some years ago, a comprehensive research was done on the habits and attitudes of pinoys on family planning. both qualitative and quantitative researches were done on a nati0nal basis.
first to be conducted were a series of qualitative research, focus group discussions in metro manila, davao and cebu among several groups of women and men with varying age groups. and marital status. the qualitative research was done to gain possible consumer insights for the development of advertising that will promote family planning use, advocacy work and public relations efforts. equally important, the qualitative researches were conducted to serve as inputs for the design of the quantitative research that was going to be done nationwide.
these charts are only a small portion of the whole research but it is quite telling on where the minds and hearts of pinoys, specially filipina women are in relation to family planning to themselves and their families.
the first part of the FGDs (focus group discussions) was a discussion on values and dreams of the respondents for their families.
an interesting methodology was designed. a drawing of a tree with roots, trunk and leaves were placed on the board. respondents were given post it pads where they were asked to write on them the values they believe in, those that are important for them or their dreams. they were asked to put the post its on the board, place it anywhere inside or outside the tree. once everyone has done this, their answers were processed and discussed with the moderator.
where the respondents placed the post it in relation to the tree had meaning to them. post its placed outside the tree meant whatever was written there was not very important for them. those placed on the leaves were more important and down to the roots. to the respondents, those they placed on the roots were the most important for them.
these were the findings:
first, everyone in the FGDs said their family is the most important to them. that is true even among singles, specially more for those married or with children, across all age groups and in both sexes. in fact most of them even said their family is more important to them than themselves. they are absolutely willing to do anything and everything for their family.
they said that what they are working and living for is to fulfill the dreams of their families as a unit, to secure the future of their children and the family’s well-being. this is not necessarily just about money or wealth, in fact those were hardly mentioned. what was more important to them were the emotional aspect, the joys and happiness that their families felt or aspired for. most of them said it is these priorities that they are presently working for and making such a huge effort for.
after this was discussed extensively, the respondents were then asked – how will you feel when you find out today that you are pregnant? (or for male respondents if their spouses or significant others were pregnant?) the idea was to present to the respondents a simulation of what happens in real life – how an unplanned pregnancy happens to people.
to most of the respondents, pregnancy was something that is planned. for those who were married, they discuss it and plan for it with their spouses. the planning usually is just to agree if they want or do not want to have a child or an additional child at the moment. for single respondents, it is normally not thought of as it was certain they did not want to have children out of marriage.
while they had these in their minds, the respondents know that getting pregnant was always a possibility as most of them were sexually active, even those who were single. they saw sex as part and parcel of having a relationship with the opposite sex.
to the question how will they feel or what is their reaction if they found out they were pregnant now, these were their answers to that question:
the respondents saw unplanned pregnancy essentially as a major disruption, something that will stop or derail the plans that they have been pursuing and currently working on for their families. there is nothing else in their lives that had quite the same impact and effect on their lives than an unplanned pregnancy.
all of them considered being pregnant and having a child as a blessing, even among the singles. but they would rather plan it or get pregnant out of a determined, clear and agreed to goal and at the right timing with their partners. an unplanned pregnancy to them is very unwelcome.
the respondents knew that having a baby at that point in time of their lives mzy not be the best time. they do not take having a baby lightly. they know it is a big responsibility and will involve giving most if not all of their time and effort for the caring of the baby. that would necessarily take time and effort from their work and the duties and responsibilities they were presently fulfilling. most of them said life at its present state was already difficult, having an unplanned pregnancy will make everything more than doubly difficult.
that was the mindset by which advertising and marketing efforts on family planning will be set on in getting the target audience to use it. this and other researches were conducted to get a good picture of the user mindset.
but over and above the advertising and marketing use, this explains very well the challenges faced by family planning advocates.
carlo p arvisu
the DOT, secretary mon jimenez in particular is explaining the new slogan for philippine tourism as you read this. live tweets from reporters in the venue have said this is the new international line : “It’s More Fun In The Philippines”.
we like the line. the power of the line rests on the key insight that tourists really want to have fun. it is the first and last goal of every tourist. filipinos too are fun to be with. we in fact can find humor in almost everything.
another core insight is what sec jimenez said - ”It is the Filipino that completes the Philippine experience”. that could very well be the secret weapon of this new tourism campaign. the philippines do not have a monopoly of mountains, beaches and other tourists sites, every other country has one. but it is only in the philippines where filipinos are everywhere. it will be the filipinos themselves who will make a difference for tourists to enjoy themselves during their vacation.
a country can have the best beaches in the world, but a rude and an unpleasant encounter with the people will delete all that joy.
however, we have not seen the execution of the filipinos as key to the campaign in the ads so far. they are still about tourist spots. jimenez in his speech this morning and in other times have been talking about the importance of the contribution of pinoys to the success of the tourism campaign. we will need to see how this is executed in future ads.
the line is also a competitive line. it does not just say what the philippines is all about, it says the philippines is better than other countries in giving them what they want which is fun. in advertising terms, that is a powerful slant.
but then again “#1forFUN” is included in the local line. this is not an original as it is in the amazon.com website.
first, we are unable to appreciate the need for a local line. this line, though simple is also in english. in twitter, singer and songwriter jim paredes of the APO said the tagalog translation of the international line also works very well – “Mas Masaya Sa Pinas” we agree with paredes. we think that is a great line for pinoys in the country.
we do not see any value in having two lines for the same thing. besides the line “#1forFUN” is not an original. we do not think it has any place in the slogan we want to use for the ocuntry.
so far pinoys seem to take to the line looking at the number of tweets it was able to get from everyone so much so that it was trending worldwide. practically all the tweets were positive with almost all giving their own example of why it is more fun in the philippines.
this is a far cry from the precious DOT chief who had to junk the line they developed where people were vjust divided plus the fact that there logo design was just too close to the the Poland tourism logo.
we will see how the ad agency will take this further if this line has legs.
the DOT also has a new website - http://www.itsmorefuninthephilippines.com/
~~a mindscape landmark~~
this ad defines the RH Bill squarely on the positioning of helping the poor.
it says the RH Bill will give those born in poverty a chance in life, chance to continuous education, to eat properly, to have ambition and not just dreams, and a chance to get out of poverty and in summary – a chance to life.
after that list, it said “yun lang naman ang hinihingi natin” (those are just the things we are asking for).
poverty alleviation or as we prefer to put it, to give the people the tools to help themselves get out of poverty is what sectors of the pro-RH Bill is promising. we don’t entirely agree with that thinking as we do not think the RH Bill is the lone silver bullet for poverty alleviation, we think the RH Bill as we have said previously is just one of many tools that the government can give the poor ro use in taking themselves out of poverty.
the cause of poverty in our view is mutli-faceted and its solutions need to be multi-faceted as well. the government, civil society and the poor themselves need to offer multiple solutions, from all sides and levels to solve poverty.
this outright positioning of the RH Bill as poverty alleviation solution while we think it makes sense at a certain level brings it right smack to what anti-RH Bill proponents are saying about their opposition to the RH Bill. one of the things they are saying is that the RH Bill is not the solution to poverty. that there are many other solutions that the government can employ to solve poverty,
we are not however saying the ad is making the wrong argument, we are just saying this jumps directly into the frying pan of debate that anti-RH Bill proponents can have very good arguments for.
we like the ad just the same for the very idea of redefining the RH debate in favorable terms for the RH Bill. it is a very clever advertising strategy – this ad defines the RH Bill as a pro-chance, adding a new term to the debate and a dig at the traditional debates lodged by the anti-RH Bill proponents in saying the RH-Bill is anti-life, they are pro-life and that the RH Bill is pro-choice.
actually these terms “pro-choice” and “pro-life” are being misused in the RH debate in the country. pro-choice in the western countries mean women hace the choice to abortion while pro-life is anti-abortion and protecting the unborn child.
in the philippines, the anti-RH Bill proponents have demonized it to mean the RH Bill is pro-abortion, which it isn’t and modern methods of contraception as abortifacient, which they are also not.
this ad in a way corrects the misinformation advanced by the anti-RH Bill proponents and very smartly re-defines the debate by making the RH Bill to mean pro-chance for the poor to remove themselves from poverty,
it is excellent strategic thinking and excellent copywriting. we applaud PLCPD and the ad agency who developed this ad.
~~a mindscape landmark~~
the latest (march 2011) hunger and poverty survey of SWS got a reaction from president n0ynoy aquino – he said the SWS was unable to properly capture the efforts they did in visayas and mindanao where he said many of the government poverty alleviation programs were implemented. from the point of view of statistics, he means the respondent sampling done by SWS was incorrect.
Aquino finds flaw in hunger survey
“I myself can’t reconcile that sometimes,” Mr. Aquino said, referring to the contrasting survey findings and the claimed achievements of the government’s programs to generate employment and reduce poverty.
President Aquino said the bulk of the data in the SWS survey came from Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon.
He said that 400,000 new beneficiaries of the government’s conditional cash transfer program, or CCT, were from the Visayas and Mindanao but this was not reflected in the survey.
“It so happened that the statistical sample used didn’t capture the ones helped by the CCT. If it was reversed, the result would have been skewed to show that more people experienced their hunger being alleviated,” Mr. Aquino said.
The President said the CCT was first rolled out in the Visayas and Mindanao because the poverty incidence was more serious in those areas compared with Metro Manila and Luzon.
aquino is wrong in what he said.
it is not true that the survey failed to capture the government’s poverty alleviation efforts in visayas and mindanao where the government did bulk of their efforts. the hunger ratings in fact in visayas and mindanao went down from previous with 14.7% in march in visayas from previous 18.2% and to 16.7% in mindanao from 21.1% of previous period.
self-claimed “mahirap” or poverty ratings however climbed up in visayas and mindanao. visayas went up to 61% from 53% and mindanao to 49% from 44%.
aquino’s complaint about the sampling skew towards NCR and Luzon is also baseless. bulk of the respondents come from NCR and Luzon for the simple reason that most of the population of the philippines come form these same two areas. that is how sampling design is supposed to be done – you get more respondents from the areas where most of the population are for the sample size to be truly representative of the country. the sample size is supposed to mirror where the people are in the country.
in other words, there is nothing wrong with the sampling design of the SWS survey as aquino is saying. there is only something wrong with aquino’s understanding of what is a good sampling design.
also, one can expect a difference in results between the SWS survey and aquino’s efforts at poverty alleviation for the simple reason that SWS used random sampling while the aquino government’s efforts were not random but purposive and specific. given that, it is possible results will be different.
for the aquino government to find out how effective their efforts are , the aquino government should do a purposive sampling of the actual people they helped and see if their economic lives have changed. in simple terms they should do a before and after study on the specific people they reached.
these are the rest of results:
with a growth rate of 2.04%, the country adds 2M to the population every year. ithe population is expected to reach 96M this year and at the current rate, it will reach 100M as soon as 2014.
100M in the philippines is very hard to imagine but it will happen sooner than what we want it to be.
by rank, the philippines has the 12th largest population in the world. bur the story should not end there. size of population per se is not a bad thing. we need to look at other things to see whether the size makes sense or not.
for sure, population growth rate matters. growth rates show the number of people we add to the population given a specific cycle. it makes sense to conclude that from a population growth standpoint, the slower, the better. after all, we live in a finite world and that includes the philippines. the country has very defined boundaries, it is a finite space. we just can’t pile each person on top of the other when horizontal space runs out.
we should look at other things – one is nominal GDP.
This article includes a list of countries of the world sorted by their gross domestic product (GDP), the market value of all final goods and services from a nation in a given year. The GDP dollar estimates presented here are calculated at market or government official exchange rates.
Several economies which are not considered to be countries (world, the EU, Eurozone, and somedependent territories) are included in the list because they appear in the sources. These economies are not ranked in the charts here, but are listed.
a country is like a family – a family has a size, a specific number of people and it also has income. the family uses this income to support the family’s needs like food to feed it’s members, clothing, medicine, rent, education, transportation and leisure plus other needs of the household.
the more income you have with the same family members the better. when the number of people in the family increase, then the amount of income needs to increase as well for the family to be able to maintain the same lifestyle and needs. that can be difficult for many families as it is not easy to increase income – one cannot easily get a promotion or other members of the family take on new jobs or source of income.
“living within your means” comes to mind as the smart thing to do.
family income is GDP to a country and population of a country is to family size to families. both have expenses.
common sense tells you and it is the smart thing, that since the philippines has the 12th largest population in the world, the country needs to have GDP or income that ranks also 12th in the world. the 12th most populous should have the 12th largest GDP in the world.
that is not the case. here is the top 20 GDP ranking in the world.
okay, the philippines is not among the top 20 in the world in GDP, so maybe it is slighly lower, say to 40. it is not ideal but at least it is close.
well, not true. the philippines GDP size is not even among the top 40.
the fact is in terms of GDP, the philippines ranks among the top 50 in the world, 47th largest to be specific.
the country has the 12th largest population in the world and yet it only has the 47th largest GDP in the world.
your conclusions and thoughts?
Palace wants media to have own guidelines on hostage crisis coverage
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang wants media to lay down their own guidelines on covering hostage crises instead of having the government impose prior restraint.
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma said media should know how to avoid endangering the safety of hostages.
“Our stand is that we should not restrain freedom of expression,” he said.
“We should keep in mind that we fought for freedom for us to express what’s on our minds in this country.”
Coloma said media practitioners should evaluate their coverage during Monday’s hostage crisis at Rizal Park in Manila where eight Hong Kong tourists were killed.
‘Media, not gov’t, should set coverage guidelines’
MANILA, Philippines – It is the media, not the government or the police, which should establish the guidelines on coverage of life-threatening incidents such as hostage-taking, an expert has advised.
“You never want to interfere with covering. But when you come up with voluntary guidelines that people agreed to and try honestly to adhere to, it’s much better than having a government say these are the guidelines, this is how you behave, this is what you do–that really becomes quite onerous,” said Bob Dietz, Program Coordinator for Asia of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), told ANC’s Top Story on Thursday.
The hostage drama started when dismissed police officer Rolando Mendoza hijacked a bus full of tourists in Manila in an attempt to get his job back.
Local and foreign journalists flocked to the Quirino Grandstand to cover the incident. Some were criticized for delivering the critical moments of the crisis.
“When we’re in a middle of a news coverage situation, we’re really going for the best that we can get, especially the people on the street–the cameramen, the producers, the soundmen at that level,” Dietz said.
Dietz, however, pointed out that people back in the newsroom should be the one to decide when to call the shots.
“What has to happen is back here, where there are cooler heads in the newsroom, sort of saying ‘that’s too much’, ‘let’s pull this back’, ‘get these people out of that position’,” Dietz said.
we think it is wrong that the government is asking media to set its own guidelines on media coverage of hostage crisis situations.
a hostage taking is a matter of security and safety, it is a police and law enforcement matter, why is media being asked to develop the guidelines? that is the reason why the police or the military is given the responsibility and the power to take over the whole situation for resolution. among all government agencies, they are also the only group who has the arms, the technical skills and experience in resolving such matters peacefully. in other words, they are the ones who know what is needed and what is not needed to succeed in the resolution of the hostage taking situation.
media does not know anything about such things, what media knows is how to set up the camera to get the best shot, what to say to the audience during the coverage to sustain interest and viewership to their media channel. what they were trained for is how to get the best camera shot possible for great tv or radio. their work mostly has nothing to do with safety and security.
it does not make sense that the government is asking media to develop the guidelines on matter they know nothing about.
the guidelines are meant to make sure the police has free and unhampered reign on the whole situation to be able to satisfactorily resolve the hostage crisis. the guidelines are there for the objective of the police successfully achieving their goal, not for media to do it’s job best. the goals of successfully resolving the hostage crisis and getting the best tv shot are separate and distinct, performed by two very different groups with one, the media negatively affecting the other if they make a mistake.
the guidelines should come from the police, not the media. the police should develop guidelines just like the way they ask the government for new equipment, tools and training to help them become better at what they do and to succeed at achieving their goals. the media guidelines is exactly the same thing as the police setting up a perimeter around the area where the hostage taking is to prevent everyone else from interfering with their work.
one of the top key things the police want is control of the situation and that includes media coverage as that affects the hostage taker, the family and co-conspirators of the hostage taker, copycats and the public.
the thinking behind the malacanang direction is on the wrong places and comes from the wrong perspective. hostage talking guidelines is not about good media relations, it is about life and death. media’s failure only results to lower tv ratings while the failure of the police results to death. there is no comparison at all.
we think malacanang’s media group, one secretary of whom used to work for abs-cbn, is being given too much voice on this matter. it is all wrong.
carlo p arvisu
a lot has been written in this blog on why gilbert teodoro will lose this election. across the time frame of the campaign period factors that will make teodoro lose the election has been identified in this blog.
this will provide the key points:
- arroyo’s kiss of death on teodoro we think is the biggest factor for teodoro’s loss. everyone knew and that included teodoro himself , his political party lakas-kampi-cmd and arroyo herself knew that. we saw arroyo’s kiss of death in action during the last senatorial election where most of the admin senatorial candidates lost and almost all the opposition candidates won. the sentiments and scenario that was operating then is still present in this election and in fact even more intense than before – based on polls, the people failed arroyo on her performance as president, trust rating have been negative and people see arroyo as most corrupt next to ferdinand marcos. romulo neri called arroyo “evil”, the people agrees with that sentiment. they all knew arroyo is a problem so much so that arroyo has distanced herself from teodoro, hardly saying anything about teodoro, did not campaign for him and did not even have a picture taken with teodoro.
- teodoro is an unknown. before his proclamation as standard bearer of the admin party, people hardly knew teodoro. he was a congressman in his hometown for some time but he had no national constituency to speak of. all he had was two years of chief of the defense portfolio which was not at all enough for him to gain national prominence or even some name identification.
- although he had spent a lot of money on his ads, at some point second highest spender, that did not help him as we think his ads were ill-conceived, was fatally flawed on the ad strategy and the execution faulty. teodoro spent most of his advertising money on his “resume tv ads” which was too basic and had no power to persuade.
- we think the teodoro campaign knew teodoro had no national standing that is why they launched those ads. that was fine but they stayed on it too long. all the ads did was create brand awareness while they should have moved to a more persuasive and meaty ads.
- teodoro’s “ego trip” tv ads, telling the voters he has “galing at talino” were not at all persuasive to the voters. people wanted to know what he will do for the country, not his resume, harvard education and being pilot included. these things simply did not ring a bell among the voters.
- the executions of his ads were also flawed as they appeared to be too elitist while most of the voters come from the poor. would the poor who comprise most of the voters be able to relate to teodoro for being a pilot? will they be able to appreciate he knows how to fly a plane? we did not think so. the teodoro campaign was thinking and doing these ads for themselves, not for the voters. we suspect the ads were feel good ads but feel good for themselves and not the voters or target audience.
- the teodoro campaign and that includes teodoro himself were perpetually in denial in this campaign from start to finish. we think they knew things were not going right in their campaign even from the very start but they did not seem to want to accept the problems and even much less did not want to do something about it. all they did was they kept telling themselves everything was doing well, nothing was wrong and nothing can go wrong even though they knew what was actually happening was the exact opposite. sadly, we think this is the exact same attitude and problem of the arroyo and her administration for themselves and specially in the way they governed the country.
- teodoro even failed in showing his ”galing at talino” during the onody and pepeng floods and the maguindanao massacre. the ondoy and pepeng floods was a dream come true for any presidential candidate. teodoro was handed in a large silver platter the opportunity to perform and demonstrate to the people he had what it takes to be president. he among everyone else had the best opportunity to make something out of it – he was the admin, a cabinet secretary and the DND to which he was chief was actually in charge of disaster coordination’s. he failed in hos duties, his mandate and as a candidate. had he performed well during the floods, he would have won the election by a landslide.
- teodoro’s campaign never really took off. the campaign had failings from the very beginning and almost in every step of the way as the it progressed. we will remember teodoro’s campaign on the basis of the failings of the campaign that occurred from time to time rather than success points.
- lakas-kampi-cmd, teodoro’s political party is a failed political party. we do not think lakas-kampi-cmd was any help to teodoro. we are not even sure if the party wanted to help him at all. we think the rumor that the party lost interest on teodoro was not a rumor but the truth.
looking at teodoro’s results and what he had done during the campaign and if you were an alien looking in, you would have not guessed that teodoro belonged to the dominant political party in the country.
teodoro lost this election from day 1.
~~~~ mindscape landmark ~~~~
dramatic losses in internals for top 3 presidentiables but aquino leads, erap 2nd, villar drops to 3rd – May 2010 SWS-Business World presidentiables survey
the sws-business world may 2-3 poll shows some interesting developments in the internal scores with major changes in them although the over-all outcome did not show any changes.
noynoy aquino continue to be the front runner but has gained significantly from previous to now 42% from 38%, a 4% point gain. the survey has a 2.2% margin of error.
erap estrada also gained significantly from previous to now 20% from 17% and overtakes manny villar who suffered a major drop to now 19% from the previous 26%. the significant drop for villar and significant gain for erap has put them now on a statistical tie. although the momentum is on the side of estrada.
it appears to us villar has not found the correct formula to arrest his declining numbers. we have said previously in this blog that villar’s drop has been caused by the unresolved C-5 corruption scandal, concretized by the Villarroyo name and villar’s move from the side of good to evil in his parties efforts at black propaganda most of which backfired and hurt his campaign instead.
the over-all ratings and rankings have not changed from previous. however, it is noteworthy that aquino’s lead over estrada is dramatic, a +22% lead, more than double than what estrada has. aquino has 42% versus estrada’s 20%.
the internals of their scores are quite interesting to look at.
aquino’s NCR ratings grew significantly to 43% from 35% while his socio-eco class rating among the ABC dropped to 44% from 53%. we find that a very unusual movement as most of the ABC class are located in NCR. these ratings seem to be contradicting each other. we wonder if there is a tabulation error in this report.
estrada’s mindanao rating has gone up dramatically to 30% from 22%. this is probably driven mostly by estrada’s mindanao-specific tv ad that he has been airing in the past weeks. estrada may have found a very strategic move in this election. he is the only presidentiable who ran mindanao-specific tv ads.
another notable movement in estrada’s internal scores is his ABC rating which is now 14% from the previous 6%, more than doubling from previous. we wonder if this is related to the question we have posted on the ABC tallies in aquino’s scores.
villar’s significant drop in over-all rating to 19% from 26% may have been brought about by dramatic deterioration of his ratings in the NCR, from 18% to 10%, a cut of more than half; balance luzon from 25% to 20%, a quarter drop and mindanao , another drop by more than half from 31% to 15%. we think these are very alarming deterioration of villar’s ratings.
significant drops in villar’s ratings occurred across all socio-eco classes, -9% pts in ABC, -7% in D and -10% in E. across the board drops in geography and socio-classes is showing villar supporters are showing fluid movements confirming what we said previously that villar’s supporters are most vulnerable to poaching by other presidentiables.
these movements should tell the presidentiable campaigns to look into geographic and demographics segmentation to improve their over-all ratings. unfortunately, because it is just a few days before election, there is not much they can do to recover or push their ratings in the direction they want it to be.
Aquino pads poll lead
Gap now 22 points; Estrada overtakes Villar
WITH THE MAY 10 elections just around the corner, Sen. Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” C. Aquino III has picked up steam to widen his lead in the presidential race, results of the final BusinessWorld-Social Weather Stations (BW-SWS) Pre-Election survey showed.
The May 2-3 poll, conducted roughly a week before Filipinos troop to the precincts, gave Mr. Aquino the support of 42%, up four points and ahead of former President Joseph “Erap” E. Estrada of the Pwersa ng Masa who was now in second place with three-point gain to 20%.
Erstwhile second-placer Sen. Manuel “Manny” B. Villar, Jr. of the Nationalista Party (NP) was a point behind at 19%, a result within the survey’s error margin of 2.2%. His support was down seven points from the prior BW-SWS poll of April 16-19.
The gap between the top two was 22 points, wider than the 12 Mr. Aquino enjoyed over Mr. Villar in the last survey.
~~~ mindscape landmark ~~~
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.
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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.
gilbert teodoro, the standard bearer of the admin/(supposed) dominant political party LAKAS-KAMPI-CMD know that he is losing this election campaign. he has not moved up in any significant way in the polls, being stuck at a very far fourth in the rankings and getting at best 7% while the front runners are at a staggering 36% for aquino and 34% for villar. it is bad enough that the two front runners are way ahead of everybody, on top of teodoro is estrada who is in the range of 15% , showing strength at that level and even gaining slightly.
the question that teodoro’s campaign needs to answer is this – for him to win, where will he get the votes from? the weakest of the three front runners, erap estrada is not exactly weak. among the presidentiables, estrada is the candidate that has the most experience and time as an elected government official not to mention he was actually elected president once before. teodoro compared to erap looks puny. if teodoro can’t get pat estrada, how does he expect to get past villar and aquino, the two most popular presidentiables in this campaign?
it is interesting that an article appeared at the PDI yesterday where the teodoro campaign seem to be preparing for what the writer calls a “battle of the bulge” – a last minute, well last few weeks campaign to get teodoro elected. in marketing, it is called a marketing blitz. in a political campaign it’s most likely called a “failed election bid”.
we will be using that article as a pick up point for this post.
The ruling coalition, which enjoys a headlock on 70 percent of local government positions, is pinning its hopes on superior resources and widespread party machinery to swing the tide of battle.
Banking on these advantages, it plans to assert its superiority with carefully synchronized offensives timed at the start of the campaign for local positions on March 26.
this is what party officials call the “political machinery”. it’s supposed to be potent that only the admin/ruling party has a monopoly on. all the party officials, including teodoro are saying that is what will make him win this election. they conveniently forget that in the last senatorial elections, they said the same thing about the potency of THE machinery. the results – almost all the admin/ruling party senatorial best lost in that election while almost all the opposition senatorial bets won the election.
the results of that election was so bad for the admin/ruling party that pichay who spent the most in advertising during that time did not get elected while trillanes who was in jail, unable to campaign and practically had zero advertising money won the election.
the opposition won that election mainly on the basis of the people exercising a protest vote where they elected the opponents of arroyo’s candidates. arroyo at that time was very unpopular and the people have had enough of her so much so that they even said they do not want her candidates to win.
after the election, LAKAS party officials admitted the machinery did not deliver. apparently the local candidates and officials of LAKAS abandoned the admin senatorial candidates when they felt the people were going against them.
the situation then compared to now is about the same – arroyo is unpopular and in fact probably even more unpopular than before. everyone knows teodoro is arroyo’s candidate and based on surveys, voters said they will not elect the candidate that arroyo is endorsing.
we think it’s foolish to rely on the “machinery” to get teodoro elected. the machinery is a myth.
The opening salvo of this make-or-break offensive will be new TV commercials targeting the youth on Monday.
Teodoro’s spokesperson, former Press Secretary Mike Toledo, said the commercials would be aired with frequencies rivaling those of the front-runners, Senators Benigno S. Aquino III of the Liberal Party and Manuel Villar of the Nacionalista Party. Between them, they have spent close to P2 billion, dominating the airwaves, according to the media firm AGB Nielsen.
Teodoro’s ads will zero in on the target segment that the coalition hopes will swing the tide of battle to his side, the youth ranging in age from 18 to 39, who constitute 52 percent of the 50 million voters registered, according to Toledo.
Teodoro has been doing well in mock elections in schools recently. Campaign strategists have selected this key segment to focus on, Toledo says.
political campaigns seem to have a love affair with the youth vote. all of them seem to think that is the key to their success. villar, aquino and villanueva aired tv ads targeting them. but if you look at the movements of villar’s ratings, it is not the ad that targeted the youth that earned him a lot of points, it’s the other ads that he aired.
aquino with his rap tv ad meant for the youth got mixed reviews with people liking it and others throwing up hearing aquino do a rap in the tv ad. they abruptly pulled off that ad. villanueva aired one too but that did not help him either.
teodoro did not seem to learn the lessons the other presidentiables learned – they will air an ad targeting the “youth” on monday. we now think this obsession with youth ad is probably the fault of the admen hired by the campaigns for their ad needs. all of them seem to be saying the same mantra.
maybe teodoro will find the secret weapon in ads for the youth and can get him to win the election. it is good in theory, forgetting for the moment the failures of the other presidentiables, but we think teodoro’s thinking is fatally flawed.
the critical failure in the ad that will be aired on monday for the youth is the demographics definition – “age from 18 to 39“. the age range is too wide and probably covers at least two distinct groups or even three. the psyche, needs and attitudes of the 18 year old, a first time voter is very different from a 25 year old who probably has a young family already to someone who is 30 years old who has a not so young family. for sure a 37 to 39 year old is extremely different from an 18 year old, to a 23 year old and a 30 year old.
it is hard for us to understand and we think it is not possible to have an ad meant for the “youth” that will be effective in convincing this wide and un-alike age grouping of 18 to 35 years old.
the admen who sold the idea to the teodoro campaign spoke badly in thinking that an age range as wide as that is a proper segmentation of the target audience. we do not think you will find any adman who will agree to that kind of segmentation.
target audience definition is the very first critical step in developing an effective tv ad. get the definition wrong, or even weak and the ad fails. it will confuse the creative team as it gives them too wide a range with very dissimilar traits and characteristics.
we await this new ad of teodoro. it is supposed to be a miracle tv ad for him. given the potential flaw of the thinking, it will either be a miracle ad or a miracle dud. we will probably see a WAWAM! on monday.