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noynoy aquino’s “kayo ang aking lakas” tv ad – arguing with success or with boredom?

March 13, 2010 3 comments

who can argue with success? these are all very familiar images for most we have seen them on tv and for some we were there when these things happened but for all we re-experienced it all of it again recently when cory aquino died and we were all out on the streets saying good-bye to cory.

(click here : http://1millionprayers.wordpress.com/)

these images did something to us and we can;t escape the fact that noynoy aquino and his presidential bid sprang it. to a few they were not conscious of it but for most we asked noynoy to run for president.

seeing these images and hearing these words are difficult to argue with. they are already embedded in our hearts and minds and this ad serves to remind us that they exist there.

we have a nasty suspicion that this ad was developed as a direct answer to manny villar’s emotional ads of his brother dieing because they had no money to buy medicine for him. that villar ad in the minds of the admen in the aquino camp must have thought villar’s tv ad was soliciting empathy with the voters. their answer is to “out-empathize” villar by reminding people about two, not one emotional event in noynoy’s life – noynoy’s dad was assassinated and his mom got sick and died in front of us.

that thought this ad being a direct answer to villar’s emotional tv ad  immeditaely came to us after hearing the first sentence noynoy said in this ad –  “Kami rin inapi nang walang kalaban-laban.”. a few bells rang in our mind when he started the sentence with “kami rin”. question – sino yung ibang inapi? answer – villar when his brother died without the benefit of medicines.

that thinking must have brought goose bumps to the creative team who thought about it but we think it’s really amateurish thinking on their part. it is also quite a cheap trick to do. they will not win any award soon on strategic thinking on this one.  we do not think it will even be nominated for “The Strategic Thinking Award Of The Year”.

will it be effective? that is the question that is even more difficult to answer. from the point of view of getting more votes for noynoy, i think it will to some degree but i do not think it will be of much significance.

whether the aquino campaign knows it or not, noynoy’s campaign has moved away from these messages and strategy. if it was not conscious of the move, his competitors, most specially manny villar who is co-front runner made sure of that.

this we think is a very good tactical ad but we do not think this has legs to be the main brandsell advertising for the aquino campaign. putting this as the main brandsell tv ad we think is a major strategic blunder by the aquino campaign.

weak, poor and failed strategic thinking is what we think is the greatest weakness of the aquino presidential campaign. that is most obvious in the waste they allowed to be made when from a high of 60% in preference to the 47% in presidential choice, aquino’s ratings had consistently gone down seeing it now on a statistical tie with manny villar.

that alone tells the weakness in strategic planning for the campaign for squandering such a huge lead over his rivals. the aquino campaign group was given on a silver platter a brilliant and superior product to sell but they did not know what to do with it and lost the leadership.

the ads are creative and well done. the writing is close to crisp and almost memorable and the production values are excellent but the strategic thinking is where they fail. the strategy laid down seems to look at just ads, almost as stand alone ads when they are supposed to be running a campaign with a beginning, a middle and an end. there is no continuity in strategic thinking nor is there any worth in it.

they fall in love with creative executions and get stuck there, completely forgetting that ads and most specially campaigns that succeed are those that begin with a brilliant strategy and heads up thinking.

we do not know what is next to this ad but we hope there will be more . we hope this is just a tactical ad and that we will see the main thematic or brandsell very soon. running tv ads will not make them win, it is running an ad campaign that will.

the key questi0n – who can argue with success or are we arguing with boredom? 

~~  a mindscape landmark – carlo arvisu ~~

 

ps: a note on production values : the director should have seen that noynoy’s brows are forming at the center of his forehead making it look like noynoy is angry while the emotion in this ad should have been serenity,  sincerity and concern.

polls & surveys on presidentiable preference : losing out on the formula to win (part 1)

March 10, 2010 Leave a comment

we are publishing here an email we received from a reader, carlo arvisu who is a marketing and advertising practitioner.

——-

election polls is the rage these days – it is the stuff of newspaper headlines and tv newscasts. presidentiables are asked about them and predictably those in the lead are thankful for the results while those at the bottom or not improving are all against it casting doubt on the results by attacking the research agency, those who commissioned the poll and the methodology.

the irony of it all is that most of the major candidates and even the laggards actually subscribe to the election polls we read in the papers. the election polls conducted by SWS and Pulse Asia are syndicated polls. they run this on their own but they make available to the candidates its results on a subscription basis. not only can candidates subscribe to it, anyone else who has the money can subscribe to them.

the rate of subscription vary on the kind of service a presidentiable wants. the rates differ on how  the presidentiables want the results presented to them or what results they want to have.

the biggest clients of research agencies are mass consumer marketing companies like uni-lever, jollibee and procter & gamble, although they use other research agencies like TNS and AC Nielsen. SWS and Pulse Asia do these types of research but very seldom, their specialization is polls on political and national issues.

the problem with surveys and research both for mass consumer marketing companies  and presidential campaigns is how to answer  two  questi0ns, the last one being   –  what do we do, what steps do we take as a reaction to the research results.

research and polls give a snapshot or a profile of the consumer mind and voters mind at a certain point in time. the consumer and voter mind is a living thing, it is dynamic and can change in whatever direction in no time depending on the stimulus or what the voter or consumer experience.

change in the consumer mind may not happen often and not as quickly but change in the voter mind can happen very often and very quickly.  current events is the stimulus for this change and current can mean something yesterday, today or in a few hours time.

with readily available , evolving news reported and brought to the consciousness of voters, change in the voter mind can occur in a beat. we not only have tv, radio and print now,  there is the internet, the social websites, blogs and even cellphone text.  all of the above can influence the voter mind in an instant. 

we saw the power of instant communication  during EDSA DOS where  hundreds of thousands of people exchanged cell phone text  to express their disgust on the developments regarding the unopened brown envelope during estrada’s hearings at congress. from disgust, the text content turned into people asking others to converge at EDSA and that led to the eventual ouster of estrada.

having the data gives the political campaign a picture of the current state of mind of the voter. with a picture in front of you, you can now plot your actions to change that picture. 

the problem is very few know how to do it properly. that problem is not limited to political campaigns but it is also true to mass consumer marketing companies.

knowing what to do or not knowing what to do is actually the second of two questions. the first question is this – what is the meaning of the poll results? and the twin question which is more important – what are the insights that we can draw from these results?

research and poll agencies will give the subscriber results, basically statements or answers to the questions asked of the respondents with corresponding numbers or ratings.  these are in essence the statistically analyzed raw data. the poll and research agency will not give them the meanings and more importantly the insights from the data.

the data will need interpretation and that is supposed to be done by the client. and there lie the other problem.  even mass consumer marketing companies are not very good at this, in fact many of these companies do not even have competencies to do this. we do not think political campaigns have these as well.

insights is a very elusive thing for many. in fact the marketing and advertising managers we have encountered do not really know what insights are. many of them think research data and results are already insights. when they are really just raw data that they will need to draw insights from.

the political campaign now has the data from the polls, what will they do with it now? this is next in part 2.

~~  a mindscape landmark ~~
 carlo arvisu

Pulse Asia February 2010 Presidentiables Poll : villar rating drops on corruption issue

March 8, 2010 4 comments

it is interesting how the national surveys seem to be releasing consistent findings. this latest pulse asia poll result conducted late february is consistent with the findings of the TNS survey result, another national poll. (read here: new presidentiables survey jan-feb TNS: aquino at 42%, villar at 31%. villar should resolve C-5)

this pulse asia  poll shows aquino still the front runner with no statistical change from previous poll with a of 36%. the poll has a margin error of +/12% at the 95% confidence level. 

villar was unable to continue to push up his rating and in fact suffered a loss of -6% points to now 29%. villar was on a continuous growing trend in previous polls.

we think villar’s loss was due to the C-5 controversy that he found himself at the start of the year that peaked with the speech he delivered at the senate denying there was any wrong doing, something that occurred during the fieldwork of this poll.

we wrote previously on this issue when TNS released it’s poll results.

 it looks like C-5 will hound the candidacy of villar. also makes us think that should he win the presidency, just like arroyo, villar will have a corruption issue hanging on his head throughout his presidency. it was the ”hello garci” case for arroyo, it might be C-5 for villar.  as in the “hello garci” case, the C-5 issue will not go away for villar. we think it is best that villar mop out a plan to get this issue to be resolved after the election, especially if he wins the election. he should do this for the sake of his presidency and the country.   the country needs closure on this issue.

click: new presidentiables survey jan-feb TNS: aquino at 42%, villar at 31%. villar should resolve C-5

it was also at around that time when noynoy aquino changed his advertising campaign from the badly strategized rap tv ad targeting young voters to the more hard hitting and focused “hindi ako magnanakaw” tv ads.

by a happy coincidence (or planned conspiracy by the noynoy camp), corruption was directly brought up by aquino as an election issue and his message while the the C-5 corruption controversy was heating up in the senate. the C-5 issues has been there for months but disappeared from the radar only to reappear interestingly during the heating up of the presidential campaign.

corruption we think  probably belongs to the top 3 issues voters have in this coming election. we also think it is one of the reasons why aquino continues to float as top contender in this election as it is one of the enduring brand images of aquino. aquino as seen by the people as clean and incorruptible given the legacy he and his family holds in the minds of voters. 

on the other hand, corruption is the enduring legacy of president arroyo . though unconfirmed, it is a sticking point on arroyo with many corruption scandals unresolved. people are tired of both arroyo and corruption.

aquino having his parents as heroes of  the country, ninoy and cory enjoys an image of  it is one thing that noynoy will not do.

it was great timing that  aquino’s ads spoke of no corruption for him  and corruption was the issue being hurled on villar. 

in today’s PDI headline story, it said it was the Villarroyo charge that pulled villar’s ratings. we disagree. the charge that villar is arroyo’s secret presidentiable did not really get a lot of media play compared to the C-5 and corruption messages of aquino. 

Villarroyo was mentioned by mar roxas at the tail end of the C-5 controversy and got some press play but it was really not explained or given enough meat for the people to understand and remember it.  the C-5 controversy on the other hand got long and in-depth media coverage by the press and extended for a few weeks.

it appears the voters understood what the C-5 is really about at its core. they were able to see that this goes beyond senators having a lover’s quarrel or a man of power exerting undue influence but as a form of corruption.

in simplistic terms, the voters had this in their minds – aquino who is clean versus villar who is tainted. for a moment there villar got defined as corrupt and aquino re-confirmed as not corrupt.

the aquino and villar campaigns should look at this poll results very closely and understand how it got there and what are the implications. they should do more in-depth study and analysis and conduct further research. we think doing this and extracting the appropriate insights  has a very strong possibility that it will give them the winning formula for this election.

(view rap ad here: noynoy aquino’s new tv ad – pinoy noynoy rap,
read here : noynoy aquino’s “hindi ako magnanakaw” tv ad – the power of credibility in a powerful tv ad)

 

The survey fieldwork was conducted from February 21 to 25, 2010 using face-to-face interviews. Several developments dominated the news headlines in February 2010. Among these are the:

  • (1) speech delivered by Senator Manuel B. Villar, Jr. before his colleagues wherein he reiterated his innocence in connection with the C-5 road extension project controversy and the failure of the senators to vote on the report of the Senate Committee of the Whole seeking to censure Senator Villar;
  • Read more…

to win, erap estrada should drop his nostalgia campaign and air his old ads instead

February 26, 2010 1 comment

~~this is next in The 2010 Presidentiables Blog~~

pulse asia survey: aquino and villar big time on trust, teodoro suffers, same as estrada

February 24, 2010 4 comments

perhaps to have manny villar and noynoy aquino’s trust ratings to be high and dominant is not surprising, they are after all the front runners in the 2010 election. we do not think one can be a front runner in the presidentiables poll if your trust ratings are low. there is no surprise in villar and aquino’s ratings.

what is surprising is when you look down at the other presidentiables.

erap estrada’s trust ratings are as low as gilbert teodoro’s and estrada’s trust ratings are as high as teodoro’s.

  • estrada trust rating at  33% vs teodoro’s distrust rating at 32%
  • estrada’s distrust rating at 37% vs teodoro’s distrust rating at 31% (there is significant difference here)

we are surprised by it as we did not think estrada and teodoro would be seen by the respondents as anything similar to each other. erap estrada may have a string of  nationally elected position like the presidency to his name but he is a convicted criminal, the crime of plunder whose liberty was made possible only through a presidential pardon by president arroyo. Teodoro may not have had a nationally elected position to his name and may not be as well known as estrada, he is very much a clean politician versus estrada. we thought they were black and white in character and credentials, getting the same kind of ratings on trust and distrust is very surprising.

now we wonder that perhaps teodoro’s low trust and high distrust rating that is practically the same as the convicted criminal estrada may be due to his close association with president arroyo. arroyo’s trust and distrust ratings are also disastrously embarrassing with a measly 11% trust and a huge 68% of distrust. we did not expect that arroyo’s kiss of death on teodoro will go this far.

comparing the frontrunner’s trust and distrust ratings to those of estrada and specially teodoro is another matter of strong interest for us.

aquino and villar’s trust ratings are double in size compared to teodoro’s and estrada while the front runner’s distrust ratings are almost only 1/3 of teodoro’s and estrada’s. this may indicate the front runners are way ahead in this election and the laggard’s group has a lot of catching up to do.

2010 presidential campaign – are negative campaign tv ads next?

February 23, 2010 3 comments

we are approaching the final stretch of the election campaign. that may sound strange to read considering the official campaign period started just weeks ago but that is the official start which none of the presidentiables actually followed. the unofficial campaign period started many months ago, last year. ask manny villar about it and he will certainly confirm it.

being in the last stretch, the election less than four months from now, voters are firming up their choices. the point of no return for candidates is when voters finally make their choices.

to uncork that decision, candidates need to ramp up their efforts – advertising rallies and media exposure or launch negative ads against their opponents.

we have seen negative campaigning already, we hear the candidates comment on their opponent’s skills, qualifications, record or scandals they have been or are involved in. many of them are still on hush-hush tones, the names of the particular presidentiable they are attacking not mentioned in their speeches, although we know who they are. some a little more blatant which we witness during presidential “debates” or forum where presidentiables address other presidentiables on issues or scandals.

richard gordon’s version of negative campaigning, no names mentioned:

The standard-bearer of the Bagumbayan-Volunteers party said, referring to the other presidential aspirants: “There is someone who is very intelligent but who has no experience. There is a very rich man who will just recoup his campaign expenses if he wins. And there is someone who just inherited a good name.”

read in full here: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20100222-254620/Gordon-reveals-why-hes-running

that is still the mild form. in the US, negative ads is a regular staple during the election. based on the US experience, negative ads do work although in degrees. negative ads serve to stop the momentum the candidate being attacked is enjoying, it is like a pause button on your opponents.

however, negative ads do not work for the long term and one cannot do just negative ads. doing it exclusively and for a long time tends to backfire on the candidate releasing the negative ads.

looking at the poll results, we see voters firming up on two presidentiables – aquino and gordon with estrada as a distant dark horse. everyone else in the group based on the current results do not seem to have a chance at winning the election. next to the top three presidentiables is administration candidate gilbert teodoro but his rating of 4% to 5% has not moved across all the surveys conducted so far. his ratings not showing any life of upward movement says he is stalled at that level. teodoro is unable to get any more supporters.

on the other hand, the poll results of the top three presidentiables seem to be getting very fluid. we now see aquino, the erstwhile dominant front runner moving down and the 2nd placer, manny villar moving up to a level where in one poll villar has reached a statistical tie with aquino.

estrada’s rating used to be constant at 15%, no matter what happened to the candidates at the top or the bottom. but this is no longer true in the latest polls. while it is not correct to read trends using two different polls, estrada’s 11% showing in the TNS poll seem to indicate estrada supporters are starting to abandon him.

the presidentiables should take this fluid movement in a good light. that means the voters are vulnerable to switching to some degree. to increase the speed of that movement, the presidentiables can go into negative ads. the positive ads they have been running, ads that extol their positive side, has resulted only to marginal movements. perhaps negative ads, those that speak of the weaknesses of other presidentiables might speed up the movements.

except for marcos, negative political ads have not been done in the philippines before in the manner and form that it has been done in the US.  with so much at stake and with the top two presidentiables positions firming up, perhaps negative ads is the only way left to go for some of the presidentiables who are trailing in the polls.

are we ready for negative ads?

negative campaign tv ads : gilbert teodoro did it first & what ferdinand marcos & john mccain have in common with gilbert teodoro

February 22, 2010 22 comments

the last time negative advertising was aired in the philippines by politicians was when cory aquino ran against ferdinand marcos in the 80’s, the pre-event to the The People Power EDSA Revolution.

marcos aired ads that depicted cory  as just a “housewife”, saying she does not know anything about running a country. cory of course in truth was just a housewife when she ran against marcos in the election. she did not hold any elective position or any government position before that time. what marcos forgot and the people never did was that cory was the widow of ninoy aquino who was assassinated at the tarmac when he returned home from exile in the US.

a most powerful man in marcos cheating just a housewife in cory in the elections was just too much for the people to take. the people kicked the dictator out of the country and installed the housewife in malacanang.

that negative ad, a first in philippine politics back-fired.

this 2010 election has a kind of negative advertising. this ad was aired by gilbert teodoro.

(read full write up here: gilbert teodoro’s “galing at talino” tv ads – anti-noynoy, anti-humility, generic promises)

in these ads, the announcer voice-over says “dapat lider na hindi lang puso ang alay kung hindi galing at talino“, an obvious reference to noynoy aquino., the expected front runner during the time the ad was first aired.

it is mild and indirect but we do not think anyone missed the reference to aquino. the ad points out aquino’s inadequacy to be president and attempts to discredit the strength of aquino in this campaign.  having  just “puso” was positioned here as not enough or inferior and compared to teodoro’s strength which were enumerated in this ad. the whole ad except for that single line talked about the  credentials of teodoro. it positions teodoro as superior to aquino.

this ad of teodoro is the only political ad in this whole presidential campaign that makes a reference to an opposing candidate and a negative tv ad.

we can’t say for sure that this negative ad of teodoro backfired for him but we do know his ratings at the polls have put him at best 5% while aquino remained the front runner in this election.

we disagree with the way this ad has been done. the attempt at discrediting aquino was too mild and of no consequence in this ad. it’s an ad that is neither here nor there. we think if they really wanted to draw the attention to teodoro’s superiority over noynoy or noynoy’s inferiority to teodoro, they should have gone all the way. doing it in this piecemeal almost forgotten way will not do anything for teodoro but only eat precious seconds. they could have removed that line and the ad would have worked as well. they could have used the freed seconds to add more good qualities of teodoro like having a hot wife or that he drives a BMW 7-series.

in the US negative TV ads are more direct and biting and has no qualms in mentioning the other candidate by name. in fact these ads talk about the opposing candidate and at the end puts to question the other candidate’s credentials or capabilities.

these ads are against barack obama aired by john mccain meant to stop the momentum that obama was enjoying at that time.  negative tv ads are usually aired when an opposing candidate is very much leading in the polls and needs to be stopped. it’s very much like a hail mary pass where close to the election, the candidate airs negative tv ads hoping it will spark a rally  among his supporters and recruit new ones.

results of negative ads are mixed in the US. some worked and brought down candidates and some didn’t. political strategists have always said it is very risky but for a candidate who is not doing well, it is surely very tempting to do. this mccain negative ad against obama obviously did not work.

interestingly enough, these anti-obama negative ads aired by mccain are very much applicable here in the philippines against noynoy aquino or at least that is the negative campaign the presidentiables are saying during debates and press interviews.

are we going to see negative ads soon?

The celebrity backers of Barack Obama say
they are not like Paris and Britney.
[ Los Angeles Times – July 31, 2008 ] :

TO HOLLYWOOD it smacked of desperation.

That’s why the reaction to a new John McCain ad attempting to portray Barack Obama as a kind of mindless celebrity — likening him to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears — drew collective yawns and shrugs of irritation from politically active members of the entertainment industry.

Just for a start, industry types say the ad is wrong: In the Hollywood lexicon, Obama is not a celebrity. He’s a rock star. (Note to McCain strategists: That’s the difference between Jessica Simpson and Bono.)

Then there’s the small inconvenience that Paris’ parents, Rick and Kathleen Hilton, are supporters of McCain’s Republican presidential bid. According to federal campaign records, they gave the maximum $4,600.

No word on their plans for the general election, but this much is certain: Their daughter has never paid to attend an Obama campaign fundraiser. (It’s unclear whether she’s even met the senator, or whether she’s even registered to vote. The same goes for Spears.)

McCain’s latest attempt at discrediting his handsome, photogenic young rival particularly galls stars and executives with a memory, because only eight years ago, McCain was a fixture in Hollywood fundraising circles when he tried to raise money from the very people his ad now ridicules.

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