Explaining Brazil #212: Has the internet killed TV and radio political ads?

The election four years ago led many to believe that TV and radio ads had become a thing of the past. But have they? This week we will talk about TV and radio ads, then and now

The electoral campaign has been up and running since last week, and candidates have been quite active in meeting members of the press, business owners, and, of course, voters. But for a big chunk of the Brazilian electorate, the election will really start on Friday, August 26, when candidates are allowed to run ads on television and radio stations.

In 2018, Jair Bolsonaro won the presidency despite having just a few seconds of airtime each day. That year’s TV and radio king was Geraldo Alckmin, a former São Paulo governor on his second presidential bid who — despite the campaign machine behind him — managed less than 5 percent of the vote.

The election four years ago led many to believe that TV and radio ads had become a thing of the past. But have they? This week, we explore the importance of campaigning on TV and radio, then and now.

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  • Cedê Silva is a Brasília correspondent for The Brazilian Report. He has worked for O Antagonista, O Estado de S.Paulo, Veja BH, and YouTube channel MyNews.

This episode used music from Uppbeat. License codes: 5UXPEQ2PWQVJABS4, QCGJMVIKPZHOFATL.

Background reading:

  • We have launched a special 2022 election report with everything you need to know about the races for Congress, governorships, and, of course, the presidency. Buy here! Use the promocode Explaining2022 for a 20-percent discount.
  • Brazil’s 2018 election case proves social media’s danger to democracy, wrote Luca Belli, a professor of Internet Governance and Regulation at think tank Fundação Getulio Vargas.
  • Listen to Explaining Brazil #207: Anitta enters the presidential race, and we discuss how influential celebrity endorsements can be.
  • Per Datafolha, Brazil’s most renowned pollster, the number of Brazilians saying democracy is always better than an authoritarian government rose to its highest rate on record — dating back to 1989, the year of the country’s first direct presidential election following a 21-year dictatorship. But one simple question does not necessarily reflect a people’s view of democracy. 

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