The PSOE campaign marks the emotional key

It starts the final stretch of the electoral campaign which results this 25 of december will determinate the ideology and the action programs of the European Parliament during the next 5 years.

It’s not surprising that, in this campaign, like in the others, national affers are more important than European issues, given that the 80% of the decisions taken in the bosom of the European Union affect directly to spaniards, and this is the first electoral process after the absolute majority of the “Partido Popular” of 2011.

Definetly, in societies with mature democracies the electoral debates between the candidates are the axis of the campaign. This is because it is the space where proposals are suggested and where the candidate has the opportunity of communicating with citizens and can try to convince them of voting his party.

Other key element of the campaing is the startegy of communicating off line and on line carried out during the rest of the electoral campaing. The rest of the marketing and comunication elements like slogans, spots and speeches around the national territory are the accompanying elements.

The past debate of the 15th of may defined the axis of the campaing. In general terms, Elena Valenciano, head of the list of PSOE in these European, really was prepared and convinced her voters, fulfilling her objective. In relation to the use of slogans or claims the debate was really prepared since can mobilise potential voters. It became clear that PSOE wants to “reconquer the Europe of rights and return to Europe its human face” and critized to the “Partido Popular” with this words: “you cutting and cutting, cut the truth and the reality”.

Elena Valenciano through the operation of the camera and her emotional implication gave credibility to her message. Her discursive startegy was based in talk to the part of the limbic brain voters, where are located the emotions. She talked more about why voting to PSOE, work more for work harder for disadvantaged people, for the freedom of women and for youn people, and this was a great success. But the message destined for neocortex, the most rational part of the brain, in my opinion, was very poor because lacked a reasonable and actual proposed government program to reverse the situation in Spain and Europe and she discredited the objective reality about the economic crisis of the government of Zapatero and the objective indices of the current economic recovery.

For his part, the candidate of “Partido Popular” and until a few days Minister of Agriculture, Miguel Cañete, with an experience of success in Europe and a very positive assesment of his european colleagues, did a debate that was runned by the most rational part of the brain, to the neocortex, with a rational proposal  and too many figures, data and economic indicators. The rational discourse had coherence based in objective indicators: “Spain is recovering its ability to grow”. But, in my opinion, I think that he wasn’t trained the emotional part. The result was that he deserved the content approval of his voters but he disappointed his voters due to his emotional deficit.

Given that the issue of the debate and post debate has defined the most of this campaign, I have allowed myself to analyze from the new perspective of the protagonists, and from the emotional implication of the leaders and I asked myself the next questions: Why Miguel Arias Cañete closed his eyes while he was talking about economy and agricultural negotiations in the European Union? In the other hand, the credibility transmited by Elena Valenciano with her disconformity and anger in front of the current situation and her interruptions to the other candidate were real or overacted? Did she believe what she was saying?

We, the workers in political marketing, have, in the 21th century, tools able to indentify facial microexpressions that, unconsciously, transmits the human brain. This facial recognition is the software called “Emotion Research Lab” which can detect if the candidate was really feeling anger or fear when he or she was acting in that certain way and which was the main emotion during the speech. This software detect the 6 basic emotions (happiness, surprise, anger, fear, sadness and disgust), as well as neutrality, though of the analysis of the movements – imperceptible to the eye – of 400 face points.

The results of the research indicate that both candidates revealed a high level of emotional activation during the debate. Arias Cañete had a 70% of activation but is highly surpassed by the activation level of Valenciano, which almost reaches 100%. Elena Valenciano, knew that the debate was such important to her party.

Activación Comparada de Cierre de Candidatos

In relation to the first suggested question, why Miguel Arias Cañete closed his eyes while he was talking about economy and  agricultural negotiations in the European Union?

According to the analysis of his facial microexpressions the predominant emotion felt by the candidate was surprise, surprised by the negation of the official data and continuous interruptions opponent Elena Valenciano, and fear. He recognized in the post declarations of the debate at Antena 3 that he felt fear. Arias Cañete justify his rigidity during the debate saying that he didn’t want to be always the good natured and spontaneous one. He insisted on if the man shows “intellectual superiority or whatever” or as he said later “is perceived” automatically the impression of “sexist” in front of a “helpless woman”.

 Reconocimiento facial de emociones

Facial Coding

Patrón Emocional Comparado Economia

Regarding if the gestures and interruptions of Elena Valenciano to Miguel Cañete were real or overacted and if she was really feeling what sshe was saying the analysis say that she was really upset wtih the spanish and european situation. Se didn’t overacted when he was interrupting and denying with her head the statements of Arias Cañete. The result was that seh had a high level of credibility by her potential voters and she managed well the emotional part of the message, she based her strategy in this point.

Elena Valenciano


Patrón Emocional Economía Momentos Clave

Definetly, the big mistake of Arias Cañete was to lose the tension of the emotion of fear that, in the debate, he activated to be rigid and avoid mistakes. Tension that was missing in the post debate declarations and drived him to make an unwised declaration, used by PSOE to impose a campaign based in a message direct to the limbic brian of ther voters. This part is where electoral behavior patterns runned by emotions, feelings and memory are established.

In the final line of the European campaign of 2014, we show gratitude for the rectification of Arias Cañete and so restart the proposal debate. We are risking much in this elections, since the last CIS Research of april of 2014 reflect that 81% of spaniards think that the European’s Parliament decisions affect us much or fairly

Difinetly, electoral campaings are useful and necessary to know the diferent political options and the government proposals. As well as educate citizens, who mature in their democratic culture. I hope that in the last campaign days will we really informative and with more rationality.

 Gloria Ostos

Ostos y Sola