Quezon City Second District Councilor Ramon “Toto” Medalla surprised Filipinos when he gave away underwear with his name printed on the back days before the start of the election period.
A Facebook user shared a picture of the politician’s giveaway and added the hashtag “#blessed” in her caption.
The underwear was originally produced by a local garment company.
The election period for the 2019 midterm elections starts on January 13, 2019, while the campaign period for the local positions begins on March 29, 2019.
Giveaways to increase public awareness
Councilor Toto Medalla is not the first politician to hand out unusual giveaways to the public in light of the election period.
To boost their chances of being known and recognized by voters, other politicians have given away intravenous therapy (IV) fluids and food items with their names and images plastered on them.
Politicians also give freebies before and during the election period as a common campaign strategy to enhance their appeal, leave a good impression to the public and to market their “brand.”
“Merchandise is a great way of getting your message out there, of engaging people, and of raising money,” Lisa Ries, president of American branding consultancy Ries and Ries observed, in light of political campaigns.
Candidates, like a product, have to increase their brand value and public awareness to win votes.
A website that centers on political campaigns explained how giveaways affect the recipient.
“When a supporter sees your T-shirt in their closet or cuts a peach with a campaign branded knife, the brand value (of the candidate) and (his) awareness increases,” it said.
“Campaign merchandise opens a whole new world of supporter engagement,” the website added.
Under the current laws of the Commission on Elections, garments with candidates’ names and logos cannot be worn in voting centers on election day. — Featured photo from Aica Abarabar via Facebook