The elections are over. There was a relative short campaign on the ground, but the battle was fought fiercely on the television screens. Both major political parties relied on television ads to get their messages out. The duration of the newscast, particularly in the last week of the campaign frustrated some; others kept their eyes glued to the screen for political ads. News Five’s Jose Sanchez has a look at the memorable ones.
Jose Sanchez, Reporting
This is a final look at the campaign advertisements does not contain a list of the worst production ads or those that lacked creativity simply because there were so many. So instead we are looking at some of the more memorable campaign ads that have been for better or worse, burnt on the psyche of those that experienced Elections 2012.
One of the most creative in mixed media contained cartoon, song, collage and message. That is the King Dean. Since his critics call him arrogant, the ad painted the PM as a hip monarch, with expensive taste. If anything, it actually showed how creative graphic artists in Belize. That particular campaign of the king with a scepter was well planned as the Dean dollars came into circulation to give it legs.
The U.D.P. was timely with its puppet ads. One featured Said Musa as a table photo in the background, because Ralph loves him too. But uncle Ralph and nephew Francis, were mourning the loss of Mark and Cordell, who had the sure P.U.P. seats that fate surely took away on March seventh.
Since the U.D.P. attacked the P.U.P. for being the architect of the super bond, the Blue hoped to kill some of the edge of that attack by putting their own spin on it. This ad portrayed the prime minister as a super hero vampire, in red that blames everything on the bond.
A staple of the U.D.P.’s message was the mistakes of the former P.U.P. government. They dealt mainly with poor economic decisions. This one counted on voters, as the shirt shows, “to remember.”
American rapper Eminem’s old but memorable hit song Slim Shady was used with distorted heads of the PM to show what the P.U.P. felt was different sides of Barrow. The message attacked the perception of trust in the U.D.P. leader with real issues. It would have been more effective without the distorted heads.
Since different versions of the King Dean ads had gained traction, the U.D.P. hit back with an old tune, but with a uniquely creative and memorable song and dance featuring the former prime minister, Ralph Fonseca as back up for the Leader of the Opposition. It is the U.D.P.’s second most memorable ad. The strategy was to negatively link and mark Francis Fonseca as a puppet of the old guard.
The ads play on perception. Even though there are two P.U.P. appointees to the Elections and Boundaries Commission, one ad attacked the U.D.P. members. It was an insignificant ad, but it is now worthy of mentioning since the P.U.P. has not yet conceded defeat.
Probably the best scary ad, for children that is, would be the one featuring the World Wrestling Federation’s Undertaker. Wait a minute; the buff undertaker is no other than Ramon Witz. Though the ad was a tad ridiculous and deprived viewers of wrestling, it explains why…
But the ad with the best production value and could be played on VH-1, was the one featuring Tanya Carter. Forget voting, when does the Carter CD come out?
Charles Caleb Colton wrote that “Imitation is the best form of flattery.” If the Yellow-man imitation of Finnegan who received eighty-two point eight percent of the votes cast was not enough to convince you, then the P.U.P.’s ads with their own version of Yellow-man was the best insincere compliment Finnegan would receive.
But the ad that carried through for the election, love it or hate it has to go to the winning party. The production value was poor. It had no puppet, no song, or technically savvy graphic. Its star was a bucket, and it featured Yellow Man who reprised his mini-Finnegan posture of the 2008 campaign.
And we’re not just assuming the bucket was a vital part of the campaign. At the victory rally, Yellow Man dropped the bucket in front of the U.D.P. headquarters for the cheering crowd. Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.
Many candidates had local singers rewrite trendy rap, carnival and Reggaeton songs to say vote for them. So if you didn’t like that your favorite song was mutilated into a campaign tune, perhaps a poll on the effectiveness of those songs can be done in the future.