On February 6, 2001, five member agencies of the Advertising Board of the Philippines (AdBoard) namely McCann-Erickson, Basic Advertising, Avellana & Associates, Ace Saachi & Saachi Image Dimension and Avellana and Associates met with members of the Namfrel Media and Voter Advocacy Committee to plan ou a nationwide voters education campaign for the 2001 polls.
In order to come up with a relevant campaign,
AdBoard commissioned a study of the electorate to
determine what are their perceptions on elections
and on politicians in general. Since the target of
the campaign was the “masses” or voters belonging to
the C, D and E classes, they were made the subjects
of the study.
Generally, the respondents had a very low opinion of politicians. They were “walang silbi.” Respondents claimed “Hindi ko naman nakikita o nararamdaman ang epekto ng ginagawa nila” and “Naku, kung anong ikakayaman nya, dun sya. Iniisip ba nyan ang kabutihan namin?” Others said “Ok naman sana yung iba pero ano na ba talaga ang nagawa nila?”
With the change in leadership in the government brought about by the swift turn of events in January, there was a renewed hope for a better future and a better Philippines. People gave themselves another chance as they realized what they could do. “Parang nabuhayan ka ulit ng loob,” “Para kang bumoto ulit, ”Puwede pala nating baguhin ang tadhana natin” were some of the statements given by the respondents. Moreover, people’s consciousness was raised about their new set of leaders or officials. They now ask themselves “Sinong papalit kay _____? Makakatulong ba ‘yan o ganun ulit ang gagawin?”
The challenge was to come up with a campaign that will compel voters to be vigilant and involved in the elections and also to encourage intelligent voting among the people. The message that the committee wanted to impart was that choosing clean candidates will lead to clean elections and will bring about a clean government. Based on the above, AdBoard came up with the following tag line for its media-based campaign: “Matuto…Bantayan ang Boto…Umasenso!”
The "Matuto" part of the campaign was designed by the committee with a more vigilant and politically aware electorate in mind. The electorate was now, more than ever, looking forward to a government that will be more responsive to the needs of the people, most especially those in the lower-income bracket.
The campaign was also used as a vehicle in
recruiting volunteers for its nationwide OQC. The
thrust of this part of the campaign ("Bantayan ang
Boto") was to impart to the people that by joining
Namfrel, not only will they help in ensuring that
the votes will be counted but they will also be
taking part in nation building. The "Umasenso"
portion stressed how an enlightened citizenry making
an intelligent choice will lead to good governance
and a better society.
A total of 16 print ads, four radio plugs and nine TV ads were released between April and May 2001 in major dailies and tabloids, radio and KBP member television stations and cable TV companies. Aside from the trimedia ads, the committee also came up with three comics and two jingles one of which has a music video.