Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Comprador Big Bourgeoisie

The comprador big bourgeoisie is the most dominant class in Philippine society and has replaced the landlord class as the no. 1 exploiting class.

“The comprador big bourgeoisie is a class which directly serves the capitalists of the imperialist countries and is nurtured by them; countless ties link it closely with the feudal forces in the countryside. However, different sections of the comprador big bourgeoisie owe allegiance to different imperialist powers… It becomes possible for the sections of the comprador class which serve other imperialist groupings to join the current anti-imperialist front to a certain extent and for a certain period.” (Zedong, 1975)

The interaction between U.S. monopoly capitalism and the Philippine economy since the beginning of the 20th century has resulted in a semifeudal economy, with the land–based comprador big bourgeoisie serving as the chief trading and financial agent of foreign monopoly capitalism and acting as the most powerful exploiting class. The Philippine financial system, including private and public financial institutions, has basically a commercial character under the domestic control of the comprador big bourgeoisie and is different from the imperialist financial system, characterized by the merger of bank and industrial capital under the monopoly bourgeoisie.

One of the most famous comprador big bourgeoisie in the country is Coca-Cola Bottlers, Inc. It is a multinational organization (by The Coca-Cola Company) and plays a major role in the fast moving consumer goods industry.

Coca-Cola is a well-known manufacturer of beverages and refreshments. They have energy drinks, juices, soft drinks, sport drinks, tea and coffee, water and many others.

And for our analysis, we chose this ad:

To help us fully understand and analyze the meanings behind the ad, these are the questions to be answered:

1. What size and symbols do we find? What role did they play in the ad’s impact?
>> We see a big bottle of the coke and a mysterious man. The soda is big relative to the ad itself since it is the product being advertised. The mysterious man was used in order to imply whether a person is rich or poor. But it becomes ambiguous because of the mystery identity of the man itself.

2. If there are figures ( men, women, children, animals) what are they like? What can be said about their facial expressions, poses, hairstyles, age, sex, hair color, ethnicity, education, occupation, relationships (of one to the other)?
>> A man with a mysterious personality is the figure used for this advertisement addressing to all classes of people. It is telling people that it is made available to all.

3. What does the background tell us? Where is the advertisement taking place? And what significance does this background have?
>> Red and black are the main colors used in the advertisement. Red is known to symbolize the company (red and white) and black is used to emphasize or to give a ‘dramatic’ impact to the ad.

4. What action is taking place in the advertisement and what significance does it have? (this might be described as the ad’s “plot.”)
>> A mysterious man trying to get a bottle of coca-cola can make the general audience feel his thirst and make them crave to drink the product too. The advertisement aims to tempt and provoke the public into buying the product.

5. What theme or themes do we find in the advertisement? What is it about? (the plot of an advertisement may involve a man and a woman drinking but the theme might be jealousy faithlessness, ambition, passion, etc.)
>> The theme is if you haven’t tasted it yet, you missed half of your life. The sentences “Gusto mo 'no?” and “BOTE nga sayo” implies that if you haven’t tasted the product (because it is promotional), it is a very big loss (iniinggit).

6. What about the language used? Does it essentially provide information or does it try to generate some kind of emotional response? Or both? What techniques are used by the copyrighter: humor, alliteration, definitions of life, comparison and sexual innuendo and so on?
>> The language used is Filipino. It is humorous in a sense that “bote” was used instead of “buti” which have totally different meanings in Tagalog.

7. What is the item being advertised? And what role does it play in Philippine culture and society?
>> Coca-Cola -- the leading softdrink brand in the Philippines.

8. What about aesthetic decisions? If the advertisement is a photograph, what kind of shot is it? What significance do longshots, medium shots, and closeup shots have? What about the lighting, use of color and the angle of the shot?
>> We don't really consider it as a photograph. It's just an ad. Only a few colors were used, mainly, black, red and white. Red and white are used since this is the official colors of Coca-Cola. Black enhances the overall impact of the advertisement itself. It also eye catching, compared to a white background. A large figure of the coke bottle makes it more evident, since this is the product being advertised.

9. What sociological, political, economic, or cultural attitudes are indirectly reflected in the advertisement? An advertisement maybe about a pair of blue jeans, but it might indirectly reflect such matters as sexism, alienation, stereotyped thinking, conformism, generational conflict, loneliness, elitism, and so on.
>> We see no trace of sexism, since again the figure used is ambiguous. It can be a man or a woman, rich or poor. It eliminates discrimation among races and classes. Economic wise, the product advertised seems affordable, again because the figure used can be rich or poor, therefore had no economic discrimination. It is also evident that colonial mentality is still present in our society, since import goods are preferred over local goods (e.g. coke over RC cola).

Based from the discussions above,we could clearly see how powerful this class (comprador big bourgeoisie) is. They can afford to have these kinds of advertisements that can deceive people by using different advertising strategies.

For their use of language, obviously they pretty much have a broad knowledge on this matter. Be it English, Filipino, Mandarin, Spanish, etc., this class knows when, where and how to use a certain language. They know how to play language, deceive and convince people.


1) Zedong, M. (1975). On the Correct Handling of the Contradictions Among the People. Maoist International Movement Journal. Vol. 2, p. 320.
2) Berger, A. How to Analyze an Advertisement. Retrieved September 20, 2008, from Center for Media Literacy Web site:
3) (2004). Science and Technology in the Philippines. Retrieved October 3, 2008, from Web site:

Roberto Katigbak
Patricia Michaela C. Flores
Karina Mae Lardizabal
Pamela Tolentino
Gabriel Francisco S. Sanchez
WF 1:00 - 2:30

1 comment:

Jose Lornito said...

"The Coca-Cola Company" is an American company the same way as the producer of RC Cola which is owned by Royal Crown Cola International but was sold to Cott Beverages of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada in 2001. Coke is now produced in the Philippines and has employed more than 5 thousand Filipino workers. For reference on RC Cola pls visit: