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The Candidate as a Brand.

The politician is really very like a product.  He needs to be known, his image easily recognized, his attributes and skills understood, his platform and promises made familiar to -- and desired by -- his target audience. Unfortunately, and unlike consumer brands, the manner by which politicians are publicized is inefficient, haphazard, prone to misunderstanding and malicious distortion.

Publicity in the news reduces him to soundbites, which oversimplifies what he wants to say. Public speeches are not appropriate venues to go deep into his advocacies and platform of government. And the 30-second technology of advertising restricts him to punchlines and jingles. Every consumer product attains success only when it is turned into brand. And so with the politician: brand awareness, not just recognition, is a basic need.

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  POLITICO: Public Servants as Products

How do you market a candidate with meager resources and behind bars? General Danny Lim is respected by people from all sides of the political spectrum. People he fought across the battlefield pay him homage. Courted by several political parties, and even after he decided to run with the Liberal Party, members of other parties take time to express their respect for this man.

How do you sell the gentleman? You ask them to honor him... on air. The salute is a gesture of respect and homage. The known and the powerful, public servants and celebrities humbly salute an impressive man.

Ranked 39-59th at the start of the campaign, he ends it at 17th, with over 6 million votes.

Generating awareness for a partylist. Joel Villanueva, a congressman representing the partylist Citizens Battle Against Corruption, needed additional visibility in preparation for a reelection bid.

Despite the short legal period to campaign, the absence of funding, government harassment, (including the fielding of a candidate who wanted to be allowed to use the name “Bro. Eddie Gil”), Bro. Eddie Villanueva managed to move from pastor to political figure, hold the world’s largest political rally in history (estimates ranging from 3.5 million to 5 million) and shape the Philippine Christian community into a force with which government has to contend.

The rise of the democratic left. Progressive Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel, the partlist representative of Akbayan in congress runs for the senate. In Risa's first term in Congress, her accomplishments have surpassed those of congressmen who have occupied their positions longer.

Ranked 34-54 at the start of the campaign, she ends it at 13th place.

The mayor is faced with problems that bother countries, and presidents. The problems local government officials contend with are as grave as those that confront a national government. Crime prevention, drug addiction, infrastructure maintenance. Unemployment. The crisis. While the mayor is loved -- even adored -- by constituents, his accomplishments are unheralded. Even unheard of.

Phase One of his campaign is to crow about the Miracle that is Makati.

Tourism is the Silver Bullet. When tourism blesses a city, expect nearby towns to flourish as well: the nearest hotels and restaurants, the nearest providers of fish and vegetables. Suddenly cottage industries emerge. The Secretary of Tourism is also the secretary of labor and of trade and industry.

Noynoy Aquino runs a triumphant TV campaign. There is a time to stop campaigning and start claiming victory. In the last weeks before the election, Benigno Simeon Aquino III airs a message of hope.

Click to see   Eye Askant  Prof. Pozon's political campaign site.
Click to see   Eye Askant  Prof. Pozon's political campaign site.
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