will leni robredo get a boost after Mar Roxas has announced she is his VP running mate and most specially after president Noynoy Aquino endorsed her candidacy? mar roxas got a tremendous boost when Aquino anointed Roxas – from being a far 4th in the surveys, his ranking jumped to a tie at 2nd or a close 3rd.
robredo is nowhere in the polls – a very far 5th to not registering at all in another. getting her rank within the top 3 means Aquino’s endorsement do have super powers. the next survey results will be very important to Robredo, it will define her as a legitimate candidate.
survey results notwithstanding, Robredo has 2 huge but very basic marketing things that she needs to do to win:
- address low awareness on a national level – robredo may be known in here hometown and to some degree in Metro Manila but she is hardly known in the rest of the country. that is a key issue as the position she is running for is national in scope, she needs the rest of the country to know who she is.
- what is the Leni Robredo brand equity or brand positioning? together with the issue of low awareness, Robredo’s other big problem and this can be much bigger than the first is nobody knows what she stands for. what is her brand equity or brand positioning of Robredo?
awareness is the first problem that needs to be solved, the next one is brand positioning. they can be done at the same time. the first can be solved with heavy advertising and heavy exposure to the voters. i would think Robredo needs to be seen and be with the voters every day until election time. her media team ought to be the best among all the candidates to get her in the press.
in many ways that is the easier part than the second one – brand positioning. brand positioning involves defining who she is, differentiating versus the other VP candidates, being preferred over any of them and most specially to appeal to the voters.
those are classic and pretty basic marketing needs but that is very difficult to do in politics. among many other things, in politics, you are given only 1 chance to get it right or at times twice if you get lucky. in marketing mass consumer products, you get as many times as your budget will allow you and over whatever period of time your P&L can accommodate. no such thing in politics. in politics there is a finite deadline that will not move and you only get a chance only once – by election day. getting it right the first time will be critical and based on your observations, if you get it right the first time, you will need a rehash or an improvement towards the end of the campaign after your competition has responded to your first effort.
Robredo in some way has started defining her brand equity and this is centered on the use of the tsinelas as core visual and core thinking. we saw on twitter a few of the visuals that expressed that idea which we thought was a very good choice and had very good applications.
we thought the use of the tsinelas was a very smart idea. not only does everyone know what it is, every Filipino owns at least one pair of tsinelas. it is what we use at home on a daily basis and for many of us it is the only kind of footwear we own. the population of the philippines is mostly made of the poor, with very little money to even buy food on a daily basis, the tsinelas is the only footwear many could afford to buy.
the tsinelas is an ownable idea and visual – nobody has used it and it was often used by Robredo’s late husband, Jesse. he was known to use his tsinelas to work as mayor in Naga and when he was appointed by Aquino as DILG chief. back in Naga, his constant use of the tsinelas was known as his brand of governance – down to earth, poor-oriented and always being with the people. the tsinelas was the well-loved trademark of Jesse Robredo.
Levi’s use of the tsinelas declares to the voters that just like her husband Jesse, it is also her own brand of governance.
it also helps that the execution of the tsinelas as a visual in her meme materials was excellently done. it is unobtrusive, tastefully done but dominantly catches attention. the yellow color of the tsinelas uses the same color Cory used an her son president Noynoy and the Daang Matuwid group.
this is a good beginning for Robredo but we are hoping this will not end here and that it will evolve to something more substantive in the near future.
she needs to be more substantive than just the tsinelas idea as she is against other candidates who have been on the national stage and wth stronger good or bad credentials. more importantly, she is running for the position of the vice-president, the second highest position in the country and the expectations are much higher than being an HOR rep of a district in the Bicol area.
and she needs to do this quickly, election time is coming. the time is short and she needs to get it across in such a wide area in short period of time. we think she will need very high advertising spending to achieve this.
is robredo up to the challenge of the big time?
there is no other way to describe what has been happening to presidentiable Jejomar Binay and his presidential campaign – his supporters are abandoning him in what can only be called a mass exodus. this is the PDI headline from the most recent survey from Pulse Asia:
this is a survey from Pulse Asia on the performance and trust rating of Binay as vice-president. this survey asks the performance and trust ratings of the top officials in the government from the president to the speaker of the house and senate to the chief justice. this is different from the election surveys that Pulse Asia (and SWS) have been conducting.
this survey asks respondents of their sentiments in the way Binay is performing his job as vice-president. people will be responding to that question based on what they think a vice president should be doing. Binay’s run for the president is not mentioned in the question that is being asked here.
the results were devastating for Binay – he took a free fall on trust and performance to his lowest level in the process losing a whopping-15% points from 58% to 43% of his approval rating on his performance of his job.
equally devastating is his trust ratings also nose dived by losing-18% points from 57% to 39%.
source : Philippine Daily Inquirer http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/727269/pulse-asia-binay-ratings-dive
those are very dramatic losses that will make any candidate or even a pollster shudder in fear. this means that on this aspect of Binay’s political life, people are very disappointed with him and that he is being abandoned by his supporters. the vice-president position is a very easy position to fulfill – because of the nature of the job, there are very little things to do unlike say the president or even the cabinet secretaries. because of the ease, the vice president in most surveys typically gets a much higher performance and trust rating than the president.
for Jejomar Binay to get a lower rating than Aquino in this survey says a lot about the huge disappointment that people have on Binay.
in a newspaper report, Binay questions the credibility of this survey by saying he has already resigned his cabinet posts when the survey was conducted, wondering what it was the respondents were rating him for his performance and trust.
Binay is mistaken and raises an irrelevant issue – the survey had asked the respondents on his performance and trust as vice president of the country, not as any of the cabinet post he has occupied and resigned from. respondents are measuring him on the basis of what the respondents think is the job and function of the vice president. as vice-president of the country, the respondents have seen his performance and trust dramatically drop.
in recent surveys released previous to this, Binay’s ratings have shown his declining ratings continue to drop. not only that, his ranking has changed from a high 2nd to either being tied by Roxas at 2nd or falling to 3rd/4th position. the ratings of mar roxas, the LP and admin standard bearer has seen his ratings surge up both in terms of numbers and position where he used to be a far 4th to now a tie at 2nd (posted here in this blog).
the questions asked of the respondents here were point blank – who would they elect as president if the elections were held at the time of the survey and who they think is a good leader to replace Aquino as president.
Binay getting declining numbers on these different surveys says a large part of Binay’s supporters are abandoning Binay in a mass exodus. they are abandoning Binay based on different dimensions of the candidate as Binay – on trust and performance as VP, as a good leader to replace Aquino and as presidential candidate. Binay is being looked at from different dimensions by the voters and in all aspects they no longer see Binay as fit.
on their own these are already dramatic and impressive declines. put that further into context, Binay used to be the top on all the surveys just a few months ago. he was all alone on top with no one even close to challenge him. Binay’s standing started to erode when alleged charges of corruption and plunder were revealed at the senate hearings. at the height of the weekly hearings, when it became vey apparent that Binay was mired in multiple corruption charges, Grace Poe a neophyte senator surged up in the surveys .
the voters saw Binay as the evil one based on the alleged charges while they saw Poe as good in an election that quickly got into a question of an election of Good vs Evil.
we have said this before. Binay should recognize what is happening to his candidacy, these survey numbers are real and representing real sentiments. the sentiments are astoundingly consistent from many dimensions. for him to change his fortunes, he needs to wear big boy pants and face the charges that have been made against him. until he does that, the declining trend will not change and continue until the actual 2016 election.
does binay have big boy pants?