• Reggie Abang

What should we do in 4 months? (Part 2)

While MNL48’s management had the most percentage of preparation for the General Elections, esp. in planing for making it a success despite the pandemic, both its members and the fanbase have theirs as well. Just like its political counterpart, these two will add color and noise in the polls. These alone turns the cogs of the elections, where, in the Filipino sister group of AKB48’s case, not just the top 16 seats is on the line but also one of the 48 membership spots.

Much like the first 2 Senbatsu General Elections, all of the members of MNL48, including its remaining Research Students (Kenkyuusei) and its applicants, are candidates. And much like other candidates in every General Elections, they will prepare for their appeal videos.

To simply put, appeal videos are like the ‘campaign ads’ from a political election: a candidate speaks about his or her agenda and plans once the person wins a political position. Much the same, appeal videos are, as the name implies, videos where General Election candidates appeal to their fanbase to vote for them.

Since the event’s creation in 2008, appeal videos are now evolving from those simple speeches that a member wants to nab any position, esp. In the Senbatsu, or to focus on the Center position. Nowadays, members are thinking of gimmicks to add color in their appeal videos.

But one constant remains: their ability to persuade their fans, and others, to vote for them. In MNL48’s case, most of its members have mastered this ability. The fans should see their improvement in terms of delivering.

Making appeal videos, including what the members would have to say, is not an easy task as they are “selling” what they have and what they are aiming for in the polls to the fans, while proving to them that their votes worth something for them if they win either one of the top 16, the Center position, or their right to stay in the Idol Group as part of its Nth Generation.

In the 2 years of their activity, the girls are now well-trained, esp. In terms of facing its fanbase in terms of appealing for their votes. They have done it ever since their “It’s Showtime” phase, and they are still doing it once a year with new tricks in their sleeves. Aside from their output in their singles and live performances, the appeal videos are their opportunity to prove themselves if they are worthy of either the prize of the Senbatsu or an extended stay in MNL48.

A fan will do everything to make his or her kami-oshi to either go to the top or stay in the group. For that, he or she had two weapons in hand: finances and social media.

The Senbatsu General Election is, and will always be, a game of money, where buying singles with voting tickets en masse is a norm. Fan clubs are now initiating fundraisers to raise money, from selling shirts to fan-made Polaroid photos.

Most of the fans are intimidated by this kind of atmosphere once a year, but in the author’s opinion, they shouldn’t. Even the smallest contribution can help, hence social media is their alternative way to help for their kami-oshi. Whether they have the power to do fan-made audio-video presentations or AVPs or flexing their ”trending” prowess by providing Hashtags or just sharing a member’s appeal video while campaigning for them, these actions are enough to help. Even buying just one single with a voting ticket will do.

As long as they help a member achieve her goal, and the management to increase their financial “stonks” (as memes would always say), their contributions, no matter how big or small, will make the General Elections successful.

The management, the members, and the fans can work hand-in-hand to make the 3rd Senbatsu General Elections to be successful despite of the pandemic. If these three will work their respective roles, the author might think that the fan polls will be better than the last year.

It would be a win-win-win scenario for them if the General Elections will pull through. They have an additional 4 months to prepare themselves in order to that.

Stay safe and have fun.

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the views held by the entirety of PAKSA MNL and fellow MNLoves.

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