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.