The Spotty Awards (2013 Edition): 10 Campaign Ads That Made Us Cringe, Cry, or Chuckle

We cite the election pitches that caught our attention for all the wrong reasons.


( As election season reaches its most-awaited climax on May 13, we take stock of the political ads that we all inadvertently watched. Instead of boring the public with a straightforward list of their accomplishments and a copy of their résumé, these candidates chose to dazzle the public with their "performances" and props (human or otherwise). hands out The Spotty Awards to the campaign ads that made us cringe, cry, or chuckle.



Grace Poe and the power of a movie poster.


BEST IN PROPS: Senate aspirant Grace Poe’s ad, which features a poster of the movie, Ang Panday

Cringe, cry, or chuckle moment: It’s not enough that the ad opens with the obvious pun using "Poe." When Poe enters the house of her potential voters, there’s a huge poster of one of her late father’s most iconic films. It’s hard to miss. It’s also hard to take seriously.

What the spin doctors didn’t think about: We all already know who her daddy is. We don’t need the cheesy reminder. It cheapens the memory of a great Pinoy action star.



Increase "the cuteness index" with a matinee idol.


BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Coco Martin in Senate hopeful Sonny Angara’s ad

Cringe, cry, or chuckle moment: Angara, as we can see,  already looks good. But that’s not enough. He calls in Coco "Mr. Yammy" Martin as his "wingman." They both strike a pose in front of UP Diliman’s Palma Hall. They make a pitch about education and what-not.


What the spin doctors didn’t think about: Perhaps, it’s not so wise to talk about affordable tuition when so many students of the university used as the ad’s setting are complaining about the steep fees. But, by all means, keep the good-looking actor in the picture.



Reelectionist Senator Chiz Escudero goes for the music video tactic.


BEST USE OF SLOW MOTION: Reelectionist Chiz Escudero’s slow motion walk-through in his musical ad

Cringe, cry, or chuckle moment: The upbeat music plays as we see Escudero doing "ordinary people" things very slowly. He slowly grabs a broom, he slowly shoots a basketball, he slowly taps a boy’s shoulder. It’s all slow.

What the spin doctors didn’t think about: People watching this video are all wondering, "Nasaan na si Heart Evangelista?"



Senate hopeful Jamby Madrigal brings back a familiar tune.


BEST JINGLE REMIX: The "Ja-ja-Jamby" chant in the song used in Senate hopeful Jamby Madrigal’s ad.

Cringe, cry, or chuckle moment: We like the jingle well enough, but it becomes hilarious when it’s juxtaposed with Madrigal’s meltdown moments. There’s a shot of her in the middle of an outburst, then another one of her wet from a water cannon assault, and so on.

What the spin doctors didn’t think about: Sometimes "Ja-ja-Jamby" isn’t enough. (Bring out the iPad!)



Nancy Binay shows her maternal side.


BEST CHILD PERFORMERS: The kids in Nancy Binay’s advocacy ad, which is easily repurposed as a campaign ad (To be fair, Binay isn’t the only candidate who came up with an advocacy ad. Please read "Pre-Election Excitement: 10 Allegedly Non-Political Ads.")

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Cringe, cry, or chuckle moment: The ad opens with smiling kids and there seems to be an endless supply of them. Binay hangs out with them. At some point, her famous papa comes in.

What the spin doctors didn’t think about: It’s reminiscent of Manny Villar’s "Dagat ng Basura" ad, which also had an abundance of kids.



Jack’s all about feeding the nation.


BEST TAGLINE: Senate aspirant Jack Enrile’s somewhat-wacky, "Pagkaing mura at sapat, ’yan ang dapat!" (But nothing beats his dad’s "Gusto ko happy ka!")

Cringe, cry, or chuckle moment: In his ad, Enrile smiles goofily as he bounces to a tune that’s associated with Willie Revillame, "Igiling giling."

What the spin doctors didn’t think about: There’s a song that’s better suited to Enrile’s focus on cheap and filling fare: the Sexbomb Girls’ "Spaghetti Song." But maybe the moves for that tune were too demanding for him.



Senate candidate JV Ejercito and his interesting hand gesture.


BEST HAND JOB: The complicated (at least it looks that way to us) hand sign that JV Ejercito demonstrates in his ad.

Cringe, cry, or chuckle moment: It reminds us of Spock of Star Trek’s "Live long and prosper" hand sign. We can’t help it. He flashes the sign and our eyes go straight to his ears. Were dismayed to see that they’re not Vulcan-pointy.

What the spin doctors didn’t think about: Star Trek fans will hate this ad. Do you realize how many votes your candidates could lose because of this affront?




Reelectionist Senator Koko Pimentel gets P-Noy’s support.


BEST PUN: "Like Koko, use your kokote," which was delivered by P-Noy himself in reelectionist Senator Koko Pimentel’s ad

Cringe, cry, or chuckle moment: The pun is so bad that it’s good. However, it stops short of being cute because, well, P-Noy is the one saying it.

What the spin doctors didn’t think about: After using zombies in his advocacy ad, people expect more from Pimentel. In comparison, this one seems a bit "Kokolang sa impact." (Sorry, we had to go for a bad pun of our own.)  Go big or go home, guys.



Reelectionist Senator Loren Legarda wants to establish that she isn’t just a pretty face.


BEST REALITY SHOW ACTRESS: Reelectionist Senator Loren Legarda, who shows her gritty side in her environment-focused ad

Cringe, cry, or chuckle moment: Rather than showing Legarda in all her luminous glory (like in her past ads), she’s shown getting down and dirty in a series of shots from relief operations.

What the spin doctors didn’t think about: She registers well on camera, so go ahead and show off her best angles. Why fix something that isn’t broken?




BEST SCENE STEALER: Richard Yap a.k.a. Be Careful With My Heart’s Sir Chief in Ramon "Jun" Magsaysay Jr.’s campaign ad.

Cringe, cry, or chuckle moment: Magsaysay doesn’t say a word. Instead, the ad opens with Yap and ends with Yap standing beside him. Yap declares, "Magsaysay is still our guy."


What the spin doctors didn’t think about: Voters will look for "Sir Chief" on the ballot first.


Art by Warren Espejo, with screenshots of images from candidates’ publicity shots

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