JAKARTA - Political advertisements on TV have helped raise people's awareness about political parties and their candidates, but the ads will affect their choices in the upcoming elections little, a national survey by a prominent pollster has found.
The survey, which was carried out by Jakarta-based Charta Politika on March 1-8 and was released on Wednesday, found 90.9 per cent of respondents said they had seen political party TV ads.
Among them, 87.4 per cent of respondents said they had seen Golkar Party ads; 87.2 per cent said they had seen the Gerindra Party's; and 78.3 per cent had seen the Hanura Party's.
When it comes to specific presidential candidates, the TV ads featuring Golkar's Aburizal Bakrie won the most viewers with 35.2 per cent of respondents. As many as 24.6 per cent of respondents said they had seen the ads of Hanura's Wiranto, while the ads of Gerindra's Prabowo Subianto were seen by 17.7 per cent of respondents.
Interestingly, of those respondents seeing Golkar's ads, only 17.2 per cent said they would vote for the party, less than the 21.1 per cent who said they would vote for the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P).
Among Gerindra's ad viewers, respondents who said they would vote for the PDI-P, which accounted for 21.2 per cent, also outnumbered those who said they would vote for Gerindra (12.7 per cent).
Only 5.9 per cent of Hanura ad viewers said they would vote for the party while 20.5 per cent said they would vote for the PDI-P.
"What this survey has found is that political parties have failed to engineer their advertisements in a way that can attract eligible voters," Charta Politika director Yunarto Wijaya told a press conference on the release of the survey.
Golkar executive Indra Jaya Piliang, who was also present in the conference, acknowledged his party had run TV ads "excessively".
"I don't know who is in charge of the ads [in Golkar], but I think what we can learn from this study is that an advertisement will not be effective if it does not depict good content, such as fresh ideas, which could trigger public discourse," he said.
Charta Politika surveyed 1,200 respondents aged over 17, proportionally in all 33 provinces, using face-to-face interviews. The pollster claimed the study's margin of error was 2.83 per cent with trust level of 95 per cent.