Brighter, shinier promises

News

Eye-catching election banners and posters are mushrooming across Bangkok, rendering the traditional staid and dull photographs a thing of the past.

“We’re going for a more modern and comfortable look,” candidate Phuthipong Punnakan of the Democrat Party said yesterday.

The MP, who is contesting Bangkok’s Constituency 4, has abandoned his party’s traditional light blue. In his posters, the politician appears amid a bold colour scheme of black and white, but the party’s logo, the Earth goddess, still appears against a yellow background.

Accompanying it is the slogan “Dare to think, dare to speak and dare to oppose”.

Another version shows a smiling Phuthipong with his arms folded across his chest and the slogan “Four years of non-stop work”.

Phuthipong said he had a team help design themes for his posters that would best reflect who he is. “The posters should tell voters something about me instead of using the regulation full-face photos we’ve seen too much of in the past,” he said.

The candidate said that marketing techniques and colour schemes now play an important role in election posters.

Candidates from the ruling Thai Rak Thai party have also dropped the traditional look. Dressed in modern attire, their visages smile at passing voters.

Sansanee Nakphong, a Thai Rak Thai candidate in Bangkok’s Constituency 23, has a framed photo in one corner of her posters showing her on the job.

Another Thai Rak Thai candidate, Sita Divari, chose a picture of him serving as government spokesman for his posters.

“That photo was taken while I was holding a press conference. I think it looks good,” he said yesterday, adding it helped remind voters of what he had done in the past.

He said his campaign would release more posters in different versions. One will show him working out with a group people.

“I think we need action and activity in our posters to better inform the constituents. We should no longer stick to just words and mug shots,” he said.

The Chat Thai Party’s posters are grabbing their fair share of attention, with a red colour scheme engineered by party-list member Chuwit Kamolvisit, whose sensational campaign catapulted him into a third-place finish in last year’s Bangkok governor election.

Chuwit is now in charge of Chat Thai’s Bangkok race.

He uses a light and comfortable look for party leader Banharn Silapa-archa while retaining his old aggressive approach for himself. Chuwit’s posters show him wielding a sledgehammer with the slogan “Wipe out the crooks – Expose the bad – Fear no influence”.

The Mahachon Party seems to realise it has a poor chance of victory in the capital through constituency-based voting, so it has devoted its campaign to big red billboards featuring party

leader Anek Laothamatas and geared towards party-list votes. Its slogan: “Eradicate the capitalist dictatorship – Repay the country”.

Published on January 12, 2005

Sucheera Pinijparakarn

The Nation

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