the good and the bad have affected manny villar’s run for the presidency.
the good, his advertising and marketing campaigns that he started ahead of everyone else, way before the official campaign period have pushed him from nowhere to catch up and tie noynoy aquino at the polls who entered the campaign as the dominant run away front runner in this election.
villar’s rise to within a shot of winning the presidency was a nurtured one, built around savvy ads, well-planned and well-thought out strategies behind billions of campaign funds.
until the bad hit his campaign and quickly pulled his ratings to a spiralling downward trend to now tied at 2nd or 3rd behind erap estrada, the convicted criminal who is again running for president.
unfortunately, the bad was his own doing. this bad is “backlash”, things that you do intended to hurt your opponent but recoils back and returns to you and hurts you instead. the villar campaign launched a string of these moves which unfortunately were all done towards the last part of the campaign where there might not be enough time to recover from their mistakes.
this is founded on what we think is a very unfortunate strategic choice that the campaign has chosen on how to handle negative developments to the villar campaign.
the first indication of this unfortunate strategic choice was on the C-5 corruption scandal. villar chose the strategy of not confronting the issue at the stage where it began. villar chose not to attend the senate hearings and instead on his own and separate from the senate hearings went on a media campaign answering questions on the controversy that were lodged at him at the senate floor in other venues and press briefings outside of the senate floor.
they must have thought that what is more important is public perception in general over what is happening at the senate floor. villar is running for president, answering the questions raised at the senate are best re-shaped and handled as the messages go out to the public.
there are two problems with that strategy. first, not tackling the issue at the senate itself will mean allowing it to continue to progress at the senate floor and reach it’s conclusion on it’s own unhampered. second, and this is the fatal one – while they are doing their counter attacks and defence at the public opinion stage, it does not necessarily mean they are being erased in the minds of the public. they may be able to answer all the points raised in the senate but all of these are deposited in the consciousness of the public as data points. they can be deposited in their minds as neutral points as they are able to answer them but they are nevertheless there and latent.
what came next was the Villarroyo charge that mar roxas first said in a press conference. the C-5 corruption scandal plus Villarroyo we think was the beginning of the end of the villar presidential bid.
villarroyo is more than a play in names, it is we think one of the most powerful words used in the 2010 election. the word crystallized in the minds of the voters their greatest fear and greatest dislike not only in this election but in the country in general - arroyo. (read here: Villarroyo – the most powerful word of the 2010 election)
at the start, this election has been called an election of “good vs. evil”. we think the villar campaign forgot that as it is really an election of “good vs evil” until now.
the name “arroyo” has become to mean to the people everything that is wrong, bad, immoral and not right about the country and where it is going. romulo neri, one of arroyo’s eco guru was right when he said ”arroyo is evil”.
one of the most enduring definition of “evil” is corruption. a large percentage of the people think arroyo is corrupt or has been involved in corruption. surveys also say arroyo as seen by the people is one of the most corrupt president of the country, next to ferdinand marcos.
when mar roxas introduced villarroyo to the public mind, something simply clicked in the minds of voters – villar is just like arroyo, evil itself.
the handling and approach taken by villar of the C-5 corruption scandal reminded us villar may not only be the candidate that arroyo supports but he can be as corrupt as arroyo is. the charge on villar on the C-5 controversy was that he used his position and power for personal gain, something the people have always suspected of doing all the time.
more than that, villar was not facing the issue at the senate. he did everything and anything to find an excuse not to face his accusers at the senate.
that is also an arroyo tactic. she did that during the NBN-ZTE scandal where she prevented neri from testifying at the senate on the matter by hiding under the skirt of immunity from testifying. more than that event, arroyo had used the numbers she owned in congress to prevent the congressional hearings on the impeachment cases lodged on hr for some years.
with the villarroyo name solid in the minds of voters, villar’s ratings started to decline.
unfortunately, the villar campaign seemed to have taken another blunder in their strategic choices from that point on. the campaign decided to get into a black propaganda binge against its opponents and their prime target was noynoy aquino who is the front runner in this election.
noynoy aquino as the target of their black propaganda is a sensible choice. he is the front runner and it makes sense to do so. we do not completely discredit the value of black propaganda in elections because it has some use and value but it is totally wrong to do black propaganda that is not founded on the truth and one that is traceable back to the originator of the black propaganda.
the double psyche reports which were quickly proven as false and fabricated are prime examples of black propaganda gone bad and giving a backlash to the originator.
both were traced to members of the nationalista party as originators. the two sources of the first bogus psyche report according to abs-cbn were from members of the nationalista party and the second most recent one is guido delgado, former National Power Corporation president and villar supporter.
why in the world delgado called a press conference on a psyche he was not sure was real is something we cannot comprehend. delgado called the press conference to release it to the media and asked them to verify its authenticity. it does not take rocket science to figure out that if his psyche report was proven to be bogus, it will for sure backfire on the villar campaign, not to mention blotch his name as the idiot who released the bogus psyche report.
we assume that being a supporter, he intends to help manny villar get elected. but because of what he did, he actually hurt the villar campaign rather than help it. he did not hurt noynoy aquino in any way, in fact aquino comes out here as victim of an injustice but he did solidify the villar campaign’s image as the doer of evil.
the bogus psyche reports, two of them, both traceable to manny villar’s political party goes back to rest on trust or in this case the withdrawal of trust on a candidate. the C-5 corruption controversy may have not been proven as true in the minds of voters, but it did put a question mark of trust in the minds of voters.
the addition of villarroyo to that for sure put in a bigger question mark of trust if not an outright suspicion of corruption on villar in the minds of voters. trust is something the filipino people have completely removed from arroyo, the country’s president. surveys show us that arroyo’s trust ratings have always been on the negative from quarter to quarter since the poll have been started. next to corruption and performance rating, trust is one of the most major negatives of arroyo.
with the bogus psyche reports traceable to villar (one idiot even came out in the open), trust was also removed by the people. trust was what arroyo lost in the hello garci scandal. at the start of the scandal, she kept denying all of it. but when things got pretty intense and the outcry just ready to explode, she eventually admitted she did have the “hello, garci” talk. that alone got all of us to remove trust on arroyo. it did not matter that arroyo apologized on national tv for her hello garci sin, trust once removed is gone forever.
and that is probably one of the lessons that villar will learn from this whole episode. when the people removed its trust on him, everything and anything that he did afterwards the people will always be suspicious of. it does not help that he not only did things that made us question trusting villar, he did things that told us not to trust him. having bogus psyche reports told us that in a most eloquent manner.
at some point, most specially in the last few weeks of the campaign, the villar campaign we think has lessened to a large degree if not completely stopped generating goodwill among the voters. instead of goodwill, the villar campaign with it’s efforts at black propaganda generated mistrust and suspicion both from their own doing and as a result of the backlash of what they have been doing.
the juan ponce enrile and erap estrada expose on the VLL-PSE scandal is one example of how backlash has hurt the villar campaign.
estrada embarked on the expose at this late stage of the campaign as they probably agreed with our assessment that of all the presidentiables, villar’s supporters are the most susceptible to being pirated.
read previous posts:
enrile on the other hand did it as a backlash from their previous fights in the senate on the C-5 corruption scandal. together with jamby madrigal, enrile was one of the key figures in the C-5 probe in the senate. we suppose enrile just could not let it go that villar got away with it at the senate. he just felt he needed to get to villar one last time and this time it will also help estrada, his party mate.
the fact is all the negative campaign thrown at noynoy aquino has not worked at all and there is a long list of these things from almost all sorts of topics and angles. it is a laundry list from the personal to public, from the intimate, the mundane up to the serious. but with all of that, none has actually stuck nor has it hurt aquino.
this should have been realized by the villar campaign a long time ago. aside from not learning this lesson, the villar campaign, and perhaps this is the biggest blunder of them all, has forgotten that what got manny villar to rise to tieing aquino at front runner status in the polls was positive campaigning, not negative campaigning.
manny villar rose to tie aquino in the polls behind a large dose of good advertising, good strategies and good events and all of them were positive. all these efforts put villar in a good light and all of them ignored and did not even mention his opponents. changing that strategy to what it is now, close to the ending of the campaign, to negative campaigning and black propaganda is hurting the chances of manny villar to win the presidency.
in a “good vs evil” election, villar unfortunately moved to the side of evil from his previous side of good.
we are publishing here an email we received from a reader, carlo arvisu who is a marketing and advertising practitioner.
election polls is the rage these days – it is the stuff of newspaper headlines and tv newscasts. presidentiables are asked about them and predictably those in the lead are thankful for the results while those at the bottom or not improving are all against it casting doubt on the results by attacking the research agency, those who commissioned the poll and the methodology.
the irony of it all is that most of the major candidates and even the laggards actually subscribe to the election polls we read in the papers. the election polls conducted by SWS and Pulse Asia are syndicated polls. they run this on their own but they make available to the candidates its results on a subscription basis. not only can candidates subscribe to it, anyone else who has the money can subscribe to them.
the rate of subscription vary on the kind of service a presidentiable wants. the rates differ on how the presidentiables want the results presented to them or what results they want to have.
the biggest clients of research agencies are mass consumer marketing companies like uni-lever, jollibee and procter & gamble, although they use other research agencies like TNS and AC Nielsen. SWS and Pulse Asia do these types of research but very seldom, their specialization is polls on political and national issues.
the problem with surveys and research both for mass consumer marketing companies and presidential campaigns is how to answer two questi0ns, the last one being - what do we do, what steps do we take as a reaction to the research results.
research and polls give a snapshot or a profile of the consumer mind and voters mind at a certain point in time. the consumer and voter mind is a living thing, it is dynamic and can change in whatever direction in no time depending on the stimulus or what the voter or consumer experience.
change in the consumer mind may not happen often and not as quickly but change in the voter mind can happen very often and very quickly. current events is the stimulus for this change and current can mean something yesterday, today or in a few hours time.
with readily available , evolving news reported and brought to the consciousness of voters, change in the voter mind can occur in a beat. we not only have tv, radio and print now, there is the internet, the social websites, blogs and even cellphone text. all of the above can influence the voter mind in an instant.
we saw the power of instant communication during EDSA DOS where hundreds of thousands of people exchanged cell phone text to express their disgust on the developments regarding the unopened brown envelope during estrada’s hearings at congress. from disgust, the text content turned into people asking others to converge at EDSA and that led to the eventual ouster of estrada.
having the data gives the political campaign a picture of the current state of mind of the voter. with a picture in front of you, you can now plot your actions to change that picture.
the problem is very few know how to do it properly. that problem is not limited to political campaigns but it is also true to mass consumer marketing companies.
knowing what to do or not knowing what to do is actually the second of two questions. the first question is this – what is the meaning of the poll results? and the twin question which is more important – what are the insights that we can draw from these results?
research and poll agencies will give the subscriber results, basically statements or answers to the questions asked of the respondents with corresponding numbers or ratings. these are in essence the statistically analyzed raw data. the poll and research agency will not give them the meanings and more importantly the insights from the data.
the data will need interpretation and that is supposed to be done by the client. and there lie the other problem. even mass consumer marketing companies are not very good at this, in fact many of these companies do not even have competencies to do this. we do not think political campaigns have these as well.
insights is a very elusive thing for many. in fact the marketing and advertising managers we have encountered do not really know what insights are. many of them think research data and results are already insights. when they are really just raw data that they will need to draw insights from.
the political campaign now has the data from the polls, what will they do with it now? this is next in part 2.
~~ a mindscape landmark ~~
Memo To: Bro. Eddie Villanueva,
we like to call your attention to the performance of your communication team specific to the august 21 announcement of your candidacy for the president.
that day is probably the most important day of your candidacy for the presidency. it is the most important as it is the day that you will most probably get a lot of good media coverage plus it is the first time that you will be harnessing the strength of your followers. you want to use that day to fire up your supporters and with the help of media create momentum for your candidacy.
it is actually of communicating important messages to the public and your supporters. communication is the most important component of that day. unfortunately, your communication team failed you.
based on the PDI article that reported your announcement day, you were running on the platform based on 7Es, but it listed only 6Es, we wrote about it here and we quite what we wrote: (read more here: http://wp.me/snw03-2266):
he announced he is running on a platform of 7Es:
3. educating the people
4. elevating living standards
5. eradicating bad governance
6. establishing peace in the land
oops, wait a minute – that was only 6 points! we wonder if the PDI reporter was an error here or was it bro. eddie who may have forgotten another word that starts with the letter “e”? now, we’re even more worried.
a reader of this blog made a comment, giving us the complete 7Es (same link, a reader with username “honey” http://wp.me/snw03-2266:
* Empower the Filipinos
* Emancipate the Filipinos
* Educate the Filipinos
* Elevate the standard of living
* Energize the economy
* Eradicate corruption
* Establish peace in the land
we had asked ” honey ” to give us the link where she got the 7Es, no reply yet.
the list given to us by honey did not match with what was published at PDI. these were not in the PDI article:
- ”energize the economy”
- ”eradicate corruption”
in the PDI article, it says “eradicating bad governance”, we wonder if this is supposed to be “eradicate corruption” instead?
this is not just semantics, but bad governance is not the same as corruption. one is broader and includes the other.
publishing one missing E at the PDI it may have been an error by the writer of PDI, but given the other error, the different wordings, it looks like you communication team is not doing its job properly.
the biggest incompetence of your communicati0n team is it did not prepare a press kit for distribution to the media. or if it did, it was badly done.
for such a big event, it is Communication 101 to prepare and distribute press kits to all media to make sure they get the message correctly and consistently. a PDI writer getting it wrong means the communication team did not prepare a press kit. writers ALWAYS refer to the press kit for accuracy when they write their articles, they do not solely rely on what they hear during the event.
i did not listen to tour speech, so it is possible you forgot to mention the 7th E and said the wrong term on the other. the press kit would have given the reporter the correct words and number even if you made an error in your speech. that is the value of the press kit and a competent communication team.
having the PDI article call it as “eradicate bad governance” to mean “eradicate corruption” is also another major Communication 101 incompetence. there are significant differences in the meanings of those terms. given the difference meanings, action steps or program actions are also different.
communicating the wrong message or being inconsistent in the messages is a most serious incompetence in communication. we appreciate your effort at articulating your philosophies or platform, we think that is what all candidates should do, but your communication team has done you harm.
bro. eddie, we think these are major infractions that should lead you to fire your communication team. get rid of them now when you are at the very start of your campaign, they might make more major errors in the future, the time when you need them the most.
Memo to: Presidentiable Mar Roxas,
Mr. Roxas, we did hear president arroyo say these things about you:
The President minced no words against Senator Manuel Roxas, a presidential aspirant who had been criticizing her over the implementation of the cheaper medicines law.
“To those who want to be President, this advice: If you really want something done, just do it, do it hard, do it well, don’t pussy-foot, don’t say bad words in public,” she said.
Arroyo said her support for the tougher version of the law at the House of Representatives over the weaker version of the Senate, spearheaded by Roxas, resulted in a 50-percent cut in the prices of 16 essential drugs.
We understand that those are words that should have not been uttered by the president of the country to a senator. We also understand that you probably felt stung by it.
But we have this to say to you – shut the fuck up!
We advise you to let it go. We think that should you find the need to say something, say something magnanimous and with prime statemanship. Show the country you are no longer the angry man we saw say “putang ina” in a rally of thousands in makati.
Take pride in the fact that you are one of the few presidentiables that arroyo felt the need to mention in her SONA. That can only mean you have been effective in your stand on arroyo and in particular the low priced medicine law.
Arroyo unwittingly made you appear as the front runner for the presidentiable election in 2010.
Letting it go or giving a reply with humility and statemanship will improve your image.
Please Mr. Roxas, do not forget for now, shut the fuck up!
Mr. Mar Roxas;
We suggest you send President Arroyo a beautiful bouquet of roses tomorrow morning as a thank you. That will earn you many points.
Take the opposite side of what arroyo showed in her SONA – be a gentleman and show humility. You do not need to say anything. Just send her the flowers and sign your name.
Take arroyo’s uncalled for tirade against you (and the opposition) in a very different tact. What she said was uncalled for and did at all fit the spirit and intent of the SONA. Make her appear as evil.
Dear Mr. Perlas,
I have read your webpage, well some of it, and I have to admit that although the things you say and things you will do sound sexy to me, I honestly can’t say i actually understand most of them. I get a sense they are good things but I am too afraid to go on and read them past the first 17 sentences. For some, it scares the hell out of me to read beyond the title of the things you write.
I am afraid as I feel I might not understand any of it and that I might end up using so much of my time going through the dictionary or the thesaurus trying to pick up your meaning.
I often feel you need to really write (and speak?) in either English or Tagalog. I prefer the first, but I will handle the second. After reading 3 sets of 17 sentences, it makes me wonder what kind of foreign language you use in your blog.
I also want to attend your meetings to observe and to understand you better. But even on that I am afraid to go to. I don’t have my passport right now, I do know a passport is required to go to a foreign land and I might not get admitted to your meetings.
Sir, I hope you will take our advise – please kindly speak in English or Tagalog.
PS: we think nicanor perlas suffers from ADS? Sindrome. click here for more: http://the-wawam-file.blogspot.com/2008/08/wawam-launches-ano-daw-sabi-ads.html
Dear Senator Mar Roxas,
We read in the newspapers that you plan to attend the anti con-ass rally set tomorrow in Makati. We are very worried for you.
If you attend this rally, Mr. Roxas – shut the fuck up! oooops, we just said what we do not want you to say. Well, this is a blog , you can say things like that. But please Mr. Roxas, that is not something you should say in rallies when anything you say or do can be put in youtube and become content in all national tv newscasts.
The point, sir, is that we do not want you to make the same “putang-ina” mistake you made the last time you spoke in a rally in makati. You have seen the effect of those words in you.
While you are not our client, we like to give you an idea, gratis, pro-bono: if you attend the rally tomorrow in makati, BRING KORINA SANCHEZ WITH YOU. but DO NOT SPEAK.
Make korina say something but you should not say anything, just stand beside her and let her do the talking. What korina should say should be planned and scripted. What you need to say (make it very short, 4 sentences at the most, and remove “putang-ina” from your vocabulary) and what you will do beside her should be scripted.
We hope you read this, sir.
ps: we think mar roxas ratings went up in the last surveys due to korina sanchez when they announced their engagement.
dear mr. roxas,
we are happy to hear your announcement to marry ms. korina sanchez. we wish you all the best on this one.
the announcement was done very publicly. well, of course we expect it to be that given that you are a senator and ms. sanchez is a popular media practitioner. doing this in any different way seem to be out of character. and yes, there is the 2010 presidential election to which you have set your sights on.
what called our attention to this one is the way it has been publicly done. it was done just like consumer marketing companies do it – it’s like event marketing to us. how else can you explain the fact that korina sanchez even guested at wowowee, the most popular noontime tv show in the country.
it is unmistakable, marrying korina sanchez, love & marriage is a marketing strategy. we have a few points:
- timing, as in any marketing activity specially of this kind is most important. you want it at just the right time – not too early that it’s impact fizzles out before and not too late that it will no longer have an impact.
- on this love & marriage marketing strategy, we think your timing was off – it was too early.
- more importantly, we think it’s the wrong component of the love & marriage marketing strategy that you employed.
- we think it’s too early as the election is still too far off. as you can see now, it has had minimal impact. it created a bit of a buzz but it was very short-lived.
- did you actually propose to ms. sanchez? how did you do it? we think you missed out on this component which could have been turned into a much better story. you should have proposed to ms. sanchez in a most romantic way. you missed out on the “kilig” factor had you initiated a very romantic and dramatic proposal.
- you know have a long engagement – that opens you up to chismis and intrigue from now on. well, that goes for the both of you. the chismis and intrigue is certainly an unwelcome distraction and might bring unwanted issues.
bottom line, we think the love & marriage marketing strategy was ill-conceived, not thought through and poorly executed. sayang!
but all is not lost. it can still be saved. we are prepared to enumerate fresh action steps to revive this marketing strategy and that is the next topic here in 2010 presidentiables.worpdress.
sometime ago, we said in this blog that june 2009 is the “deadline” for presidentiables to launch their campaigns for the presidency. they need to get everything rolling by june, otherwise it might be too late for them. the longer they postpone their start date, the more expensive it will become and the more difficult it will be for them to gain momentum and traction.
it will be more expensive as with fewer months left before election date, it will mean they will need to pour in more money and resources to catch up with the others. it will be more difficult as their opponents who have started early might be too far ahead already that it will take more effort to catch up. also, the closer you get to the election date, the “noisier” everyone will be and that will makes it harder for anyone to stand out.
looking at today’s issue of the PDI, it looks like the presidentiables have taken the point we have written in this blog. today’s front page has 5 stories on the presidentiable and campaigns from 5 different groups. it looks like they took to heart the point we made in this blog that june is the deadline for them to get their efforts going.
read other post here: http://tinyurl.com/os5fz6
we have posted it here before – it is our belief that the absolute deadline for presidentiables to launch their campaign for the presidency is on june, 2009. any candidate serious about running for the presidential elections in 2010 need to be on the radar screens of voters by that month. getting in later than that will make it more difficult to become a factor during the elections.
messages, including candidates need time to build up over time. cutting it too close to the election period will mean more funds to make a difference and a stance that involves turning the tide against the candidate or turning it in his/her favor. that usually is much more difficult and contains too many risks versus doing a slow burn and build up.
we see the presidentiables coming out now. for those who aren’t out yet, june is the last month to do so.
we think it is best that you go through the two surveys that were recently released first by pulse asia, then by SWS. first conducted was the pulse asia survey, fieldwork on february 2-15, then the SWS survey February 22-23, 2009.
i think there is concern in the results that need looking into.
first, note that the surveys were done by two different polling companies and they had different respondent samples. the conditions and methods may be different and a direct comparison is not exactly appropriate.
however, we think the differences in results are very significant that we think it deserves some seri0us thought.
the results we think are very disappointing, specially on the earlier polling. given your advertising efforts and high profile media exposure, your ratings should have been much higher.
the poll results from the SWS showed a surge from previous SWS poll and that is a good thing, but your ranking in the polls are still very weak.
the big disparity between the poll results is also bothersome for us. we think combining that with the low ratings and low ranking despite good media exposure and good media advertising seem to say voters have a weak perception and low preference of you. that is the extreme or you are a polarizing candidate. that means some people like you and at the same time some people don’t. while that is true for all candidates, it should not be to the degree that poll results that are being shown are too different.
we think there is an uncovered weakness in your candidacy and there is uncovered marketing and advertising opportunity for you. you need to find out what these are. and soon.
-end of memo-
read post, latest SWS survey: http://2010presidentiables.wordpress.com/2009/03/30/680/
read post, latest pulse asia survey: http://2010presidentiables.wordpress.com/2009/03/13/february-2009-presidentiables-survey-memo-to-presidentiables-time-to-ask-the-tough-questions-what-made-me-fall-off-my-chair/