HomeFEU Communication Journalvol. 6 no. 1 (2010)

Political Candidates as Products: A Look at the 2010 Political Ads of Manny Villar and Noynoy Aquino

Karen Lee Viudez-panela

Discipline: Media, Advertising



With over P4.3 billion spent on political ads of candidates who ran in the May 2010 elections, the role of media in the electoral process has become more critical. Television (TV) alone racked up 76% of the overall media spending of political aspirants in the national level indicating a skewed preference towards the medium. A presidential candidate even ranked 7th among the Top 20 “brands” in the first quarter of 2010, making him the biggest ad spender in what could be the most expensive elections in the history of Philippine politics. Using textual analysis anchored on pure recall, the analysis centered on the TV ads that sold the candidacy of two presidential bets whose ads cluttered the TV screens even before the actual start of the official 90-day campaign period. Published views of The Philippine Star readers in its Inbox section have been considered as indicators of audience ‘readings’ of the political ads. As aggressiveness in using television advertising as a potent weapon to win votes becomes pivotal, much has yet to be done in terms of finding out if these ads proved to be effective or not in influencing vote decisions favorable to a candidate.