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The story behind Orocan’s ad of Paolo Ballesteros spoofing Heart Evangelista

By Tanya Lara Published Jan 29, 2021 11:45 pm Updated Jan 30, 2021 4:31 am

“Nakabenta kami pero di pa rin afford yung celeb,” Orocan’s newly installed billboard on NLEX reads. It features a Heart Evangelista look-alike, who is none other than actor Paolo Ballesteros, promoting a cooler and signed “Hurt” in handwriting similar to Heart’s.

The 2021 billboard is actually the follow-up to Orocan’s 2019 billboard for its Cantina water dispenser, which reads, “Bili na kayo…please! ‘Pag nakabenta kami, next time may endorser na.” Hence, the caption of the new one.

Created by Gigil, the advertising agency behind the two RC Cola viral ads, Orocan once again used spoof and self-deprecating humor to hilarious effect.

Gigil co-founder Herbert Hernandez tells PhilSTAR L!fe that they did in fact approach Heart to do the billboard in 2020 before the lockdown, “pero hindi siya pwede.”

Had Heart said yes, it would have been a great comeback to the 2019 billboard. But that didn’t stop Gigil from continuing the storyline either. If anything, it pushed them to be more creative—and to come up with another viral ad to support it.

2021 billboard with Heart Evangelista look-alike Paolo Ballesteros.  
2019 billboard. Orocan did ask Heart to do a billboard “pero hindi siya pwede.”

Hernandez says, “Nagiging mas creative ka sa mga nagiging problema along the way. Nagiging opportunity yung mga challenges na dumarating. Mindset ever since ng Gigil is to make it happen. Or maximizing what is available. Hindi kami nag-dwell sa anong hindi pwedeng gawin, kung hindi ang tanong lagi: anong pwede natin gawin?”

Directed by Marius Talampas, who also directed the RC Cola ads, the Orocan ad released two days ago shows Paolo Ballesteros giving a tour of Ms. Hurt’s house.

Ms. Hurt’s walk-in closet literally walks. 
Showing off her designer bags.

The ad was shot in October 2020. Gigil’s team scouted for a house that would pass for Heart Evangelista’s—or at least from what the public knows of her house gleaned from her social media posts and videos.

And they found a beautiful one in Antipolo owned by a businessman. It’s modern, spacious and with furniture pieces in contemporary lines and at least one heirloom piece (a beautiful wooden cabinet in the living room). You can easily imagine Heart living in this kind of space.

Gigil shot the ad in just one day with Ballesteros. There is no one this makeup maverick cannot make himself look like—but this time in an obvious parody with his exaggerated eyebrows.

If Heart Evangelista paints on her Hermes, Ms. Hurt paints on her cooler bag. 

In the ad, Ms. Hurt gives a tour of her walk-in closet after namedropping her pet “Pandog” (Heart’s dog is called Panda). When she opens the door, you see a wardrobe that’s literally walking, held by someone inside of it.

Then the video cuts to the “real” closet. “At this point, I’m going to show you my bags. They’re really expensive.”

Ms. Hurt says she designs and paints on some of them, moving from the designer bags to the far end of the shelves. “Here are some of them, the Orocan Icebox Bag,” she says, showing coolers in several sizes.

Ms. Hurt collapses after malling with the icebox as bag. “Ang bigat pala nito.” Moonstar 88 drummer Bon Sundiang plays husband Chiz Escudero.

“This is my cheapest bag since Orocan Koolit Insulated is way, way cheaper than the other competing brands.”

In the bedroom she paints the back of the cooler and proudly shows it: three stick figures of girls.

Ms. Hurt uses her cooler to go to the mall, and when she comes back home, she collapses on the floor. “Ang bigat pala nito,” she says. Moonstar 88 drummer Bon Sundiang plays Ms. Hurt’s husband (Heart’s Chiz Escudero), who rushes to her side and calls for yaya.

“That was a scary heart attack,” she says, now back in her dressing room. “Anyway, let’s see what’s inside my bag.” She opens her bag full of ice (“because it’s an icebox”) and from it she fishes out her makeup, phone, wallet and two cans of corned beef.

And, lastly, a spare heart. “So in case anything happens to me and I would need a heart replacement, they would just have to look inside my bag.”

What’s in Ms. Hurt’s bag? Two cans of corned beef and spare heart, just in case she has a heart attack again.  

Unlike RC Cola’s ads, this one is a straightforward parody and very on-brand. Orocan has spoofed other brands before with its tabo ads—like Muji’s water dipper and Apple’s AirPods. Another video spoofed home shopping networks with great results.

Hernandez says, “Orocan is always receptive to good ideas. Siya yung 10 minutes lang mag-approve ng ideas, tapos minor comments lagi.”

Heart Evangelista has reacted to the billboard on her Instagram Stories. It shows a video driving by it with the caption, “Omg, Orocan…don’t be ‘hurt’ na.”

In the end, they did get the celebrity too. Somewhat.