MANILA, Philippines — Being 40 and a "tita" should not be a cause for ridicule or stereotyping. That was the message of Julie's Bakeshop as it dropped its 40th year anniversary commercial on April 5 that had netizens talking.
It all begins with a man with his abs highlighted to look toned coming into a gym. Upon seeing two ladies in their aerobics outfit, the man remarks, "Kaya pala amoy liniment dito. Tita, sa kabila 'yung aerobics."
He earns glances from the two ladies working out in a corner. When they don't stop, the man continues making snide remarks. Enter a lady in yellow with red headband, looking like the famous bakeshop's logo.
"Tsk, tsk. Tita-shamer ka ha," she says and then proceeds to mash the man's head, which turned into a soft and pliable dough. The next scene features the man, who is now a dough, being kneaded and cut into smaller pieces.
Amid it all, his eyes and mouth pop out of the dough and he continues to say crude remarks towards the ladies. He does not stop until the lady in yellow puts in the tray inside the oven.
When the batch of bread is done, the lady in yellow holds the tray of freshly baked pandesal in front of her.
She remarks, "Dati, abs lang niya ang pandesal. Ngayon, buong katawan na. Kaya #StopTitaShaming."
The next frame features Julie's 40 years logo with the hashtag #StopTitaShaming. A voiceover can be heard saying, "Kasi pwedeng fresh pa rin kahit 40 na. Julie's."
The ad is made by Gigil, the same ad agency that made the viral RC Cola commercials last year.
"Get you a woman like Tita Julie! Strong, independent, at magaling mag-masa! #StopTitaShaming #JuliesFreshAt40," tweeted the bakeshop (@iwantJulies) with the video.
The tweets so far have 254 likes, 130 quote tweets and 63 retweets as of press time.
Marc San Juan, the bakeshop's national marketing head, explained in a statement the rationale behind the ad: “When you say ‘Tita,’ it doesn't automatically mean you’re talking about women who are stuffy and formal. Titas can be cool and very dynamic.”
He shared that the company's founder Julie Gandionco was already in her 50s when she started her bakeshop. The bakeshop was founded in 1981 in Mandaue City, Cebu. It now has over 487 bakeshops across the country.
Netizens had mixed reactions. Some found it "weird" or "cringy" while contemplating if they will ever want to eat a piece of bread after watching the commercial.
"Natakot tuloy ako sa pandesal ng Julies," wrote @BTSPhotoThread.
There were others who mentioned RC Cola, a brand of soda that had similarly weird commercials released last year and early this year. Some wanted a crossover or collaboration with RC Cola.
"Nauna na yung panulak, heto na ang pambara. Hahaha!" said Kyle Edward Bilason (@bilason_kyle).
Netizen @akaashifilms chose to share his observation on the making of the commercial.
"Okay but the attention to detail in this ad? The way the voice gets muffled when Tita Julie runs her hand along the dough and when the buns were put in the oven? The director made good use of silence, and I love that. Hindi awkward. Ang galing! This made my night," the netizen wrote.
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