The early 80's Close-up Kiss
The 80's Close-up kiss is quick and to the point. It is also - at its best - not supposed to be malicious or else, they wouldn't have gotten cherub-faced Gabby Concepcion to be in it.
Take note though that this advertisement is circa B.G. and B.C. (Before Grace Ibuna) and (Before Cuneta, Sharon) and before everyone discovered that Gabby Concepcion had the capacity to be a very prolific "sperm donor" (note that this is the actual term used by Grace Ibuna).
Look at the ad! He didn't even give anyone a kiss but it was the girl who did the kissing - on the cheek! - and perfunctorily too, while a young Gabby pretends nothing happened (just like in real life?). Also, the commercial is playing it safe by making the girl do the kissing and not the guy. A guy, after all, is not supposed to take advantage of a girl. Or at least that is what Close-up wants us to think.
(It made me remember a conversation I overheard between two male young adult tambays outside our house.
Male young adult: Pare ba't walang lalakeng nagrereklamong ni-rape sya ng babae? Pag pumunta ka pa sa pulis sinabi mo "Ni-rape ako ng babae" pagtatawanan ka lang ng pulis. Iisipin bakla ka pa. Di ba? Bat lagi na lang babae?)
In another early 80's Close-Up commercial - and again with cherub-faced Gabby Concepcion - there is no kissing shown,
just the possibility that it would definitely occur as seen by - again - the guy's excitement upon seeing a new gorgeous ingenue. See how close they are and how both are liking it?
Still, they do not kiss. They are not supposed to. It is too early. This is the early 80's. This was highly likely before Madonna, before P.S. I Love You and before Boy George. So if being covered up in the neck while doing aerobics is the in-thing amidst Manila's 37 degrees C tropical climate, so be it. And notice the ingenue's skirt length. Is that below the knee or above the Achilees heel?
Close-Up Kissing in the mid-80's
Though this commercial was officially shown during the Madonna (post-Like-a-Virgin) era and probably during the height of noontime show Lunch Date's popularity, mainstream commercials seem to be stuck in the paper roses romance of the 1960's.
This now classic commercial - and song - is considered by many as the quintessential Close-Up commercial. It is so well-liked it was remade in 2008.
Compare the original ad with its remake and see how the mid-80's commercial is more sweet, sentimental and - in today's worldview - prude compared to its later version.
In the original, observe how the man and the woman took their sweet time getting to know each other:
first thing they did was bump at each other accidentally and show their pearly white smile,
then they called each other up (and shared the news to their ecstatic friends),
then went out on a date,
then gave each other gifts
and then horsed around - literally - as normal daters usually do at that time.
The point of all these was to show that they are giving each other tons of "time (AND MORE THAN) just a little more time" before they would get close and closer.
But flash forward to its 2009 remake and voila!
The man (Gerald Anderson) and woman (Kim Chiu) meet and then smile at each other.
There is more drama inserted in the ad as the man struggles to introduce himself to the woman. But all eventually fail.
Even when both become physically close, they couldnt seem to find the right words to say to each other except a curt "Hi" and "Bye." Apparently, the Facebook era has made it easier for them to end up together by making the man climb on desks and sing in public to which his would-be girlfriend would then catch his drift and allow herself to be kissed - because in this PinoyBigBrother culture of watching and being watched, it is more embarrassing to not return his public display of affection than to call his over-the-top efforts weird.
Did you notice that the first time they actually meet is the first time they also kiss? - it is not explicitly shown but we are left to put the pieces together and we know they do smooch. There was no lengthy getting-to-know phase required, no dating necessary, no gift-giving.
They all skipped those rituals and went straight to kissing (or probably clicking each other's like button on Facebook).
Close-up kissing in the 1990's
Now this Close-up commercial I distinctly remember because - back then - I was old enough to comprehend the idea of kissing and also knowledgeable enough to vaguely have an idea of what love is supposed to be.
Also, this commercial is a fairly successful attempt to repeat the success of the Closer You and I commercial. This 90's ad showed that a kiss is merely Just a Smile Away.
This ad is uncannily spot-on with what a woman goes through when she - unbeknownst to her - has a gay boyfriend.
You don't believe me?
First off, who's the dude in this picture?
Or in this?
Is it a coincidence that the girl they chose for the ad who has the most adorable Close-Up smile is short-haired? and from afar, looks like a dude?
Still, that's not the point. When I re-watched this commercial - now with more knowledgeable eyes - I can't help but be intrigued with this dude's expression in the first few seconds of the ad.
Watching the rest of it, my mind suddenly paralleled the expressions the dude on this ad made to the ones I saw from a male friend who later outed himself as gay.
My suspicions were confirmed when I discovered that the guy in this ad is 90's hearthrob Robbie Tarroza who later in his career revealed that he is gay (and was even voted Mr. Congeniality in the 2006 Mr. Gay International pageant).
That would explain this look:
and why he was more excited when the Tempura came.
Watch the height of those eyebrows, I couldnt understand how Tempura could be that exciting.
That would also explain the girl's antsy look. You would get antsy too if your "boyfriend" finds Tempura more exciting than you.
And why he would rather hold your hand, hug and make your foreheads kiss, not your lips.
That would also explain why he's not in a hurry to kiss you and would rather give you a "smile (THAT) blows a kiss into (YOUR) heart" because he knows something you don't.
When they do kiss in the end - he's even talking (to delay the inevitable) - we're not shown their actual kiss but we know they do.
Close-up kissing in 1992
Kissing up-close in 1992 is relatively still the same. But because their target market is younger, the makers of the ad had to hold off raging hormones and make the event sort of like a play-date.
After the accidental meet, the getting to know stage is laid out in full color. They blow bubbles, bike around, clown around, hold hands. But they don't kiss though since the characters are still in their teens - and the target market is too.
Still, the "getting to know stage" is obviously evident you could actually spell the words backwards
Close-up kissing in 2010
But in 2010, all it takes is 30 seconds, 30 seconds! to establish rapport with someone he or she has just met. A would-be relationship blossoms in real-time. It is quick, inexpensive and happens in one place.
There is no date.
There is no calling.
No sharing with friends or Facebook or singing.
There is no talking even. Just a furtive glance at first, then a very brief pursuit and finally a mutual understanding both agree on.
Close-up says, why prolong it anyway?
Close-up can only make what the public is ready to accept, doing so makes it easy for the public to buy their toothpaste.
What then is Close-up telling us about us?