Throwback: 10 Celebrity Commercials Before They Were Super Famous

Baby-faced Solenn Heussaff, Coleen Garcia, Sam Milby, and more!
PHOTO: (LEFT TO RIGHT) INSTAGRAM/SOLENN, POP COLA

These days, social media has made it pretty easy for "normal" people to get thrust into the limelight. There are stars who go about it the longer way, like being born into a showbiz family or being discovered through auditions and reality shows. Then there are these celebrities who went with a more unconventional route: TV commercials. We round up 10 famous faces who appeared in commercials that will still ring a bell...even today.  

1. Marian Rivera

Before she was hailed as the Kapuso Primetime Queen, Marian Rivera got her start in showbiz as a TV commercial model. One of her earliest appearances was an ad for Sky Flakes in 2005, where she played a hangry girlfriend stuck in rainy, rush-hour traffic with her boyfriend.

2. Nikki Gil

In 2005, Nikki Gil made a lasting impression with her sweet vocals when she sang an original song called "Sana" for Coca-Cola. (We still don't know how she managed to walk around with so many heavy Coke bottles in her bag.) After her breakthrough, she landed hosting gigs on ASAP and MYX, as well as starred in several teleserye projects. Today, Nikki has taken a break from showbiz to enjoy married life with BJ Albert.

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3. Toni Gonzaga

Before Toni Gonzaga's name was synonymous to lovable rom-coms and dramas, she made "I love you, Piolo!" a household phrase in 2001. Her memorable one-liner to her future leading man quickly led to plenty of projects and hosting gigs. 

4. Ryan Agoncillo

Toni isn't the only celebrity who skyrocketed to fame through Sprite. Ryan Agoncillo was part of the brand's "Magpakatotoo ka" campaign, where he was featured stuck in an elevator and trying to hit on Patricia Javier. These days, Ryan is a doting dad to his kids with Judy Ann Santos, and he still actively hosts TV shows. 

5. Coleen Garcia

In 2009, a 17-year-old Coleen Garcia caught John Lloyd Cruz's eye in an ad for Skin White. She followed this up with a few more commercials; including Nestea in 2010, where she dumped her admirer played by Neil Coleta, and Lewis and Pearl cologne where she charmed Enrique Gil.

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6. Solenn Heussaff

Before Solenn Heussaff became an It Girl, she starred in a 2003 commercial for Pop Cola (remember those?), where she played a nerdy-turned-hot girl. The ad featured some very memorable taglines, including "Konting lugay, konting bawas, konting dagdag." 

7. Georgina Wilson

Like her BFF, Georgina Wilson's career also started in modeling. One of her earliest TV appearances was an ad for Pond's that aired in 2004, thus leading to a long string of commercials and modeling. These days, Georgina still actively models for brands like Bench, Maybelline, and her own Sunnies Studios. 

8. Rico Yan

In 1997, Rico Yan was just an adorable, dimpled teenager who caught the public's eye in an Eggnog commercial. The ad was practically foreshadowing his future as a heartthrob: it featured two girls ranking boys who passed by them using Eggnog biscuits as points. When it was Rico's turn, the catchphrase was "Grabe! Isang box!" 

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9. Isabel Oli

In 2004, Isabel Oli starred alongside Piolo Pascual in a series of popular commercials for Max's Restaurant. It followed a story of two childhood friends who are torn apart, despite their mutual promise to always be together. Years later, their characters would meet again in-where else?-a Max's Restaurant. It didn't take long until Isabel began landing one project after another. 

10. Sam Milby

Before Sam Milby joined Pinoy Big Brother in 2005, he already made a name for himself when he starred in a commercial-slash-music video for Closeup alongside musician Barbie Almalbis. The two try and fail to find each other throughout the day until finally, at the end, he sits in a bus and realizes he's sitting beside her. Cue that famous smile. 

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