Popular sardine brand Ligo has shifted gears in their advertising campaigns to take a vocal stand against the Philippine government during the COVID-19 global pandemic. While it has gained them some viral notoriety, would it actually pay off with consumers?
The brand’s owners are obviously unsatisfied with the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and are voicing their opinions in hopes that they resonate with consumers. But does Ligo’s political advertising campaign actually capture what their buyers are thinking about the government?
The latest surveys by Pulse Asia Research Inc., saw President Duterte enjoy a 87% net satisfaction rating for December 2019. These high public approval scores have marked the entire Duterte administration. Even in the 2016 Presidential election, he won by over 6 and a half million voters more than the next leading candidate, former ruling Liberal Party bet Mar Roxas.
That same election saw Vice President Leni Robredo win by less than 300,000 votes above Bong Bong Marcos. Plus, the win was by no means clear cut – she got the lead on Marcos only at 4 am after transparency servers went down and she has since blocked any efforts for a recount. Even in surveys leading to the election, Robredo consistently trailed behind Marcos, Grace Poe’s Vice Chiz Escudero, and Duterte’s campaign partner, now Speaker of the House Alan Peter Cayetano.
In the 2019 national elections, nearly all admin bets won seats in national and local offices by landslides. Candidates popular with supporters of Roxas, like human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, who famously tried to hold Duterte administration officials accountable for incidents in the West Philippine Sea that happened in 2014 and earlier, lost miserably. The Otso Diretso ticket that rallied a similar demographic as Ligo’s new campaign failed miserably in the polls.
So, it’s quite established that the Duterte administration not only has the favor of the people, but their trust. In two consecutive national elections, the Duterte administration has sweepingly won seats without dispute. A vast majority of Filipinos, particularly the poor and those outside of Metro Manila, have consistently voiced approval for the actions of the administration.
Ligo has hedged their bets that their vocal anti-admin marketing campaign will pay off. Unfortunately, the numbers do not seem to support their strategy. 87% of Filipinos are likely to not find their Speaking Truth To Power marketing strategy to be relatable. Likely, a vast majority of Filipinos will find it to be an example of tasteless political commentary from a privately owned company.