    let me understand ur position on advertising in 3rd world countries. advertising should be banned in 3rd world countries. they raise poor people’s desires, and change their aspirations to afford goods they shouldnt buy.

    ok. lets say that is all true. what is the alternative to advertising? how can TV/radio (free media) work without adverstising? how can business promote their products without advertising?

  2. May 24, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    problem is we’re so first-world when it comes to marketing and advertising, but so third-world sa economy…

  3. May 24, 2010 at 2:51 pm
    jojie umali-riyadh

    One thing good about Kris like Ronald Reagan, she is a great communicator. Like Oprah, she is an advertising phenomenal asset who can dished out opinions without class barrrier but on the political side, she is a liability. No one can equal her over-transparency and intellectual reason in media entertainment. She can really be a potent agent of change in helping her brother engage in advocacies that will elevate the landscape of cause-oriented development on issues the marginalized sector has no power to start with in the first place.

  4. May 24, 2010 at 3:25 pm
    GabbyD

    @angela

    actually, kahit sa first world, people are saying what u are saying.

    this link has similar ideas as you: http://www.storyofstuff.com/

    either way, the question remains. what is the “right” level of consumption/advertising? who gets to make these decisions? what is the alternative, if its wrong?

    its easy to say there are problems. its not as easy to attempt, or even guess!, at a solution.

  5. May 24, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    thanks for the link, gabbyd ;) youre right, there has to be an answer re the “right” level of advertising and marketing esp in a third world market. kailangan lang pag-isipan, but surely it would call for some moderation on the part of the marketing and advertising industry.

  6. May 24, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    it’s not a question of whether or not kris aquino can help her brother in running the country. it’s a question of HOW. kris thinks that helping the masses means selling them beliefs in her ads, and THEN giving them the money. so first she’ll sell them superficiality ala vicky belo, and then give the poor money? she’ll sell them false necessities like unhealthy food extenders and expensive ready-made chicken, fake hair and skin on TV, her travels via her magazine, AND THEN help them by giving them … uh … notebooks?

    where is the logic in this but in kris aquino’s head? she’s a loose cannon, and half the time we think it’s the new president who’ll be kawawa. in fact, it’s this impoverished nation that IS MADE KAWAWA by kris aquino. the injustice is deafening.

  7. May 24, 2010 at 6:49 pm
    jojie umali-riyadh

    @Ina :-) There is a difference between making a living by exploiting the system and being a philontrophist by distributing hard earned money as a form of leveling socio-economic benefits. Isn’t Christ who said dont left the right hand know what the left hand does so as not to have a conflict of interest?

  8. May 24, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    hi tito jojie! kris aquino? far from being a philanthropist. far far from it. if you lived with her the way we do, and listened to the masses about what THEY ACTUALLY GET FROM kris aquino? you’ll realize that in the end, they get nothing at all.

  9. May 25, 2010 at 11:30 am
    GabbyD

    @ina
    just, curious: why the hatred (dislike) for kris aquino.

    what did she do, other than sell stuff?

    surely she’s not the only endorser in the world? ganyan ba kayo kagalit sa advertising?

    @angela
    the other side of the advertising thing is: the implicit assumption is that people cant be counted upon to judge what they want for themselves.

    is that your position? we cant trust people to make their own decisions?

    should we then restrict voting to the rich?

  10. May 25, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    gabbyd: now where did that come from? this is not a matter of people not knowing what they want, but of the rich swaying the masses to want things that they can’t afford.

  11. May 25, 2010 at 12:39 pm
    GabbyD

    @angela

    “this is not a matter of people not knowing what they want, but of the rich swaying the masses to want things that they can’t afford.”

    doesnt that mean, that if u are easily swayed, that means that you dont know what you want?

    after all, IF you knew what you wanted, you won’t be easily convinced otherwise.

    this kind of argument can be used in other contexts. if the poor are easily swayed, should they be allowed to vote? to raise families? surely these things are as important, if not more!, than choosing what hotdog to buy.

    di ba?

    thats the implication of this kind of argument.

  12. May 25, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    gabbyd: hey, is it the fault of those who are swayed, or of the powerful who sway, peddling lies?

  13. May 25, 2010 at 6:04 pm
    manuelbuencamino

    “it’s the height of cruelty (witting or unwitting) to raise material needs the way kris does when she sells non-essential products that the masses can only yearn for, dream of, but never ever in reality afford.”

    I don’t get it. What are non-essential products, who decides?

    A friend recounted his experience: While playing golf he noticed his caddy was wearing bright red lipstick. He asked his caddy how much the lipstick cost. The caddy said something like P350-400. And so he told her basically the same thing you preach about the poor buying non-essentials, And the caddy replied, “Sir, dahil ba mahirap lang ako hindi na ako pwedeng magpaganda?”

  14. May 25, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    oo nga. ang babaw lang ng kaligayahan. bakit kaya.

  15. May 26, 2010 at 12:01 am
    jojie umali-riyadh

    hELLO! kATRINA :-) I have literally used the word philantropist for for people who have more than enough money and are free to share to chosen few without being immersed or identified with the intended beneficiary. Certainly, Kris as a social equalizer,is not my cup-of-tea. Just like the Mega-star Sharon and the Superstar Nora Aunor, she is now the darling of the media entertainment and rightfully raking commercial windfalls.

  16. May 26, 2010 at 5:37 am

    @manuel buencamino, i don’t know that the caddy qualifies as kris’ immediate market, obviously there’s a demographic of women that she works on as an endorser, from being pretty and pinay, to motherhood and wifehood and after cory died, daughterhood.

    and 300 peso lipsticks aren’t expensive. that’s the standard price. they go up to 1,500.

  17. May 26, 2010 at 6:48 am
    GabbyD

    @angela on May 25th, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    by saying this, you have agreed that the implication of this line of thinking is that the poor are gullible.

    i dont agree, i think. but lets assume its true.

    if the poor can be swayed to do things, then the manipulators have a moral responsibility to sway them in the right way.

    like MB, its an open question as to what “right way” means.

    anyways: lets talk about kris aquino’s options.
    there is a specific question on kris’ options. you say, “she should promote an environmental concern”.

    the problem with that, is that its complex. what does that entail? you get into some detail:
    “she can spend the millions she’s so happy to give away on plastic garbage pails, 2 to a household metro-wide, for segregating biodegradable from non-biodegradable. she could put together educational tv shows that would promote the campaign and get the public to join the bandwagon. she could collaborate with garbage truck contractors in putting up recycling centers…. [etc]”

    wow thats complex stuff.

    perhaps the problem is that you are giving ms aquino too much credit for believing she has the wherewithal to come up with plans to support these. whole organizations are required to come up with any single one of these solutions.

    its too much to ask of ms. aquino.

    here’s what i’m willing to bet: if there is a good organization out there, that can seriously accomplish 1 SINGLE THING re the environment, i’m certain ms. aquino will sign on.

    passing out garbage bins will work if you also train people to use them. otherwise, ur creating more trash.

    the problem is that its foolish to associate oneself with an organization that can’t do what they say.

  18. May 26, 2010 at 11:56 pm
    manuelbuencamino

    Ina,

    A caddy earns about P700 per round of golf. Caddies do not get a round everyday. So P400 is a lot of money for them.

  19. May 27, 2010 at 12:00 am
    manuelbuencamino

    angela,

    “oo nga. ang babaw lang ng kaligayahan. bakit kaya.”

    ang kalalimano kababawan ng kaligayahan is relative. Hindi na natin dapat usisain yan kasi ano ang objective standards na gagamitin natin?

  20. May 27, 2010 at 12:07 am
    manuelbuencamino

    “and, by the way, let’s be clear: it’s not the fault of the poor that they’re poor. it’s the fault of the rich, who know only how to get richer at the expense of the masses, which is so terribly uncreative.”

    Is this something like all property is theft?

  21. May 27, 2010 at 5:55 am
    UP nn grad

    So Kris finally puts closer to the question “Will Kris leave Pilipinas when Noynoy wins?”. That’s a pipitsugin question, though. More heavy-duty, soon to be answered — will GMA leave Malacanang in 2010? Amazing that only 11 months ago, people were frothing at the mouth about this questions, and even Noynoy today still makes parinig-rinig that he doesn’t trust the administration, the military and the populace to support a peaceful transfer of power.

    Then there are hefty, but unanswered questions — “where is Jonas Burgos”, “where is Ping Lacson”, “when do Hacienda Luisita farmers get land?”, and how to retrieve Marcos wealth.

    More practical and yet-unanswered : “How to create a quarter-million new jobs per year in Pinas for Pinoys” for three or four years in a row. That gets close to a million new jobs so more OFW’s don’t have to be OFW’s at all. Everyone but everyone wishes the new administration all the skills and lining of the planets so this gets to happen.

    Then there is Sionil Jose, who in July 2008 wrote:

    But we have a real and insidious enemy that we must vanquish, and this enemy is worse than the intransigence of any foreign power. We are our own enemy. And we must have the courage, the will, to change ourselves.

    A few days ago, Sionil Jose mentioned one of biggest unanswered questions that he hopes (before he/Sionil Jose dies) that Ninoy to find an answer to.

  22. May 27, 2010 at 7:56 am

    “and, by the way, let’s be clear: it’s not the fault of the poor that they’re poor. it’s the fault of the rich, who know only how to get richer at the expense of the masses, which is so terribly uncreative.”

    no this isn’t about all property being theft. it’s about the rich feeding on the oppression of the poor. anyone who makes it more complicated than that is obviously happy being on the rich side of the fence. anyone who decides on dole-outs versus giving people jobs, fighting for equal and relevant pay for workers, is happily getting richer on her dole-outs. kris aquino, is that you?

  23. May 27, 2010 at 8:00 am

    a caddy earning 700 pesos per round of golf, still earns more than the P382 a day of minimum wage for the SM dept store salesgirl, the yaya in a sosyal house, the labandera who’s paid by the load. obviously, the latter would be kris’ mass market.

    i don’t question the fact that the mass worker will buy P300 lipstick, even when they might go hungry in the process. THAT is kris aquino’s fault.

  24. May 27, 2010 at 8:02 am

    ang mababaw na kaligayahan ng masang pilipino ay malinaw na dulot ng pagpapaniwala sa kanilang sapat na yan, ito na lang, wala nang ibang pupuntahan, magdasal kayo araw-araw, basta tumatawa pa kayo at nakakangiti, ok na! sinong nagbebenta sa kanila ng kalokohang ‘yon?

  25. May 27, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    @ UP n grad ;) thanks for that. sionil jose is right, the enemy is us.

  26. May 27, 2010 at 11:44 pm
    manuelbuencamino

    Ina,

    “no this isn’t about all property being theft. it’s about the rich feeding on the oppression of the poor.”

    Masyadong generalization naman yang sinulat mo.

    “a caddy earning 700 pesos per round of golf, still earns more than the P382 a day of minimum wage for the SM dept store salesgirl, the yaya in a sosyal house, the labandera who’s paid by the load. obviously, the latter would be kris’ mass market.”

    Not necessarily because not all caddies get to do a round everyday. Sometimes, during rainy season and at the height of summer, caddies are lucky if they do three rounds a week.

    “i don’t question the fact that the mass worker will buy P300 lipstick, even when they might go hungry in the process. THAT is kris aquino’s fault.”

    Did Kris force them to buy anything?

  27. May 28, 2010 at 8:27 am
    GabbyD

    @manuelbuencamino on May 27th, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    “Did Kris force them to buy anything?”

    apparently, she did. IF you believe that poor’s preferences can be changed by advertising, marketing; i.e. aping the lifestyles of the rich.

  28. May 30, 2010 at 12:02 am
    Buko-nuts & chopsuey

    guys,
    Dont blame Kris for changing the poor culure, its the Jews who invented commercial cosmetics and applied Freudian concept in advertising.

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