Be careful who you make fun of, warns this totally out-there ad for Julie’s, a local bakery chain based in the Philippines. The spot takes place at the gym, of all places, where we see a pair of middle-aged women in brightly colored spandex lifting weights in front of the mirror. That is, until a skinny dude who should probably be focusing on his own pecs starts to heckle them.
“So that’s why it smells like liniment,” he mocks when he first notices them. “Slow down, Auntie, your Cutex might get chipped. You still have to go to the market,” he giggles.
But one of the aunties takes matters into her own hands, literally, and puts him in his place. We won’t ruin the surprise, but here’s a hint: she puts his doughy body to good use. And it looks delicious! Also, we learn an important lesson: “Stop auntie shaming.”
The new ad, which meant to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Julie’s, is yet another bizarre creation from Manila-based Gigil, the agency behind nutty ads for RC Cola, Mega Tuna and Netflix.
Gigil Associate Creative Director Dionie Tanada says the idea for the campaign started with familiar stereotypes around aunties, or “titas,” as they’re called in the Philippines. “We have a love-hate relationship with aunties,” he says. "Like Karens, we have bad titas [aunties] who are known for giving unsolicited negative comments. But we have good titas, too—the progressive ones, … the kind of auntie you can confide in.” But they’re also “the ones who always get auntie-shamed for their penchant for essential oils, an affinity for Zumba and well-maintained nail polish.”
For this campaign, the agency decided to focus on the latter because being an “auntie” is the core of the Julie’s brand. “Mr. Julie Gandionco, the founder of Julie’s, was already in her 50s when she decided to start her own bakeshop,” Tanada says. “We believe that the #StopAuntieShaming campaign to celebrate Julie’s 40th anniversary is something the brand can own because it’s in its DNA. Like Julie’s, we want Pinoy [Filipino] aunties to embrace their age and prove shamers wrong. Like Julie's, they can still reach their dreams at any age.”