ANNE Curtis is probably the Philippines’ version of America’s sweetheart in the mold of Julia Roberts and Sandra Bullock during their prime. Pretty and bubbly, she projects the image of a fun-loving girl, who also happens to be intelligent, articulate and willing to go daring and sexy when the occasion calls for it.
Because of her broad reach, a rare combination of class and mass appeal, it’s no wonder she has become the favorite endorser of companies producing goods as diverse as gin, condo units, shampoo, beauty soap, moisturizer, canned tuna and even corned beef.
Off the top of my head, she currently endorses at least 10 different products. I’d dare say that not even Sharon Cuneta and Kris Aquino, two of the country’s erstwhile hottest endorsers, could match Anne today.
As for Sarah Geronimo, she’ll forever be a princess to Anne, the undisputed queen of endorsers. The girl’s presence is ubiquitous—from billboards to buses, supermarket aisles to storefronts, primetime TV to glossy magazines.
It’s this omnipresence, full lips, big hair and all, which has ultimately made me sick of her. While stewing in traffic along Edsa, for instance, all I see are images of Anne stuck on buses, as she peddles either Loreal shampoo or, dressed in evening gowns, one of SMDC’s numerous residential projects.
When I turn my head up to get some breather, there she is again summoning her charm as she pushes all sorts of products designed to make people part with their money.
Even a clean, well-lighted place such as a supermarket offers no respite from her, as her visage occasionally pops up in the form of colorful posters positioned in such a way that they peek out from shelves to catch my attention.
The same is true in malls, where giant photographs of her are splashed on storefronts of RTW brand Folded and Hung and shoe brand Primadonna.
My goodness, she’s like the female version of Big Brother. No, not the stupid one we get to hear every week on TV, but the more sinister Orwellian variety. You can certainly try running away from her, but you won’t be able to hide for long.
I’m not exaggerating. My folks and I regularly do our groceries at Shopwise in Alabang on weekends, and there was a time when I purposely avoided a particular spot there. Set in the middle of one of the store’s biggest and busiest aisles was a makeshift TV playing a video of Anne singing in her trademark voice promoting Palmolive beauty soap. It went on and on like a loop.
It was intriguing at first, but like all videos of such nature, it didn’t take long before I found it irritating. Such was my relief when it was yanked off from the store for good a few weeks later.
It’s the same thing when you watch TV. It has become a tossup between her and John Lloyd Cruz, as they hog primetime spots with their string of TVCs (TV commercials). Wala na bang iba? Do they really use all these products? What’s more, after lending their names to so many brands before swiftly shifting to competing brands as soon as old contracts expire, do people still believe them?
Am I being unfair to the Philippines’ sweetheart? After all, there was a time when all we were subjected to after Sharon’s reign as the country’s top endorser was Kris, followed by Piolo Pascual, and, for a time, Judy Ann Santos. Maybe.
A bitch of a friend put it into perspective: “Advertisers know what they’re doing,” she said. “Otherwise, they wouldn’t have tapped Anne to endorse their products. You’re not just the market of those products she’s endorsing.”
Indeed, it’s certainly not Anne’s fault if I can’t afford to buy a condo unit. I’ll probably have more luck slipping into a pair of Primadonna shoes. I wonder, though, if they have it in my favorite color.
Still, as a motorist, observer and consumer, I also have the right to complain, don’t I? After all, like the sun shining on both the good and the bad, Anne’s onslaught affects and reaches everyone, whether or not you’re the target market.
I’d like to make one thing clear. My virtual irritation towards her is certainly not personal. Although I doubt if she could still remember me, I had a good time interviewing her and her younger sister Jasmine more than a year ago for a magazine’s cover story.
I was soon won over by Anne’s humility, self-effacing humor and ability to answer even the most delicate questions with poise. She came off not only as grounded, but also as a responsible big sister to the newbie Jasmine.
It’s just that one can only take so much of a star, no matter how charismatic or effective he or she is as an endorser. And my capacity to take in more of Anne has just about reached its limits.