a new era in Philippine political advertising – full blown attack ads vs Binay and Mar Roxas’ mini-attack ads
a new era in Philippine political advertising was opened up last night with the airing of three (3) full blown attack ads against presdientiable Jojo Binay aired at last night’s Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho TV show at GMA 7.
we’re still looking for copies of the vsBinay attack ads on the internet but this is what we remember the ads to be:
- all three (3) ads are talking heads
- 2 of the ads have 2 males and the third ad had a female talking head
- all three looked like ordinary folks
- first ad aired started with “Boss Binay…” then the ad enumerates the various corruption charges related to Makati buildings
- second ad talks about the numerous bank accounts Binay allegedly have. supers highlight the number of bank accounts and the total in the accounts, “P11 Billion”
- third ad started with “Boss Binay…” then talks about Hacienda Binay
- all the ads end with the talking heads asking to answer the allegations featured in the ad
these are full blown attack ads – they refer to only one candidate, even calls out Binay directly and focusses on the corruption allegations that have been made on Binay. the intent of the ad is to remind people of the negatives on Binay. focussed on that, the ad does not mention who the ad is from and who the audience should vote for. it does not build up a candidate, it aims to destroy one. the aim of the ad is to make Binay supporters drop Binay and choose another candidate. Binay in the most recent SWS survey has catapulted back to the number 1 spot.
who produced and aired the vsBinay attack ads? that is not identified in the ads. the ending supers of the ads just says “this is a paid advertisement”. in the US attack ads identify from whom the ad is from where at the ending of the attack ad says “i am (name of candidate) and i approve this ad” with a picture of the candidate who released the ad.
we think and this is just based on speculation on our part, the vsBinay attack ads may have come from the Roxas campaign. the media placements on the TV show seem to point to that. the vsBinay attack ads were aired very close to the Roxas ads that were aired on the show. media buys are done in clusters where ads from the same group are aired within the same program. no Binay was aired at the Jessica Soho TV show, only the Roxas ads were aired.
also and this could be competing reason enough to believe the Roxas campaign aired the vsBinay attack ads – it is Roxas who stands to gain the most in bringing down Binay in the surveys. Binay just climbed to the number 1 spot while Roxas has been languishing on the 4th spot. that is a dismal performance considering that there are only 5 presidentiables.
we think the Binay team should be in serious meetings since last night strategizing and knocking their heads on how to respond to the attack ads. they have several choices :
- complain to media about the attack ads
- answer the ads though a press conference
- have the ads banned from the air
- launch their own attack ads against Roxas
we think for sure they will do #1. they will do that today. and probably do #2 too. the Binay team complains a lot and they do these things on a regular basis.
#3 for sure they will do and as of this writing the ad agency must be writing a complaint letter to the Philippine Ad Board (this goes by another name now). the Philippine Ad Board is a self-regulatory body put up by the Philippine advertising industry where all ads pass through and are given approval to air, print or release. TV stations require an approval slip before they are aired on media.
the Ad Board has very specific and exhaustive guidelines as to what can be aired and not aired on Philippine media. all advertisers and ad agencies follow these guidelines.
competing clients and their ad agencies can petition the Ad Board to have an ad removed from the air. the Binay Team will most likely attempt to do this today. it would be a nice effort, but i do not think the Ad Board will agree to ban the ads. the Binay Team does not have any basis for having the attack ads banned. but they can always try.
my guess is that if the Binay Team is denied in its complaint to ban the attack ads, they will probably make a stink of it in media or take the Roxas Team to court. it will be an interesting time for Philippine advertising.
let’s step back a little first.
these three vsBinay attack ads follow the mini-attack ads Mar Roxas aired a few days ago. in fact, we also saw a new second mini-attack ad by Mar Roxas last night.
the mini-attack ads aired by Roxas is a talking head of Mar Roxas talking to the audience about who he is and what he will do. his topics are the negatives of his opponents and aims to convince the audience that he will not be like his opponents.
the Roxas mini-attack ad aired last night follows the first one aired by the Roxas campaign last January 26, 2015 (click here to read : Mar Roxas campaign airs a mini attack ad). the first mini-attack ad was against Binay, it ended with Roxas saying “hindi ako magnanakaw” while the second mini-attack ad was against presidentiable Rody Duterte.
note : we are trying to get copies of the ads and will post them here when available.
a day after the first Roxas mini-attack ad was aired, we posted this on January 27, 2915 (3:20 pm) over Twitter (@wawam) :
then an updated version was posted on January 28, 2016 (9:41 am) :
the attack ads that the Roxas campaign aired were not the type that we think would work best for Roxas. we thought Roxas needed to air more hard working (i.e. hard hitting) attack ads. nastier ones that would cut like a knife on his opponents. and for his campaign to do that, we thought it should be from the Liberal Party or the senators. we were thinking of omnibus ads from the Liberal Party or all the LP senatorial candidates could handle the nasty attack ads.
having said that, the mini-attack ads Roxas aired is still a good step in the right direction. the good thing about them is that they replace the boring and to us quite ineffective TV ads Roxas has been airing since last year.
Philippine political advertising has been changed by the attack ads. i think it has taken it to a different and higher level of sophistication. attack ads on its own are tricky ads to do and this is the first time that attack ads are being done in the Philippines. it is tricky because it can go overboard and can backfire if not done right.
being new, the Philippine audience or voters will need to adjust and learn to take them in. the Philippine audience until last night have only been exposed to positive ads about their candidates. these ads now talk about negatives about candidates and that will take some adjustment in understanding and specially accepting them.
with this change, the 2016 election will be one for the books. it will make history and change things for the future.
or we can conclude that the 2016 election is one heck of a nasty election.