The Videostyle of Philippine Senatorial Candidates in the 2004 Elections


The study explores the videostyle of senatorial candidates in the Philippines during the 2004 national elections through content analysis of their televised political spot ads and by using Hall’s culture context theory and Hofstede’s individualism/collectivism dimension of cultural differences as indicators. Results indicate that Filipino senatorial candidates followed cultural expectations and exhibited high-context communication characteristics in their ads. The candidates associate themselves with demographic groups and highlight their personal characteristics to depict an image of “patron” who is approachable and reliable. These conform to what voters look for in candidates as indicated in past studies. The candidates tend to use image ads, adopt a rapport style in communicating, avoid negative attacks, smile more often, and wear casual clothes to show that they are like ordinary people. But there are characteristics that did not conform to the expected high-context communication such as the use of symbols that was only present in less than half of the total ads and the immediate appearance of the candidates and their names in the first portions of their ads. Results also show that spot ads of winning candidates showed more characteristics of collectivism and high-context communication than losing candidates.