ADWARS: Introducing the candidates

People running for National Assembly seats want you to know who they are. Some have managed this better than others.

Both Chavismo and opposition are already following the trend of prior campaigns by using polarization and their own symbology to present themselves. But, this being a legislative election and all, sooner or later many people would like to actually know the names and faces of who they’re going to vote for.

So, this new edition of ADWARS will focus on individual candidates… more or less.

The PSUV-GPP coalition is introducing their line-up of contenders with a clear idea. “We’re Chavez’s chosen ones” (Somos los de Chavez). They’re not about to abandon the figure of the late Comandante Presidente, even though he’s been, um, gone, for over two years now. Not sure what the Spanish translation of “beating a dead horse” is, but it seems to be the main point in these ads, which include lots of info-graphics.

Basically, these ads have a double task: To introduce the candidates to voters, and to continue the already established themes of their campaign. At least Chavismo is keeping some consistency to their messaging and because of that, these year’s ads are not quite as infuriating to watch as previous ones.

The again, all the best petro-funded production values in the world can’t make up for the evident lack of enthusiasm the Chavismo campaign projects. And to prove my point, there’s this individual commercial of current Anzoategui MP Earle Herrera, up for reelection.

People walking together towards the camera! Excitement! Yaaaay! Perhaps a better soundtrack would help…

Meanwhile, some opposition candidates have also started running their own personal ads, and styles couldn’t be more disparate across the board. Take these rather unfortunate spots from Economist Jose Guerra, who’s running in Caracas 4th circuit (which includes the very populous areas of El Valle, Coche and Santa Rosalia):

Now check out what MUD candidate Miguel Pizarro, running in Petare, is offering: a polished yet really direct effort (And you can learn more of his campaign by reading Lizzete Gonzalez’s excellent inside account).

Obviously both candidates have the same goal, but using different styles to achieve it: Guerra’s spots are more traditional, appealing to a “popular” audience. Pizarro’s commercial is more subtle and yet more straight-forward. However, both share the optimistic tone that the MUD is using in its campaign.

Finally, we have one from my home State: Incumbent MP Eduardo Gomez Sigala is running as an independent after the MUD left him out of the negotiations. Thanks to that, Lara’s 3rd circuit has turned into a three-way race. In his ad, he offers a “100% Larense proposal” to confront both the government’s mishandling of issues and what he considers a “lenient actitude” from the established opposition.

First up, I get it. Whoever produced this clearly likes the opening credits of “Catch Me If You Can” a lot. And I admit, the illustrations look nice but I’m not sure if they really get the job done.

I would like to explain more about Gómez Sigala’s candidacy, but I’d be spoiling the surprise. Don’t fret. In the next few days, Caracas Chronicles will go deep inside this special race. Stay tuned.

And let us know what you think about the Adwars so far in the comments below.