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,
The qualitative data are those available in the media – survey results from Pulse Asia, SWS and the Laylo Report.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
–more to follow–
Mar Roxas’ presidential campaign is unique – it is the only campaign that has single-mindedly stayed on one platform and advertising campaign since it launched in end July, 2015 with the formal endorsement of President Noynoy Aquino at Club Filipino. Roxas has stayed on “Daang Matuwid” since that formal endorsement. In the words of Aquino, Mar Roxas will “continue Daang Matuwid”.
With that announcement, Roxas got a huge bump in the polls, surging from a single digit rating to a double digit rating. That was in September 2015 where his rating at Pulse Asia stood at 18% making him a legitimate contender among the presidentiables. The surge placed Roxas at 3rd and very close to Jejomar Binay who was at 2nd, That was the first time that Roxas placed strongly in the polls.
But that surge in September 2015 was the last good news Roxas has gotten in the polls. For seven (7) months since September 2015 that Roxas has stayed on “Daang Matuwid” , Roxas has not gotten any good news in the polls.
After seven (7) months, Roxas is still 4th out of 5 candidates and his ratings has remained flat, just moving within the range of 17% to 20%, close to being within the margin of error. Being within the margin of error means the differences in his ratings are not significant, his numbers have not really changed.
This means “Daang Matuwid” is associated with failure, the most that it has given Roxas in the last seven (7) months of being single-minded on it is 4th place that is not moving at all. fourth place in an election will not win it.
In marketing and advertising an ad campaign or a brand positioning that is not delivering the results, like a rise in market share or an uptick in volume sales, is immediately dropped and changed into something else.
This action of dropping and changing ad campaigns and brand positioning is even more dire in a political campaign. A political campaign is short, lasting just months and has a definite deadline – election day. Not getting it right by election time means losing the election.
Mar Roxas’ “Daang Matuwid” for sure is a WAWAM!
Read also :
why Mar Roxas’ “Daang Matuwid” ad campaign is failing http://wp.me/pnw03-1Z5
Mar Roxas’ “Daang Matuwid” ad campaign is failing him – the numbers show it http://wp.me/pnw03-1YE
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?
Latest presidentiable poll from Pulse Asia shows a few things worth metnioning:
- Mar Roxas;s ratings surged in September to 18% from the previous 10%. that is an amazing +8% almost doubling his rating
- Roxas’ position jumped from a far fourth to now a statistical tie at 2nd with Binay with just a difference of 3% points. the survey has a margin error of +/- 3% points
- Roxas overtook Duterte who had lost ratings
- the gaps among the three, Poe, Binay and Roxas are now much closer in ratings than before
- of the top three only Roxas increased his ratings (+8% points) while not Poe (-3% points) and Binay (-1% points) deteriorated
- in fact among the top 8 politicians, only Roxas increased his ratings while the rest declined
just like the SWS survey, this Pulse Asia survey was conducted first week of September and the positive impact on Roxas’ ratings surge was president Aquino’s endorsement of Mar Roxas and Roxas owning and promising to continue Daang Matuwid. Daang Matuwid was what got Aquino to win the election by a landslide and has become the cornerstone of Aquino’s governance.
we are surprised at the power of Aquino’s endorsement and “Daang Matuwid”. we thought that would help but both have exceeded our expectations.
the value of Aquino’s endorsement come from the fact that Aquino is the most popular president of the country. and endorsement from him will help whoever candidate he endorses. Poe and Binay knew that and that is why both wanted Aquino’s endorsement. even Binay who is against Aquino had said so which on its own is a weird thing for him to say but he did.
Daang Matuwid’s power comes from the various high profile corruption cases that have been in the headlines for many months during the Aquino administration. that started with chief justice Corona who was impeached, Janet Napoles with her PDAF scam and high profile senators Enrile, Revilla and Estrada who are all in jail on corruption and plunder charges in connection with Napoles’ PDAF Scam.
aside from them. even vice president Jejomar Binay is embroiled in corruption and plunder charges that was in full media display for many months during the senate hearings. Binay being one of the presidentiables involved in corruption and plunder, the issue of corruption which Daang Matuwid is fighting has been highlighted this election season.
the country was aghast and nearly gave a collective puke every time the string of corruption charges were being revealed at the senate. there were many and each new alleged charge seem to be greater and more puke worthy than the last one. it was not lost on the people that Jejomar Binay was no ordinary government official, Binay as vice president is the second most powerful and most important elected government official in the country.
the country has in its midst the second most powerful and most important elected public official on whom alleged charges were being made that he was seemingly dirty from top to bottom and starting from the time he took public office in Makati allegedly including his family members from his wife to his children.
that was the scenario when Grace Poe came into the picture. Grace Poe was performing credibly in the senate hearings she participated in and the interviews she gave to media. she appeared to the people as a sensible, fair and most importantly clean elected government official.
as more of the alleged charges against Binay came to light and none of them answered and Binay and his spokespersons mishandling the situation, Grace Poe emerged as the exact opposite to what Binay stood for in the minds of people. that is the reason why Poe surged in the polls and took over the lead from Binay while Binay continued on his downward spiral.
Roxas at the time was just doing his job at DILG, hardly talking and not confirming his plans for the 2016 election. it is that reason why Roxas did not factor in the surveys during that particular time.
with Binay marred with alleged multi million and serial charges of corruption he was juxtaposed against Poe who was squeaky clean. all of a sudden the 2016 election became an election about Good vs. Evil.
Poe being a woman who spoke in a measured and calm tone, with little make up, dressed casually almost always was directly compared to Binay a male whom the public pictured based on the numerous corruption power point presentations being made at the senate hearing.
it was the classic Good vs Evil comparison.
when looking at election polls, specially at the early stages of the election campaign, one should not just look at the actual rating numbers but equally important one should look for the trend. the trend is the one that will kill a candidate. the trend in many ways predict the future. in election polls, respondents are being asked of their sentiments and attitudes at that point in time that the survey is being taken. that attitude and sentiment ay change in succeeding survey points. a trend describes the movement of sentiments or attitudes.
for the presidentiables once a trend is identified, that should demand some action from the presidentiable. a rising trend means whatever the presidentiable is doing is working in his favor, a declining trend means people are finding something wrong with the presidentiable. when that happens, the presidentiable need to change what he is doing or what he is saying so that the declining trend will first be arrested and then later on hopefully reversed. for that to happen, the presidentiable need to do something different from whatever he is doing at the present time.
based on the polls as of this writing : poe is on the lead but trending flat; roxas is 2nd/3rd, an impressive climb and trending up while binay has decreased and continue to trend downwards.
are poe, roxas and binay listening to the trend?
just when things are heating up in the pre-2016 election campaign and new stars are emerging, Grace Poe and Duterte, based on the most recent Pulse Asia survey, Mar Roxas comes out as still alive and not yet down and out as others have been saying or as others are wishing.
Roxas in the last Pulse Asia survey shows a magnificent gain of +6% points, now at 10% from his previous 4%. he more than doubled his rating. Roxas is now a strong 4th. he is back to his previous rating of low double digit numbers.
this rating shows he is definitely not out of the presidentiables race. what would be interesting for him is his rating in the next survey. if Roxas sustains the double digit rating and specially if he gains, then we can say he has recovered and reversed the trend to an uptrend.
so much attention has been given to Grace Poe’s rating while very little has been given to roxas. we’re not saying the attention given to Poe is undeserving because it is. Poe over taking the previous poll leader Binay is a great achievement and worth the praise and attention.
but looking at the numbers – there are only two presidentiables who have gotten significant gains in this Pulse Asia survey – Poe is one of them, +16% points which is astronomical and the other is Roxas which is a +6% points. the increase in number for Roxas may not look much, a +6% points but it actually is considering where he was before just a 4% rating. Roxas more than doubled his rating in the latest survey. a number that is being doubled is very, very impressive even if it is a small base.
Duterte also gained, a +3% points to 15% from the previous 12% but that is not statistically different with the +/- 3 margin of error. statistically speaking, Duterte has not gained anything.
what is even more interesting is that both Poe and Roxas gained. one did not gain at the expense of the other. that is a good sign. it means each one has its own base support and they are gaining from non-admin candidates. this of course can change in the coming surveys but for now, the numbers are looking good for both of them.
the election is months away and except for Binay, the candidates have not officially declared themselves as candidates. time is on the side of Roxas. he has a lot of time to build his coalitions and support base. there are still a lot that he can do.
but what are these things that he can do? that is another topic on another time.
-21 percentage points (performance) and -20 percentage points (trust) are very dramatic drops. aquino’s ratings at its lowest is an added kick in the burr. this is how people see aquino’s performance during the Mamasapano SAF 44 incident.
the significant drop in performance rating was the very dramatic increase in “disapproval” ratings across the board, in all areas and all socio-eco classes and in almost all at least double in increase versus previous rating.
presidentiable VP Jojo Binay’s survey ratings continue to fall for a second consecutive quarter. in this Pulse Asia survey to 26% in the November 2014 survey from 31% in the previous survey, a 5% point drop. this should worry Binay and his advisers as it makes the possibility of losing the 2016 election a bigger reality.
he is still number 1 in the survey but that is practically meaningless as for surveys like these, the trend is much more important and meaningful than the actual rating for the period. the question being asked in this survey is something like “if elections were held today, who will you elect as president?”, thus the answer respondents are giving are relevant to the current time only when the survey was conducted.
the election is still in 2016, at least 5 quarters to go of surveys (surveys are conducted on a quarterly basis) and that means changes to the ratings and rankings will happen depending on developments in the country and the actions of the presidentiables. the changes will be dramatic with those initially ahead in the surveys early on dropping down, even to levels where they eventually lose the election. we saw this in the most recent presidential election in 2010 when at the start of the election period, senator Manny Villar was way ahead of everyone but eventually dropped to number 3 or 4 by election time when he was besieged with corruption charges and mismanaged its handling.
the drop in the most recent survey for Binay is an indication that the things he has been doing during the time from the previous survey to this one have not been working for Binay. Binay continued to be on a Binayfication strategy where he continue to ignore the corruption charges and allegations, refusing to directly answer them, to deny or confirm any of it and to offer evidence that prove they are false.
under the Binayfication strategy is his refusal to attend the senate hearing. the senate sub-committee that has been conducting the hearings on the over-pricing of the Makati parking building has repeatedly and in public told Binay there is an open invitation for him to attend the hearing. Binay on his part has also repeatedly refused to attend the hearings giving a lot of silly reasons. then at some point, for a reason only he and his advisers know, Binay said he will only attend the senate hearing if the mother committee in the senate invites him.
well, the mother committee through the committee chair, senator Guingona, extended an invitation to the vice president. the senate even went to the extent of assigning a date and time. and on the appointed time and date, the senate set up a table, chair, a microphone, a name plate and even a glass of water in the middle of the place where the hearings are being conducted. it was a surreal scene as the media took pictures and showed live TV footage of the empty chair. Binay demanded the mother committee give him an invitation, it did but he did not show up.
there were new and additional corruption charges and allegations made during the period. but the other telling development under the Binayfication strategy was the debate with senator Trillanes. the same thing happened here – Binay challenged senator Trillanes to a debate on the corruption issues. after a bit of time, Trillanes agreed and accepted the debate challenge. staff from both sides started to meet to discuss the debate and like the one above, a date and time was set. then, all of a sudden and something that it appears none of his staff and advisers did not know about, Binay announced he will not debate with Trillanes.
the drop in the most recent survey may be attributed to the Binayfication strategy – it is not working and it is not able to arrest the decline in the ratings of Binay. rather than helping him, Binay continue to lose supporters.
looking at the specifics of the survey results, to us the most telling and the one that should concern Binay the most are his ratings in Luzon, and among the upper class (ABC) and the lower class, D.
the drops in Binay’s ratings are across the board – all areas and all socio-eco classes. but the drop in the Luzon rating is dramatic and stands out – it is now exactly one half of what it was in march, 2014. it is a dramatic decline to 22% from 44% in march, a huge -22% point loss.
similar dramatic declines occurred among the ABC and D socio-eco class. the upper and middle class saw an even bigger degradation – dropping -30% points to now just 17% from 47%. the D saw a -16% point shrinkage to 26% from 42%. losing your base support from these groups is a nightmare for any election campaign. this is an exodus of supporters from the thinking class and the poor.
the election is still 5 quarters away, Binay can still recover with still a lot of things he can do during that time. what he wants is to do things that will reverse what may be the beginning of a declining trend. he and his advisers should realize Binayfication is not working, something else needs to be done.
question is – does Binay have the smarts, the will power and the good things in him to abandon the Binayfication strategy and pursue another strategy, like the Truth Strategy?