Years ago, my undergrad thesis was all about the credibility of television advertisements (TVCs) of prominent candidates during the 2010 Philippine national elections.

First, I pointed out the elements of credibility. Credibility is about the level of trustworthiness a person, idea, or anything appears to be. When a TVC is considered credible, the viewing public is more likely to believe in what the TV is trying to communicate to them.

In my research, there are two aspects of credibility. The human brain uses these two aspects to evaluate if a specific part of the subject is credible or not.

1.    Background of the candidate relating to what he or she is talking about on the TVC- a candidate should only talk about something he has experienced or affiliated with

2.    Presentation of ideas on the TVC- TVC producers should use excellent and persuasive visual and audio materials in the production to successfully groom the video into a real and credible video.

The two aspects could be deceiving. This part of the study needed a higher intellect to be able to distinguish the two. The first aspect is all about the public knowledge on the candidate. The second is about appearing on the TVC to be someone the public does not know. Thus the first is all about the candidate while the second is about the TVC production.

Second, I tried to pick the dominant elements of the TVC. One by one, my respondents evaluated if the specific elements of a TVC is very credible, moderately credible, somewhat credible, and not credible.

a.    Candidate’s appearance and vocal quality as seen on the TVC

b.    Other people’s – celebrity endorsers, common people- appearance and vocal quality as seen on the TVC

c.    The places and other visuals appearing on the TV

d.    The music, voice, and singer/s if there is any

e.    The slogan and script used in final copy of the TVC

f.     The color scheme of the final copy of the TVC

After completing the study, I realized many things about political advertising in the Philippines.

1.    Filipinos are fond of dramatic elements. Dramatic presentation of poverty on videos can win the hearts of the voting public.

2.    Filipinos want to be entertained. Thus, jingles are a hit during elections!

3.    Filipinos do not believe in veterans. They want new faces. They want fresh air!

4.    Filipinos want to see on TVCs what they are seeing around.

5.    Appearing as tough or “tigasin” cannot get the trust of the voting public. Appearing as a father or brother draws more sympathy from the public.