March 8, 2016
AlDub Update: The Appeal Of Alden Richards And Maine Mendoza Only Growing Stronger As 'Eat Bulaga' Phenomena Goes On

AlDub has defied all expectations by stretching out the love story of Alden and Yaya Dub for months, and now the stars, Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza, are becoming two of the biggest stars in the history of the Philippines

The characters were brought together on the popular noontime show Eat Bulaga, which late last summer began the saga of the star-crossed lovers. The show had an immediate explosion of popularity, with fans tweeting the daily hashtag million of times and more than eight million viewers tuning in each day.

But as early as the fall, critics began questioning just how long the show could maintain its popularity and how long fans could tune in for the near-misses and obstacles thrown in the path of Alden and Yaya Dub. The answer, it appears, might be forever.

As it stretches on beyond eight months now, AlDub is just as popular as ever, and Maine Mendoza and Alden Richards have become mega-stars.

The Inquirer noted that the stars are now on billboards and print ads for more than 40 brands.

"In just seven months since its debut on TV in July 2015, AlDub's combined earnings have reached P200 million—based on conservative estimates by sources interviewed by Inquirer Lifestyle.

"Alden commands a higher amount than Maine, a source who requested anonymity said: 'Mga P5 million si Alden, P1.5 million si Maine.'

"Those figures, according to the source, became standard rates after AlDub's series of McDonald's TV ads were enthusiastically received by the public.

"For Alden's 555 Carne Norte and Maine's 555 Sardines endorsements, each was paid 'definitely seven figures,' said another source. 'The rates were reasonable, relative to their popularity.'"

The incredible appeal of AlDub is thanks entirely to the on-screen chemistry between Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza. The two play such a believable couple on Eat Bulaga that many had come to think that they were dating in real life as well.

For their part, Alden and Maine have played up the rumors a bit, adding a bit of mystery to what is happening between the two when the cameras are turned off.

"We are not closing our doors on what's going to happen next between the two of us… We are both single anyways," said Mendoza last year.

"So that possibility is possible," added Richards.

Eat Bulaga director Joey Reyes said that there is no way to match the chemistry the two have on screen.

"They're very good friends. The thing is, they have chemistry, which some other love teams—regardless of marketing—cannot achieve," Reyes told the Inquirer.

Along the way, their chemistry became irresistible not only to the legion of AlDub fans but also to advertisers. Ben Chan, the chair of Suyen Corp., said the amazing appeal of the AlDub segment stood out to him immediately, and he advocated for his company to make them Bench models.

"Bench has always chosen endorsers who capture the zeitgeist, the current mood of pop culture," Chan told the Inquirer. "And if there's any local show that embodies 'Pinoy pop culture and love local,' it's got to be a 40-year-old institution like 'Eat Bulaga.'"

Chan said there was a bit of reservation, but when the couple finally met in public for the first time at "Tamang Panahon," the company couldn't say no.

"The clamor from our market to have them at Bench made this project more exciting," he said. "It's all about perfect timing — tamang panahon."

There could still be more room for the AlDub phenomena to grow and for Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza to blossom into even bigger stars. One advertising expert told the Inquirer that Alden is just starting to see his potential as a singer, and the two could be headed for some bigger television and movie cross-overs as well.

[Image via Facebook/TNT]