Political Advertising in Mongolia

Political Advertising in Taiwan


Research Design and Findings

Political TV Ads in the 2008 Mongolian
Parliamentary Election


Christian Schafferer



In June 2008, some one million voters went to the polls in Mongolia to elect 76 members of the Great State Hural, Mongolia's parliament. I recorded and analyzed all of the over two hundred political commercials aired during the official campaign period  (2 June - 28 June 2008).


Observed media: There are six terrestrial TV stations in Mongolia:


  • Mongolian National Public Television (MNPTV)
  • UBS (private)
  • Channel 25 (private)
  • TV5 (private)
  • TV9 (private)
  • Eagle TV (US funded news channel)

The study covered four out of these six stations: UBS, TV5, TV9 and Channel 25. Viewing rates were the primary criterion for the selection. The highest density of commercials was observed in the evening between 19.00 to 21.00 hours. Thus, all political ads aired during this time frame were recorded and together with a second coder (Batmunkh Bataa) categorized.

Categorization: The coding unit used in this research was a theme, that is to say a coherent idea about the candidate and his party. Each theme (advertisement) was coded according to its function. There were four different functions found in the commercials: The sponsoring candidate attacked the rival candidate (attack), rebutted criticism (rebuttal), created a positive image of himself (image), or tried to appeal to the electorate for support (appeal).

Intercoder reliability: In this research, two coders analyzed all TV ads. Cohen's kappa was used to calculate intercoder reliability. It reached 0.90, which indicates excellent reliability.

Preliminary findings: Seven political parties and five independent candidates placed ads on the observed four TV channels. About 75 percent of the ads featured candidates of the two largest parties, the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party and the Democratic Party. Approximately 80 percent of the advertisements were designed to create a positive image of the candidate (image), 15 percent made appeals, and the remaining ads either rebutted criticism or attacked rival candidates.


Images of the 2008 Mongolian electoral campaign are available here.

Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party


The MPRP made its twelve development projects the major theme of its campaign. Several commercials addressed issues such as health care (MPRP-02) and industrial development (MPRP-05). Another issue was the party's promise to grant Tgs 1.5 million to every citizen (MPRP-01).

The MPRP seldom attacked its rivals in the aired commercials. In two ads, however, the party portrayed the Democratic Party as an incompetent group of boastful talkers who just mess everything up (MPRP-07, MPRP-06).

Several candidates of the party had famous writers and politicians endorse their candidacy (MPRP-95) and others presented themselves as dedicated politicians who would care about ordinary people (MPRP-25, MPRP-32).  


Democratic Party


In this election, the DP presented itself as the only modern and professional party that could help Mongolia to overcome its economic and social problems. In a series of ads, the DP portrayed the MPRP as backward (DP-11, DP-02, DP-03) and destructive (DP-01). In one ad, the party even conveyed the message that supporting the MPRP was immoral (DP-04).

A number of DP candidates had famous actors and singers endorse their candidacy (DP-35, DP-91, DP-15). Others stressed the hardship of the people and the urgent need to improve the living conditions of the poor (DP-99, DP-93).


Minor Parties and Independent Candidates


Among the minor parties contesting the election, the Civil Coalition placed most ads. (With the aim of building a new, just and fair society, the Mongolian Green Party, Social Democratic and Civil Movement Party formed the Coalition prior to the election.) Candidates of the coalition focused in their TV spots on the current environmental destruction, illegal immigrants, and corruption (Coa-25, Coa-19).

The Civil Will Party, the Republican Party and the New National Party emphasized social welfare policies in their campaign literature. The parties' televised ads either showed their candidates outlining their agenda (RP-1, NNP-1, CWP-2) or featured well-known writers endorsing their candidacy (NNP-2, CWP-4).

The Motherland Party appealed to the electorate to respect the Mongolian people (MP-2) and to build a new, healthy and environmentally friendly Mongolia (MP-4).

Several independent candidates also utilized terrestrial TV for campaign purposes. Their advertisements mainly featured their lives (Ind-4).