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.
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.
political polls are always tricky. the nature of political polls is one where change can occur often and rapidly. that comes from the design itself – political polls measures the attitude of the respondents, in this case voters at a given point in time. current events and the latest developments in the country, in the political arena and most specially among the presidentiables themselves influence the attitude of voters. in other words anything and many things can influence the mind of the voter.
that is when you look at one specific poll result. it becomes a slightly different story when you have several of these poll results, the same question being asked across several points in time. from there you can see a trend.
looking at the SWS presidentiable polls across several polls conducted since early december 2009, it clearly shows the steady decline of the poll ratings of noynoy aquino.
while the decline in the first three polls are negligible being within the margin of error or just about there, the last one in end february is a clear red flag as that is statistically a significant drop from the previous.
while that to some degree may not be as worrisome as he continues to enjoy front runner status, the alarm bells come off when we look at the ratings of the other presidentiables, specifically manny villar. there is a clear upward trend on the ratings of villar to the point that villar has statistically tied aquino as front runner.
the other thing to consider is erap estrada. we were expecting estrada’s ratings will eventually drop as the campaign period went on but his actual ratings on a trend is the opposite. it has not gone down but it has basically remained at the same level and the recent data shows a slight increase (though not statistically significant).
within the context of a contest to which this presidential race is, at the minimum it shows a picture of aquino losing ground while his opponents are gaining ground.
this seems to indicate that aquino’s supporters are vulnerable to poaching by the other presidentiables. that generally indicates aquino is not doing enough to protect his franchise.
his main opponents on the other hand, villar and estrada have been doing many more things than they used to before the campaign period. most notably villar has had dramatic changes in his ad campaign with a slew of new executions and changes in strategy, including huge and aggressive public meetings.
even estrada has changed his tv ads. from the nostalgic ads he had before, he is now into more specific messages and positioning plus aggressive public meetings.
we also think aquino will lose this election by default – he has not done enough and he did not do anything at the time he was supposed to. we wonder if it is over confidence. we think it is really more of a strategic blunder.
can aquino recover and change the outcome to a win in this election? yes he can. but he needs to do a lot more than what he has been doing and he needs to get his campaign strategies right. the first one is easy but we think the second one is not. specially for the aquino campaign. we think poor and weak strategic thinking is the aquino campaign’s greatest weakness. unfortunately, we do not think they know that.
~~ a mindscape landmark – carlo arvisu ~~
negative campaign tv ads : gilbert teodoro did it first & what ferdinand marcos & john mccain have in common with gilbert teodoro
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.
we have seen the poll numbers change and the changes are not good for noynoy aquino. his ratings are falling and villar whose ratings in previous polls were either holding or slightly rising has finally caught up with aquino and now in a statistical tie.
we attribute aquino’s fall on bad advertising decisions and fatal advertising blunders. (click here to read articles on the topic: why aquino will lose the election). we think what happened is that aquino has lost his momentum due to the fatal blunder of not doing anything in advertising after they aired the first ad . he used to be at the top fo the polls, clearly dominant with the 2nd placer, villar very far down the ladder but not anymore. not doing anything new and allowing a gap in the ads allowed villar to build his base and grab the agenda.
villar has grabbed the momentum away from aquino. in marketing and in elections, that is a very dangerous thing to happen, most specially at this time when we are just less than 3 months away. in these things, momentum sometimes matter more than actual numbers.
the aquino campaign has responded with more pointed and focused efforts on the message of corruption. this is a good effort but we do not think this is enough. we also think this latest effort sorely lacks the strategic thinking that was sorely missed in the fatal blunders they have made in advertising.
meanwhile, villar as of today released new ads, at least we heard this on the radio where villar talks about something personal – his brother died because they had money to buy medicines. this is a brilliant ad.
it has drama, it is personal and it talks very eloquently of a national issue – poverty, high cost of medicines and bad health care system. what the villar campaign is doing is that they are defining the agenda for this campaign. aquino used to do this at the start but from doing nothing, it has conceded this initiative and allowed villar to take the lead in defining the agenda and the messages.
once again, aquino’s advertising team was caught flat footed. and once again, they were too slow to react and did not have enough strategic thinking skills in doing something about it.
we think the aquino campaign is in trouble.
~~ a mindscape landmark – carlo arvisu ~~