Poll bets told: It's not just about ad frequency

By Kathlyn dela Cruz, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Sep 03 2014 10:02 PM | Updated as of Sep 04 2014 06:02 AM

MANILA - Political strategist Malou Tiquia has a piece of advice for aspiring candidates for the 2016 elections -- the frequency of your advertisements will not ensure your victory in the polls.

Speaking to ANC's "Beyond Politics," Tiquia said more than the frequency of their political advertisements, candidates should know their specific target audience.

"A lot of candidates would always use frequency: 'The higher the frequency, mananalo kami.' 'Oy, bakit sa result ng survey walang traction?' They forget the other side, which is reach. Sino ba yung tina-try mong i-reach?" she said.

"Kung hindi mo nade-define yan, and you say: 'Ah, wala akong command vote, market votes lahat.' Eh di tina-target mo yung 52 million, which is bad campaigning," she added.

She said because of this notion that high frequency of advertisements always translates to more number of votes, some candidates only end up spending so much money but do not get the assurance that they would win in the elections.

"At the end of the day, when you quantify the expenditure and the votes, you're spending more for the ads than the votes you got," she said.

Tiquia suggested that candidates in 2016 combine the traditional platforms -- television, radio and print media -- with convergence platforms -- mobile devices and digital cable -- for their political advertisements.

"There's a way where you can put together the convergence of technologies -- from your traditional to new media. And really, that platform and that black box would be the defining moment for 2016," she said.

Pulse Asia president Ronald Holmes, likewise, pointed out that strengthening name recall through repetitive political advertisements does not necessarily translate to high number of votes.

"It doesn't mean that if voters know and recall your advertisement, they will vote for you," he said.

He said the advertisement has to fit the image of the candidate, and the candidate in turn must "walk the talk."

"Voters are able to assess the authenticity, credibility of the individual who delivers a particular message. So in that regard, I think candidates who would use policacies or political advertisements for that matter have to carefully craft their advertisements, that things that they say can be associated with them," Holmes said.

Meanwhile, he said more political advertisements can be expected for the next elections following the Supreme Court's (SC) ruling declaring as unconstitutional the Commission on Elections' (Comelec) rule on airtime limits for candidates.

Voting 14-0, the high court said the poll body's policy to allow national candidates just 120 minutes of television advertisements and 180 minutes of radio commercials in aggregate total is illegal.

Previously, candidates were allowed the same amount of time, but on a per station basis.

"The Supreme Court decision would help them (candidates) because that increases the airtime during the period of the campaign, which is just simply in middle of February 2016. But prior to that, they can spend as much as they can, if they want, or as much as they have," Holmes said.

"The other thing is that the advertisements that are counted in the limit are not these advertisements that are coming out now," he added.

The Comelec, for its part, said the SC's ruling negated a mechanism to level the playing field among candidates.