6) Attack memes with memes. Attacking short memes with long data does not make sense. It is akin to serving tiramisu to the people whose taste buds are only good for rice cake. Roxas’ data-based memes and infographics came later in the game. The minds of Filipino voters were already poisoned by fabricated stories, fake images, and invented “facts”. You just cannot remain smart when the people you want to convince are dumb. They are not interested to know the truth but to believe even in lies.
7) Use a political language that does not alienate. “Disente” was a huge political marketing failure. “Marangal” should have been vigorously used instead. The very linguistic nature of the word “disente” is elitist and colonial. It originated from the Spanish word “decente”, which means decent, upright, and proper–the sophistication of the colonialists. “Disente” alienated the Filipino masses who viewed themselves as the opposite of that word. After all, they are those whose tongues are used to saying “putang ina”.
8) Counter black propaganda with black propaganda. A black propaganda is unleashed to destroy a political image. In a country like the Philippines, where most voters are still politically immature and prefer personality over platform, black propaganda–real or imagined–are effective. Whoever thinks that issue-based campaign will work in the Philippines is naive and wishful. Also, such propaganda is “black” because politics is dirty, and it is not for priests and professors. It is also a “gory cockfight” entertainment among the masses.
9) Release exposés in monthly increments. For an exposé to be effective, it should be talked about on social media for weeks or even months. What Trillanes did was an overkill–numerous allegations at the eleventh hour. Voters, even if the exposés were true, ended up dismissing them and asking why they only came out right before the election day. What happened next was that they sympathized with Duterte more because he came off as the maltreated and the oppressed plus they already made up their minds.
10) Refute issues with issues. Last election, federalism was widely talked about, and there was no effective anti-federalism response. It could have been shut or toned down by explaining that it could not be feasible due to the poor local economies of many regions not financially ready yet for autonomous statehood. Perhaps a video of an expert talking about its non-feasibility would have helped voters who were trying to gather information about federalism on social media. It was a missed opportunity.
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