Ad War Update: “pre-campaña” edition

As Emiliana already told us, we’re not officially in campaign yet (it starts on April 2nd) but still the electioneering is in full swing as part of the pre-campaña. Out on the Internet, both camps have released their first ads.

Nicolás Maduro is slowly getting into the whole social networks thing: He has his own Twitter account and he wants people to know it (which included this pretty awkward moment on live television). He’s also on YouTube, where we can see his first spots.

Some of those are simple testimonies of his supporters, including this one from Apure:

SPOILER ALERT: I can’t believe no one told the guy he got the election date wrong.

There are also some “behind the scenes” snippets, like this one from Barquisimeto:

Not sure if that was an intimate moment or a serious lack of crowd planning.

The Capriles camp has released its first ads as well, which look a little bit more polished than I was expecting. For example, basketball imagery is used to address doubts over if he should have run again in the first place:

The new slogans of his campaign: “The time of change has come” and “We are all Venezuela” are present on all ads, including this one with an optimistic tone:

Last but not least, there’s this internet spot for evangelical party NUVIPA and its presidential candidate, pastor Eusebio Méndez (who can be seen at 1:00):

The point here is that these can’t be seen on TV yet. Not until the official campaign begins.

23 thoughts on “Ad War Update: “pre-campaña” edition

    • Derecho a la vida? Que va, eso es pa’ oligarcas… Derecho al delirio, eso es socialismo (y madurismo)! #OrwellismoEndogeno


    • So this last Maduro ad is bizarre and creepy, but it´s the ONLY one that addresses him in terms of himself, and his “merits” or “experience” and not as the son of Chávez. If this campaign were longer, and if Maduro had the balls to stand on his own two feet and not on the shoulders of Chávez, I think this narrative would´ve totally worked for Maduro as a very marketable story: “He is a humble bus driver with a good heart, wanting to make Venezuela a better place. And everyone knows all you need is a good heart in order to make a difference.” Its actually quite good, the more I think about it.


      • I agree, but that narrative is barely hinted at all in the ad. Matter of fact, beside some very general facts, details about Nicolas Maduro’s backstory are little known so far.


  1. another interesting morph is the bus that turns into a podium by way of a garbage bin…”Con soñadores subversivos y niños felices…”

    Prince once sang:

    I get delirious whenever you’re near
    Lose all self control baby just can’t steer
    Wheels get locked in place
    Stupid look on my face
    It comes to makin’ a pass, pretty mama
    I just can’t win a race

    ‘Cuz I get delirious


    • yeah, I got that, too: tierra de … soñadores subversivos…

      nothing like promoting subversive dreamers. Then we wonder why there are so many PSFs floating their butterfly wings. And why things don’t work, or are done through half-assed measures.


  2. Under Chavismo, Apure has fallen an entire day behind the rest of the country. Another century behind the region…


  3. However small it may be, the Nuvipa campaign appears to be well organized, and includes the critical call-to-action information: where to find the representation on the ballot. I chuckled over the full poster ($$$$) at the bus stop, next to the same-sized poster shared ($$) by the two largest opposing groups.

    Nuvipa: for those who love microphones and the raising of hands.


    • It strikes me, evangelical Christianity is a serious movement in Venezuela. A couple of years ago, people I know would commonly laugh about the ‘happy clappers’, but I went to some catholic masses recently at a church that had seen its attendance plumet in recent years, in an area where evangelicals now go door to door in the evenings and are opening churches in peoples’ garages, and what did the misa have? A new priest with a rambling, colloquial, emotional style, microphones all over the place, something akin to a wedding band, and…lots clapping.

      I principally know one, somewhat isolated and mostly rural section of Venezuela, but what I see is a serious battle for hearts and minds going on and it is not strictly speaking about chavismo. It is interesting and I don’t understand what it all means. So this Nuvipa guy may be on the fringes now, but I think that will be changing, unless the chavistas and the oppo make serious strides to get the evangelicos into the tent.


      • I don’t know if Nuvipa wants to share the political platform with chavismo. I’d think there’s too much blood on the hands and general ineptness in chavismo to make that relationship comfortable.

        And yes, I agree, the evangelical movement is growing strongly in Latam, filling the spaces left by a more archaic and patronizing Church that dictates. Hence, I think the reason for the election of “Padre Jorge” (who, in turn, is taking all the right steps to turn around the losses in the Catholic congregations, all over Latam — or so I think).

        The Catholic church has, throughout its very long history, appropriated certain local customs to its core beliefs, in order to welcome (read: increase its market share) and accommodate new parishioners. So I’m not surprised that the misas are now sporting elements of evangelicalism.

        While living in Toronto, I attended a little church where a Círculo Bolivariano had been cobbled together. The priest used to be RC, but was ex-communicated when he dipped his pen where he shouldn’t. In other words, he had a daughter. So this guy who used to preach among guerrillas in Bolivia (and frankly looked the part), switched allegiance so that he could feed himself and his daughter. He became an Anglican priest and founded a little church in Spanish. The service incorporated elements of evangelicalism, that I know are not part of the Anglican liturgy. So here, members of the congregation would be invited to stand up and voice their hopes and prayers for their family members, with some tears and hand-wringing to achieve a certain catharsis, followed by ‘palmadas’ from others nearby. (I had to refrain from rolling my eyes, not being used to this type of open confessional.)


        • I guess this is a kind of syncretism. I find it interesting because not long ago I frequently would run into people who had not heard of the protestant wing of Christianity.

          So yes, one thinks: here’s a market that is opening up to competition, and people are fervently looking for some kind of directing force in all of this chaos. Chavez was filling this void to some extent, which may explain the apparent ease with which it has turned into a quasi-religious movement. And this aura of crazy irrationality that pervades the public sphere is being both whipped up and channelled by the chavistas.

          Maybe it is something big and longer term, or maybe it is a symptom of impending collapse, this “end of days” fervor. Involving lots of clapping.


  4. For having unlimited resources it looks like Maduros commercials were made by a middle schooler. At least Capriles’ looks professional.


  5. One thing I like is that Capriles is going hard on Maduro without naming Chavez. Even that “Nicolas no es Chavez” that’s out there plays Chavez the myth to the chavistas.
    Also, he calles him “Nicolas”, while Maduro doesn’t even mention him directly or calls him by his name nor last name. He calls him “el otto candidate”, just like Capriles did with Chavez on October.


  6. I recall that Chavez congratulated Capriles for having a competitive campaign. One might wonder why he would have chosen such a wimp to succeed his political dynasty. My suspicion is that it was to satisfy the Castro brothers…. but he might have chosen such a wimp because he had the best chance of losing! Might not be true, but it is a good campaign angle.


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