Daang Matuwid – the Mar Roxas presidential bid killer #2016PHVote

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This is a journey that started sometime in October 2015. that was a few weeks when Mar Roxas officially announced his candidacy with a big gathering at the historic Club Pilipino in Greenhills, San Juan City. The LP faithful were all there and President Noynoy Aquino was the main speaker who announced to the country that he was endorsing the candidacy of Mar Roxas for the presidency.

Daang Matuwid was the over-all theme of that launch. Aquino had declared that Mar Roxas was the best among the presidentiables who can continue Daang Matuwid. It worked, Mar Roxas ratings in the polls jumped from an anemic single digit to double digits. Around September 2015, Roxas’ ratings were at a number that made him competitive.

At around October, I sat down and did an analysis of what was happening. There were no data available yet at that time but based on my analysis, I thought Daang Matuwid would eventually hurt Roxas.

At around that time, I started to tweet about my thoughts about the Mar Roxas campaign. I did not exprssly say Daang Matuwid was an error, but I was tweeting about problems on the Mar Roxas campaign. I kept the Daang Matuwid as the problem to myself because I thought the Roxas campaign will eventually get it and change their campaign strategy. I thought it was best to keep it a secret, not revealed publicly as I did not want to give clues to Mar Roxas’ competitors,

 

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The qualitative data are those available in the media – survey results from Pulse Asia, SWS and the Laylo Report.

 

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Daang Matuwid is Mar Roxas’ brand positioning, it is what he wants voters to remember him by and in effect the basis for their support for his candidacy. He used Daang Matuwid in most of his TV ads either as a tagline or in the copy. Based on news reports, he  also mentioned this during his campaign sorties.

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The power of an advertising positioning which in this case is Daang Matuwid is best measured by results. If this was the advertising positioning of a consumer goods brand, the best measure is market share first and box sales next. When market share and box sales go up or the goals are achieved, the advertising positioning is judged as successful. If it gives the opposite result, then it is a failure.

In this case the presidential surveys results is the best measure of how effective Mar Roxas’ Daang Matuwid brand positioning. The results are bad – after 8 months all that it got Roxas is flat ratings and flat ranking at 4th out of a field of 5 candidates.

There is no better quantitative data that proves Daang Matuwid killed the Mar Roxas presidential bid than the poll results.

 

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we did an analysis of Mar Roxas’ Daang Matuwid brand positioning and from that analysis, though still not benefitting from data, the conclusion was it is bound to hurt Mar Roxas in this election.

this was posted here : http://wp.me/pnw03-1Z5 why Mar Roxas’ “Daang Matuwid” ad campaign is failing

 

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Ads that have elements that are polarizing tend to fail / not do well in the market place. The ideal ad among other things is that it should only contain positive elements in it, and no negative elements.

 

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Looking at the US elections, even Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders who belong to the same political party as Barack Obama are promising change. This is most obvious with Clinton who is a strong ally of Obama. She has never said she will just continue what Obama has done. In fact Clinton is promising many changes, some of them very major changes.

That is not true with Mar Roxas. Roxas very clearly states, he will just continue Daang Matuwid.

 

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we have heard Mar Roxas very defensive on Daang Matuwid and the achievements of the Aquino administration. this did not help Roxas as it took away from him telling the people what his plans are for the country.  also, Daang Matuwid is the work and program of Aquino, not his and yet all its failings is being attributed to him too.

in effect, the more Roxas talked of Daang Matuwid either in its defense or to make a promise of continuing it, it is hurting the presidential bid of Roxas.

 

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After 8 months of Daang Matuwid as Roxas’ brand positioning and spending more than P1 Billion pesos on it and getting only 4th in the ranking at the most, it should have been obvious that changes were needed  for the Mar Roxas campaign.

Being stuck at 4th for 8 months, they should have changed their campaign objective to getting switchers from the supporters of the other candidates. And if they thought of that as a campaign objective, then they would have looked at what needs to be changed in their campaign strategy,  Getting switchers mean attracting them to change sides. And in attracting them, they would have looked at what are the barriers as to why they have not switched to Roxas and/or what they can say to attract them. In political campaigns removing the negatives is as important as offering the positives. The Roxas campaign did not seem to do this.

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This data was released sometime in February 2016. That was the first quantitative data that I saw which confirmed my analysis and conclusion on Daang Matuwid. The core of the points I was raising was that Daang Matuwid was hurting the Mar Roxas campaign. That was purely based on analysis using leanings and principles in marketing, advertising and brand positioning. This quantitative data confirmed my analysis.

And that was what led me to publish in my blog my thoughts on the Mar Roxas campaign, I finally had 2 quantitative data – this one and the trend line that was obvious in the Pulse Asia poll results.

 

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The data speaks of what voters think of Mar Roxas, it tells us specifically why they are not voting Mar Roxas. They were not voting Mar Roxas because he was “masungit”, “elitista” or the allegations of his failures in his previous cabinet member jobs, it was about questions on his leadership qualities, his not having his own views and vision and his relationship with Aquino. They saw Roxas as a puppet of Aquino. And I suppose because of that they saw him unfit to be president.

We think this is the result of Roxas continuously talking about Daang Matuwid, something that everyone knows to be Aquino’s. Aquino per se or his close relationship was not hurting him but it was that he failed to show his own brand of leadership. Contrast that to his opponents, most notable Rody Duterte whose platform was essentially based on bravado and strong leadership. We are sure that if you ask people to compare Roxas to Duterte, they will say Roxas is a wimp compared to Duterte’s super hero status. On the basis of character, Roxas was inferior compared to Duterte.

The second biggest reason they are not voting Roxas is “might just be like Aquino, no change” at 16% directly supports the point I have made – that Daang Matuwid is a platform for the status quo, no change and no improvement.

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–more to follow–

 

 

 

 

 

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