Evolution of Political Ad

February 13, 2019

 

A political campaign is a real must.  Imagine what would happen if a candidate would not run a campaign.  
In 1946, “Manuel Roxas became Liberal Party candidate for President and Elpidio Quirino for Vice-President. The Nacionalistas, on the other hand, had Osmeña for President and Senator Eulogio Rodriguez  for Vice-President. Roxas had the staunch support of General MacArthur. Osmeña refused to campaign, saying that the Filipino people knew his reputation.” (Big mistake) “On April 23, 1946, Roxas won 54 percent of the vote, and the Liberal Party won a majority in the legislature.” (en.wikipedia.org) That McArthur endorsement must have been a big thing.  Wait a minute.  What’s the American general doing meddling with Philippine politics?  Oh, lest I forget, these were different circumstances in Philippine history.  
“Ramon Magsaysay started the practice in the Philippines of “campaign jingles” during elections, for one of his inclinations and hobbies was dancing.”  I heard ”Mambo, Mambo, Magsaysay” in old documentary films.  s I’m not sure if it was a reworking of a popular pop song that time.  But it clearly makes use of mambo which would be the hip-hop or edm of the 1950s.  “The United States Government , including the Central Intelligence Agency, had a strong influence on the 1953 elections, and candidates in the election fiercely competed with each other for U.S. support.”  (en.wikipedia.org)  Okay, I get the picture.  Even for the barong tagalog wearing man of the masses Ramon Magsaysay, U.S. support was a really big thing.  They won’t really say much about this on history books, but there was much  propaganda against then President Quirino’s gold arinola”” which was used  by political opponents to portray his excessive extravagance.  We’re not really sure if that was part of the presidential campaign; but if we put that opposite Magsaysay’s popularity among the poor, you can guess a probable outcome.  
“In the 1961 presidential election, Diosdado Macapagal ran against Garcia’s re-election bid, promising an end to corruption and appealing to the electorate as a common man from humble beginnings.”  (en.wikipedia.org) Okay, a winning candidate really has to be a “common man with humble beginnings”.  It reminds me of the cliché tag line: “Aki nin Parauma”.  Did not Noynoy Aquino run in an anti-corruption advocacy?  Now, is that not simply amazing?  They’ve been trying to stop corruption for more than half a decade, and we’re still where we are right now.  What’s the deal with us? 
Well, we could go on with exploitation of show business, motherly charisma, presidential endorsement, the macho imagery, the persistence of the poor peasant persona in pamphlets, jingles, stickers, t-shirts, caps, comics, and political TV ads which were at some point in time, disallowed, then permitted again.  It’s a fiesta, and I don’t really mean it in a bad way.  Political campaign period is sort of a festive season (minus the violence, of course.)  We expected to see them on TV and maybe hear popular pop songs with altered lyrics.  (I’m actually waiting for my youtube viewing to be cut by an online political ad.  That would be highly probable, or has that happened already?)  But in this age, we are witnessing a new shifting of its shape in a new shade.  
I’m not sure when it started.  It crept quite slowly; then suddenly, we notice that there’s something, then we realize it’s enveloping our living rooms.  Have you watched the latest episodes of a popular weekend TV drama.  Yes, that one which had been running from the 90s, and may have been canceled at least for reasons for updating and novelty; had it not been for the host who happens to be a top network executive.  Talk about advantage.  Well, do you notice anything?   I believe loyal televiewers are thinking that stories are selected for their artistic and (yes, we have to admit it) commercial value.  Initially, TV audience may think, “okay, that’s interesting.”.  But then, I go, “wait a minute, this is a…”.  And why is a politician being interviewed by a popular showbiz talk show host when she doesn’t have a movie to promote?  And I thought, political ads would stage their shows between regular programming.  Now, they’ve taken over the regular programming.  The regular program itself has become a big glorified political advertisement, following suit of the likes of Vic Sotto making direct and unashamed references on a laundry detergent, and on a separate scene, on an instant pancit canton in his film, or Mike Enriquez making a Segway about an instant coffee product and food supplement right smack within the news commentary.  It has become an unwelcome stench that climbs up one’s nostrils, a prolonged pain of pollitos in motion on the TV.  Can you bring me back to Mambo Magsaysay?  At least, I can bob my head with amusement with that.  Or maybe, I’m just speaking for myself.  Maybe the electorate is all in on this new trend.  
Well, let’s relax and watch TV.  
“…for the LORD your God has chosen them to serve Him and to bless in the name of the LORD; and every dispute and every assault shall be settled by them.”
Deuteronomy 21:5

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