Ambasing: Election Posters

WE HAVE been bombarded with so much information about candidates running for the May election. People have been courted in numerous ways. The people would be the judge on who will be the next elected official next week. The candidate with the most votes from the judges, in this case the voting public, wins.

We have to admit that for some, judging the candidates to arrive at a final list for May 10 may hinge on the mundane. The simple poster may have a bearing on one voter's preference rather than the more substantial plans and visions that a candidate SHOULD possess.

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I would have to say that the most unappealing campaign poster happens to be one that is too busy it is distracting. The poster is not focused.

The poster of Mayoralty candidate Madam Sembrano is this poster. First off, the background is too busy that it detracts and distracts. The flowery background has too many small details in terms of color that the letter on top of the background is difficult to read. Letters have to be easy to read from a distance. An example of good background using flowers would be that of Aliping with the bright yellow flowers. It looks clean. It looks bright. It evokes Aliping to be both clean and bright. Maaliwalas in tagalog. Sembrano's poster on the other hand evokes haphazardness. Lack of focus. Lack of clarity. Burara. I think our advertising students may want to help her out next time? A school project perhaps?

The second thing I find unattractive in Sembrano's poster is her picture. It comes across as too maddeningly serious and too strict for comfort. It leaves an impression that she is not approachable. It is a picture that screams be-yatch. Though it may be interpreted to mean that she is one tough and serious candidate brave enough to tackle the city's problems head-on, this bull-strong impression left by her picture should be softened a bit. Not too much in the way of Loren Legarda, but one that should continue to mean that she is serious in tackling our problems. The picture looks too constipated and too "trying-hard" to be in


Another poster that I wish would have been redone would be the black and white katcha posters of Mayor Peter Bautista. The poster, which came out early in the campaign period, evoked negativism. We later find out the reasoning for the use of black and white in Mayor Bautista's campaign, which is quite sound and reasonable. However, there is a good way of using black and a bad way. The initial posters of Mayor Bautista were terrible. The subsequent ones, though, are much better. His best happens to be the one with him wearing the white barong. His most numerous poster, the one with the black background and white lettering with the letter B having a torch needs some tinkling to be more effective. The B does not come out immediately as a B and the torch does not come across quickly as a torch. The idea of incorporating the torch into his surname is good. However, it could have been better. A red torch to counter the black and white would have been better.

The most outstanding use of black in their campaign poster happens to be Mr. Go. The green GO in bold letters just tells the voter that he will GO out to work and grab the opportunity to improve the city's status. A bleak black but a screaming optimistic and earth-friendly GREEN and bold GO. Now that tells a lot His earlier posters though come across as seemingly too connected to Shoe Mart. With that patch of tree-filled lot across the University of the Philippines being an issue with SM, some people actually even thought Mr. Go to be a fielded candidate of SM.

The black and green poster of the Honorable former Mayor Yaranon also works. It comes in second for me for those posters predominantly using black. However, his more common poster that appears like a convict's wanted poster is a love it or hate it proposition. His picture is OK and in fact conveys his previous role as a member of the judiciary. It is the font style used for his surname beneath his picture that makes the poster look like a wanted poster. It could have been purposely done knowing his past as the city's chief but for someone ignorant of the history, this just comes across in a negative way. It is fine as a parody of sorts but only to the knowledgeable. It may be counterproductive for some.

One poster that hits it right is Daoas' poster with the bright yellow background. It works for her. It sings of optimism. Her bright smile adds a feeling of reassurance and confidence, as well as a caring attitude. Her other posters with the other colors though do not work as well. Her other posters are not bad at all but if you would pick just one out of the lot, it would have to be the ones with the yellow background.

Another poster that works well and evokes optimism, hope, and wisdom, is the poster of Molintas for Mayor. The background is soft but not feminine. It is soothing but strong. It is reassuring but clear. The pastel colors of the flowers just works for him because it accentuates his dignified picture that just tells you he knows what he is doing. His salt and pepper hair with this pastel background suggests one who is filled with wisdom. His picture comes across as "King Solomon-like."

Now these are mere posters and the decision to vote for the different candidates should not be based on who has the best poster or campaign slogan, but it has to be based on more concrete and meaningful factors. Posters should make the voter pay attention to the candidate and once attention is grabed, then the candidate should start talking. What is the candidates' plan for the city's constituents?

Hey, really! It has been weeks since the campaign started and many still do not know the concrete plans of the different candidates. Do they really have one?

Go beyond the posters! Ask! Research! Be an informed voter and do your part in teasing out the bad from the good or not so bad. It is not too late.
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