Politics of Color: How Red, Pink, Yellow Unite and Divide

Do you mean the color that you wear?
Photo/s: Composite

Jollibee may be red, but it is not supporting any canididate in the May 9 elections, the Philippines' favorite fast food operator said in a rare statement on politics that underscored how in an election where the oftentimes hateful divides are clear cut, color is an oath of allegiance.

Red is the banner of presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, who is seeking to restore his family in Malacanang, 36 years after they were ousted by the People Power revolution and its signature, yellow.

The only son and namesake of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos is up against Leni Robredo and her "Kakampinks" who espouse a corruption-free, rose-colored future.

During elections, colors go beyond aesthetics as they also represent the values, principles, and vision of the candidates that wear them, a campaign strategist said.

“Colors are representative of the interest, of the candidacy of the people who are in the campaign,” Gerardo Eusebio, who also teaches political science at the De La Salle University, told reportr.

Continue reading below ↓

It's one way of establishing optical recall. So kapag pinakita lang sayo yung green, Sara agad, yung red, Bongbong…. You somehow associate all the values and programs even of a candidate with a particular color,” he added.


How Hashtags Say 'Vote for Me' While Telling the Story of the 2022 Elections

How Budots, Ja-Ja-Ja-Jamby Jingled All the Way to Election Victory

How ‘Angat Buhay Lahat’, ‘BaBangon Muli’ Influence Your Vote

Why candidates wear campaign colors

Like posters, jingles, and hashtags, colors are also part of campaign branding, Eusebio said. He likened this to “mini wars” during the medieval times where competing teams pick a  color to show whose side they're on.

Campaign colors are resorted to maintain or to have identity in order for one to find out sino ba mga kakampi mo, to establish identity,” he said.

Candidates sometimes adopt their political party's color, according to Eusebio. Marcos wears red because it has been associated with his father’s party, Kilusang Bagong Lipunan, for the longest time.

Continue reading below ↓
Recommended Videos

The Aquino's and the Liberal Party had long used yellow, but party chairman Robredo is campaigning for president as an independent and with a new hue -- fiery pink.

That visual change could help Robredo attract more voters, Eusebio said, as the color yellow “has lost its glitter” after the late President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III stepped down in 2016 and his critics turned yellow into a pejorative -- dilawan.

“Yellow cannot anymore remind the people of the glory days of Cory and Aquino III,” Eusebio said.

“I'd like to believe enhancer yan. To get more votes, let's get out of the yellow-captured votes. Probably they were thinking, let's change colors to attract more voters in the system,” he added.

EXPLAINER: Why Pantone's Color of the Year Matters 

Will campaign colors work beyond elections?

Campaign colors help get voters to support a candidate, Eusebio said. The more people wearing a candidate’s campaign color, the stronger he or she becomes as a contender.

Continue reading below ↓

Eusebio noted the “strong reaction” to Robredo’s decision to adopt pink as her campaign color as people looked for clothes and other items in pink to show that they are Kakampink. Every Wednesday since she declared her candidacy in October, her supporters flaunt their rose-hued outfits on social media.

“They know that colors are meant to attract. It's attracting the eyes na maganda yung kulay, pero it's also to establish identity with one candidate,” Eusebio said.

For Eusebio, campaign colors will no longer matter as much once the elections are over.

“These colors would not mean anymore pagdating ng voting na because they’re just meant to help recall the identities of the candidates,” he said. “To stick to the color would mean what? You'd just be obsessed with the color? What for? Why? It has already done its job."

That’s why it’s important for voters to look beyond the color and also consider what the candidates can offer when they get elected to office, Eusebio said.

Continue reading below ↓

Parang back to square one na tayo. People now would be anticipating, ano ang mangyayari, how would the new president perform his or her functions. Hopefully it would affect our lives in general,” he added.

Latest Headlines
Recent News