Election advertising in Peru

Just as the Canadian parliament was getting back to work this week, the ruling Conservative Party released election ads for a day that were derided as a personal attack on the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, and debunked as inaccurate – not to say lies –  on top of that. Of course, there is no election on in Canada  but that hasn’t held the governing party back from running ads year round that literally “brand” the competition as “American” and “just visiting”. In case you can see the irony in that.

This house is in a remote place called Janca Pampa that
 we visited in October 2010. Alcalde = mayor.

In any case, it reminded me of something slightly more quaint on the election advertising front:
I was intrigued with a particular form of advertising used widely across Peru and other Latin American countries. People let politicians or political parties paint part of their house in white and then add their political message – for a fee.

Painted houses as we know them in Canada, for instance, are rare in the Peruvian countryside, where most houses are still built using adobe construction. The political messages are usually very simple: mark your “x” in my box. They are also highly visual. In fact, political parties in Peru use highly visual references in their party logos as you can see on that page of regional parties in Ancash province of Peru.

These messages often stay intact for years. How exactly the payment schemes work I don’t know, for instance, do they use traffic studies to determine payment, are there per annum flat fees, where does the money come from to pay the local people?

Nonetheless, I hope you’ll enjoy this selection of Peruvian election ads. Note: when there was a key message beyond “vote for me” it usually was about “change”, “regional power” and “clean hands in government”. Pretty simple and tells you a few things about what some of the concerns of the people might be.

Nueva Era is also a regional party.
Here it promotes a
Mayoral candidate
Vote for the team with “clean hands”
ie not corrupt.


Moviemento Independiente  Regional Puro Ancash

Mayoral race marketing. The crossing
out refers to what people are asked to do:
Vote for me!