Let’s compare these two photos. Both of them feature topless male celebrities but in different contexts. The first one is Survivor Philippines Season 1 winner JC Tiuseco and 2010 Miss Universe 4th runner up Maria Venus Raj for Gold’s Gym.
I think it is just right for Tiuseco to show off his abs in this billboard since after all, the gym he is endorsing has to convince its target market that being one of their members is well worth it. As we all know, membership in so-called “celebrity gyms” usually costs thousands of pesos each month. The purpose of the billboard is clear: be a Gold’s Gym member and you can have the body like that of JC Tiuseco (or Ms Raj). What about this one?
This is a billboard for Highland Corned Beef, a relatively new brand in that product line long dominated by Argentina and Purefoods Chunkee. The five hunks in the billboard are Jake Cuenca, James Younghusband, Paul Soriano, Luke Landrigan, and Angelo Cacciatore.
According to an article in OrangeMagazineTV.com, the five were chosen because they represent the “new breed” in their respective fields. Is that so? The real reason might be this: the marketers of Highland Corned Beef know too well that having beefcakes endorse the new corned beef brand will certainly make the latter more attention-grabbing. But in doing so, they fail to note that the endorsers may have overshadowed the product itself.