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On the Radar

Battle of the stars: How celebrity endorsements have taken on a deeper meaning

BROAD CAST - Jing Castañeda - Philstar.com
Battle of the stars: How celebrity endorsements have taken on a deeper meaning
Combination photo shows Toni Gonzaga during UniTeam's proclamation rally at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan and Angel Locsin during Vice President Leni Robredo's campaign rally in Pasig City.
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Candidates and their supporters have been going around the Philippines to share their platforms, convincing the unsure, and trying to win as many votes as they can. It’s been almost customary for celebrities to join political sorties, either to entertain or speak. Whether we admit it or not, the more popular the personality, the bigger the crowd he or she attracts.   But the questions remain, can celebrities alter the choice of people? Can their star power persuade people to choose the candidate they support?

It’s a star-studded affair 

Strategists think of political candidates as “products” and ever since, behind the success of a brand or a product is a popular endorser. Even though there’s not an uncompromising study that proves (as well as dispels) the effectivity of a personality’s political endorsement, according to campaign strategist Alan German during his interview with ABS-CBN anchor Christian Esguerra, having a celebrity backing a politician is helpful.  But it still depends on a few things. Just like in retail, the key factors that we’re looking at would be awareness, memorability, and purchase intent. According to German if a celebrity attached themselves to the politician, there will be a spike in their awareness because in a way they benefit from the fanbase of the celebrity. Memorability also plays a huge part since sometimes the politician will be synonymous to the celebrity.   Just like in retail, when a celebrity endorses a product, he or she also embodies the personality —aesthetically and in virtue -- of the brand.

Personalities that are more visible than others in terms of having prominent shows, social media presence, and influence are more viable to be extra effective compared to those whose stardom already dwindled throughout the years. But as German would say, celebrities who are not that in-demand still have clout outside NCR; they still tend to generate an audience. 

“Kapag uma-attend sila ng event, pinupuntahan pa rin sila ng mga tao especially in the provinces,” says German.   

In an interview with online news website, Rappler, political consultant Art Garcia discussed the process of getting personalities as political endorsers -- from knowing the sectors they would like to tap, to getting the right “face for the campaign,” until they close the deal. “The more exclusive, the bigger the payment,” says Garcia pertaining to the fee for the endorsement. 

Sorties of presidential candidates Vice-President Leni Robredo and former Senator Bongbong Marcos have the biggest number of celebrities backing them up.  But I think the glaring difference in this election is that some celebrities now go beyond entertainment when they involve themselves. Some are so passionate with the campaign that they would go as far as joining the house-to-house initiatives and speaking onstage to endorse someone they personally and sincerely believe in. Stars like Maricel Soriano, Vic Sotto, Sharon Cuneta, Nadine Lustre, Toni Gonzaga, Piolo Pascual, Dawn Zulueta, Claudine Barretto, to name a few, have already announced their support.  Vice Ganda has also endorsed Leni Robredo during the party’s rally in Pasay. This is considered a huge endorsement given Vice Ganda’s massive following.  These stars, musicians, and “influencers” who currently grace sorties also claim that they’re volunteers, meaning their services are for free.   Sabi nga, nangangampanya sila hindi para sa bayad, kung hindi para sa bayan. 

AP (Ako’y Pilipino) Partylist

AP Partylist backed up by "Ang Probinsyano" stars headed by Coco Martin.
Photo from Cocomartin_PH

Coco Martin, Julia Montes, Angel Aquino and other stars of the blockbuster Teleserye “Ang Probinsiyano” are also passionately campaigning for their long-time friend, Representative Ronnie Ong, a nominee of the AP (Ako’y Pilipino) partylist.    

In our interview with Ong in the recent episode of Pamilya Talk’s F&B Live, he shared how grateful he is for his star-studded supporters.

Watch our full interview with Rep. Ronnie Ong of AP partylist group.

“We're happy na marami tayong mga kaibigan na willing to help us for free, naniniwala sa ating adbokasiya.  Of course kasama na dun ang ating King of Primetime TV na si Coco Martin… Marami po tayong mga friends sa showbiz, I respect them a lot and they've been very helpful with us, sa mga programs natin,” says Ong. 

Coco and his co-stars even go the extra mile of helping Ong in executing his programs for students, senior citizens, transport sector and frontliners, including #LibrengSakay, #LibrengGulay for community kitchens, and E-skwela Hubs, where students and teachers can access free internet and free computers.
Whether or not people go to rallies to watch their favorite entertainers support a politician, what’s important is who you will be voting for come election day. Let’s still make our due diligence to do our own research and gather more information about the candidates.  I’m not one to judge a celebrity getting paid to participate and perform in a rally, but I hope that they’d consider the influence that they have and be more discerning to whom they’d attach their names with. Let’s all be responsible voters by choosing the most dependable people that protect and rebuild our nation (Watch our Pamilya Talk interview with University of the Philippines Prof. Jean Encinas-Franco and Dr. Aries Arugay for a deeper discussion on celebrities and politics).

 

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Watch Pamilya Talk on Facebook, YouTube, and Kumu (@JingCastaneda – 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. Tuesday & Wednesday). You can also follow my social media accounts: InstagramFacebookYouTubeTwitter and Kumu.  Please share your stories or suggest topics at [email protected] 

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