Monday, May 10, 2010

The rise and fall of Manny Villar

WHAT HAPPENED? How did he go from the candidate to beat a year ago to a measly third place now (as of 11 p.m., May 10), trailing behind even Erap Estrada? The count's not over yet, of course, but it looks more and more as if Manny Villar will lose. How did that happen? Care to share your thoughts? I have my own, but I'd like to hear yours first--because I believe that, more than the likelihood of Noynoy Aquino winning the presidency, the biggest story of this campaign will turn out to be how the candidate with the greatest advantage--a stirring life story, a sleekly packaged campaign, the biggest sum ever spent yet on a local presidential run--could still register this big a loss. How did he manage to squander the enormous headstart he had and lose all that in a matter of a few months? Where did he go wrong, and what does his defeat say--about his campaign, about us the electorate, about the man himself, or at least the persona he presented to voters? Manny Villar's is the more compelling story, because he had the biggest reason NOT to lose. Years from now, people will still be talking about how he dropped the ball--despite his billions. Or perhaps because of them? Well, what do you think?

20 comments:

Chanot said...

Familiarity breeds contempt. Plus, people got sick of him because of his overexposure. Much like the quick rise and fall of the original F4 boys.

ShatterShards said...

The Villarroyo tag did considerable damage, I guess. Also finding out that his rags-to-riches story was peppered with huge helpings of "creative non-fiction" didn't endear him to people. Sympathy over a dead brother can easily turn to incredulity when you realize that he used his dead brother (and his mother) to make his bid for the presidency.

munkey said...

He wanted it too much. And that's scary. VERY scary.

Alem said...

dami rin kasing lumabas na negative reports disputing his life story. plus, marami rin atang natakot na siya ang mananalo kaya lahat ng baho niya, nilabas isa-isa ng iba't ibang mga tao. people are tired of another gma-like reign and so that brought his downfall.

Anonymous said...

cory died,period!

Guyrony said...

Argumentum ad misericordiam.

That about sums it up.

rudeboy said...

Assuming that no massive cheating occurs in the interim, as an ad man, I'd say offhand that Villar's juggernaut campaign was too much of a good (?) thing. Some advertisers (and their agencies) believe that the best way to garner brand recall is to bombard the viewer with their ads every possible second. True, Villar's jingles were annoyingly recallable, and certainly his name was top-of-mind, but just like any product that relentlessly attacks the consumers with its promises, his blitzkrieg didn't translate into sales.

His choice of "endorsers" also left much to be desired. I understand his ratings started to plummet right after Willie Revillame became associated with him. Likewise, the whispers of him being Arroyo's dark horse couldn't have helped; as in the case of Gibo, hers is the kiss of political death.

I think the final nail in the coffin was, as ShatterShards pointed out, the literal use of his dead brother and his mother to garner sympathy. Methinks that tactic backfired in a major way, and whichever of his many agencies that recommended that line of approach certainly walked away with his money.

Jedd said...

"the biggest sum ever spent yet on a local presidential run" also turned out to be disadvantageous for him later. people began to balk at the thought of his campaign expenses and became suspicious. if he's spending big dough, surely he'll try to recover it when he becomes president. it was story after story about his wealth, his businesses, his use of his position for financial advantage, etc. and he never succeeded in shifting the focus to other issues. how else could he when his ads would only remind us yet again that once he was poor and now immensely rich?

and the mother. the mother ad! i think that was a tipping point for many.

Jedd said...

Which is funny in a way. People lamented that you had to be rich to run for president. Maybe it was a case of 'too rich'?

Jay Quiambao said...

i think it was the moment he used his mom and the villaroyo buzz. :)

The Bakla Review said...

the movie logic is: when you succeed early, expect backlash.

villar's campaign makers should have prepared for a last-minute twist: something new on top of the old, to make the backlash seem like the old news, with a second wind. this was the missing ingredient. you can't arrive at oscars day, i mean election day, with loud backlash. there was no third act to his campaign. (by contrast, erap had one: "by god, he might just win!")

i agree with rudeboy. the campaign seems to have been focused on brand recall. but when you're working towards an event with a singular important date, the campaign should have also been building, like an epic story.

Rhodge said...

Using his mom...
Villaroyo tag...
People finally realizing he's not that poor.
Dolphy, Pacquiao, Willie.

Anonymous said...

- C-5 and other similar controversies and his lame answers.
- conflict of interests with most of his investments and the lack of transparency.
- the little lies about his backgound and family.
- the countless stories of people who were disenfranchised because of his sundivisions.
- the fact that most pinoys can't be bought.

joelmcvie said...

It was a case of TOO MUCH. Too much skeletons in past closets, too much mud-slinging in his campaign (which made his enemies fight fire with fire and open up those closets), too much money spent which scared off the thinking voters, too much of mommy and dead brother, too much was said by him and about him.

Look at what happened to Noynoy. He stuck to his "daang matuwid" and "kayo ang aking lakas" lines in all of his ads. And he generally said little and let the others fight for him regarding the "psych test" accusation. By being consistent and single-minded in his messages, he avoided opening cans of worms against him.

But this "silence-and-speech" is a delicate, difficult balancing act. And Lady Luck has a lot to do with it too. Noynoy's handlers are just luckier than Villar's handlers.

Anonymous said...

Overexposure is one of the main point of his down fall in my humble opinion. Plus the over so rated rags to riches story he has.

Dennis N. Marasigan said...

mahar mangahas said that the exit polls showed half of voters made up their minds even before the presidential campaign started. i did, the moment mar stepped down for noynoy. so noynoy had a solid base to begin with. then the failure of villar to address the charges levelled against him by the likes of winnie monsod and even johnny enrile, including the buy-off charges. finally, i think people got more afraid of the role willie revillame might play in his administration more than they were of kris aquino, supposedly.

Anonymous said...

Too many "earthly' explanations... Nakakaligalig ng ulo, hehe. So, I'd rather go for the metaphysical. Something/someone divine must have done something.

To echo my friend, Will:
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Gibbs, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

-Toto

ares in uae said...

I didn't think he was a front runner to begin with, not ever. He was just successful in using his money to buy good PR and good position in the survey, that's all.

Faith Salazar said...

I think the masa saw through all the bullshit and went back to trusting Erap. But, really, I'd choose Villar over Erap anytime.

SP said...

His past caught up with him!

Instead of facing the issues himself, he chose to use other people to speak for him. He even had to use his ailing mother to defend his rags to riches story. Even Erap did not go down that low. Which is why, in the end, the masses still voted for Erap.

Villar also kept attacking Aquino not realizing that the Aquino supporters are already solidly behind him. Those undecided but leaning towards Aquino just transferred to Gibo camp. Basic marketing strategy - know your customer; in this case it is Erap's masses that are Villar's customers. He should have gone after Erap and not Aquino. May be Villar should have focused on reminding the people that it was Erap who already stole millions from the people. But then the die-hard Erap fans may just remember Villar as the one who ousted their beloved idol from the Presidency.

Side note: on the Correspondents last night the mother of the Tondo boy who sang the opening lines of Villar's "nakaligo ka na ba..." ad said that she voted for Erap since "ngayon ko lang naman nakilala si Villar."

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