Political Branding, Public Image, and the 'Bossku' Phenomenon



Fam, Christopher (2020) Political Branding, Public Image, and the 'Bossku' Phenomenon. Final Year Project (Bachelor), Tunku Abdul Rahman University College.

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This paper looks at the development of the ‘Bossku’ political brand that had been propagated by former Prime Minister Najib Razak following the 14th General Election. This research investigated how the ‘Bossku’ image had formed so rapidly during a time of political controversy centring on Najib Razak himself, making it something of an anomaly among political brands that generally take longer periods of time to form during periods of political peace. In the investigation of how the brand had permeated among the Malaysian public, the areas of how the brand was propagated among the Malaysian public, to what degree the brand was accepted or rejected, and the factors that contributed to this acceptance or rejection were taken into consideration. In regards to how the brand was propagated, a thematic analysis was conducted on the Facebook posts made on Najib Razak’s page, which were then categorised into elements from the STEPPS framework based on prior research done by Poon and Lam (2019) for analysis. A survey was also conducted with the goal of looking into the acceptance or rejection of the brand and the factors that influenced that reaction to the brand based on a review of research done by Guerkink et al, based on the framework of external political efficacy and populist thinking. Overall, the areas of STEPPS emphasised in propagation were emotions, stories, and social currency, however it was found that the majority of respondents rejected the brand due to their high degree of external political efficacy and populist attitudes. In essence, Najib Razak is still viewed as one of the ‘elites’ despite his efforts to appeal as otherwise in the propagated ‘Bossku’ brand, and thus is still viewed negatively due to the high levels of external political efficacy and populist attitudes.

Item Type: Final Year Project
Subjects: Language and Literature > Philology. Linguistics > Communication. Mass media
Faculties: Faculty of Communication and Creative Industries > Bachelor of Communication (Honours) in Media Studies
Depositing User: Library Staff
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2020 09:21
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2020 09:21
URI: https://eprints.tarc.edu.my/id/eprint/15075