Noelia Fontecoba1
Ana Belén Fernández-Souto1
Iván Puentes-Rivera2

1University of Vigo. Spain
2University of A Coruña. Spain

Currently, the role of political leaders has acquired a new dimension. Television and social media have made, through image, the attention be focused on the candidate and not on ideas or programs. Thus, the leader is not just as such for his/her intellectual qualities, but also for his/her media competence. With this new picture, where more iconic and show centered politics take place, television has incorporated the presence of politicians in their infotainment programs with aims of drawing the highest number of audience possible. As a consequence, citizens voice about the candidates’ gestures, tone and clothes they wear. This context makes communication strategies change and nonverbal communication be one of the most studied aspects by press service. For this reason, the nonverbal communication of Miguel Ángel Revilla on four infotainment programs is analyzed in this study.

KEYWORDS: nonverbal communication; political communication; infotainment; Miguel Ángel Revilla.

En la actualidad, el papel del líder político ha cobrado una nueva dimensión. La televisión y las redes sociales han hecho que, a través de la imagen, la atención se concrete en el candidato y no en ideas o programas. De esta forma, el líder lo es no sólo por sus cualidades intelectuales, sino también por su capacidad mediática. Con este nuevo panorama, donde se realiza una política más icónica y de espectáculo, la televisión ha incorporado en sus programas de infoentretenimiento la presencia de políticos con el fin de atraer el mayor número de audiencia posible. Como consecuencia, los ciudadanos opinan sobre los gestos, el tono o la vestimenta de los candidatos. Este contexto hace que las estrategias de comunicación cambien y que la comunicación no verbal sea uno de los aspectos más estudiados en los gabinetes de comunicación. Por este motivo, en este estudio trabajo se analiza la comunicación no verbal de Miguel Ángel Revilla en cuatro programas de infoentretenimiento.

PALABRAS CLAVE: comunicación no verbal; comunicación política; infoentretenimiento; Miguel Ángel Revilla.

Noelia Fontecoba. Universidad de Vigo. España.
Ana Belén Fernández-Souto. Universidad de Vigo. España.
Iván Puentes-Rivera. Universidad de Vigo de A Coruña. España.

Received: 18/07/2019.
Accepted: 15/09/2019.
Published: 30/04/2020.

This article is part of the studies carried out within the research projects framework “DEBATv”, Leaders’ Debates on Spanish television: Models, Process, Diagnose and Suggestion” (CSO2017-83159-R), project of R+D+I (challenges) financed by Ministerio de Innovación, Ciencia y Universidades and Agencia Estatal de Investigación (AEI) of the Spanish Government, with the support of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) of the European Union (EU).

How to cite this article / Standard reference
Fontecoba, N., Fernández-Souto, A. & Puentes-Rivera, I. (2020). Infotainment programs as substitutes for leaders’ debates: the case of Miguel Ángel Revilla. Revista Latina de Comunicación Social, (76), 59-80. https://www.doi.org/10.4185/RLCS-2020-1437

1. Introduction. 2. Conceptual framework. 2. Leaders’ debates and fact-checking. 2.1 Nonverbal communication. 2.2. Political communication. 2.2.1 Television as the main platform for political communication: Videopolitics phenomenon. 2.2.2 Americanization and personalization of politics. 2.3. Political infotainment television. 2.3.1 Infotainment television and politics. 2.3.2 Political infotainment television formats: Typology and features. 3. Method. 3.1. Objectives. 3.2. Hypothesis. 3.3 Methodology. 4. Results: Media and political image of Miguel Ángel Revilla. 4.1. Analysis of Miguel Ángel Revilla’s nonverbal communication on infotainment programs. 4.1.1. Public Mirror ([ES]: Espejo Público). 4.1.2 My house is your house ([ES]: Mi casa es la tuya). 4.1.3. Chester in Love. 4.1.4. The Sixth Nigth ([ES]: La Sexta Noche) 4.2. Research results: comparison of the four analyzed programs: Espejo Público, Mi casa es la tuya, Chester in Love y La Sexta Noche. 5. Conclusions. 6. References.

Translation by Carlos Javier Rivas Quintero (University of the Andes, Mérida, Venezuela).

1. Introduction

The role of leaders has marked politics since antiquity. However, it is now, at present, when it has gained more strength. This change is visible in the first electoral studies dating back to the forties. Nevertheless, the emergence of television and leaders’ debate retransmission through this medium set a turning point in the history of political communication, where the political leader gains important prominence.
In this context, as of the nineties, a big increase of political leaders’ presence has occurred on infotainment television programs. That way, candidates appear playing basketball, dancing or showing their houses on these types of programs. Thus, televisions reach a great number of audience and politicians manage to enter in the living room of voters.
This personalization of politics, which has its greatest representation on infotainment television programs, has triggered citizens to judge the results of the appearances of politics by their expressions, tone of voice, clothing and many other aspects. Therefore, nonverbal communication has gained great importance and it is examined by the majority of the population. Thus, press services and image consultants study thoroughly every move and try to advise political leaders which are the best poses, the most appropriate gestures or the most recommended tone for each occasion. Given the importance that nonverbal communication entails for political leaders, the nonverbal communication of the president of Cantabria, Miguel Ángel Revilla, is object of analysis. For this we will base on the viewing of four infotainment programs broadcasted in Spain. Two of them in 2017 (Chester with love and Mi casa es la tuya) and the other two from this year, 2019 (Espejo Público and La Sexta Noche)

2. Conceptual Framework

2.1. Nonverbal communication

According to Cestero (2006) it is not until the second half of the twentieth century when nonverbal communication was born as a discipline. Later on, many were the psychologists, researchers and authors who tried to prove its importance. One of the first ones was psychologist Albert Mehrabian (as cited in Alonso, 2017, p. 6) when finding in 1971 that, when communicating, the feeling of the speaker conveys to the interlocutor through a combination of phonic language (just words) in 7%, 55% through gesture language and 38% through the tone of voice, nuances and other sounds.
Years later, Pease (2011) mentioned that the impact on hearers caused by messages comes between 7% to 10% from words, 20% to 30% from paralanguage and 60% to 80% from kinesics or body language.
Poyatos (2003, p. 68) adds to his definition the importance of culture to understand this phenomenon and to him nonverbal communication is “the passive or active sign emissions, comprising behavior or not, through non somatic, objectual and environmental systems contained in a culture. Individually or in mutual co-structuring”
On another note, other authors like Flora Davis conceive nonverbal communication as part of verbal communication (Davis, 2010, p.7.)
Agglutinating of all them, Cabana states that nonverbal communication is a silent, spontaneous, sincere and blunt form of interaction: It illustrates the truth of words being pronounced as all of our gestures are an intuitive reflection of our reactions that comprise our attitude through the constant emission of body messages. This way, our carnal wrapping unveils our true drives, emotions and feelings with transparency. It turns out that some of our gestures are a form of silent statement whose aim is to reveal our true intentions through our attitudes. (Cabana, 2008, p. 21).
This way, is has been settled that the following systems are differentiated within nonverbal communication:

  1. Paralinguistic system: All that is beyond words (para-language). These are the eight forms of the primary qualities based on the contributions of Poyatos (1994): timbre, tone, resonance, intensity or volume, tempo or speed, intonation, rhythm and syllabic duration.
  2. Kinesics system: To Poyatos (as cited in Moyá, 2016, p. 86) kinesics are: “the movements and positions of conscious or unconscious psycho-muscular basis that possess a communicative value, intentional or not”. According to him (1994) three kinesthetic categories can be differentiated: Gestures, conventional manners or forms of doing actions or movements and, static communicative postures or positions: Gestures (facial or corporal), manners and postures.
  3. Proxemics system: Forner (1987) defines proxemics as the relations that are established or determined between interlocutors depending on distances existing between them and also to nearby objects. These distances have explicit or implicit norms and rules depending on the situations, the environment and the cultures. Hall (1973) differentiates between intimate distance (from 15 to 45 centimeters), personal (from 46 to 120 centimeters), social (from120 to 360 centimeters) and public (more than 360).
  4. Chronemics system: time also communicates, either passively, offering cultural information, or actively, modifying or reinforcing the meaning of the elements of the other human communication systems. Its study has been labeled chronemics, which is defined as the conception, structuring and use that humans make of time (Cestero, 2006, p. 64).

2.2. Political communication

To Trent and Friedenberg (as cited in Canel, 2005, p. 20) political communication is the set of symbols created by media for society to bear in mind the existence of political institutions; meaning, it is images that help people remember to vote, that governments are under their control or that the constitution works. These authors focus on the media. To them, media are responsible of creating symbols with aims of reminding people the existence of political institutions.
In front of this definition is the one from D. Nimmo (as cited in Monzon, 2006, p. 93) who asserts that “communication (activity) can be considered political as a result of the consequences (current or potential) that regulate human behavior under certain conditions of conflict”. According to him, we can say it is political communication when there is interaction of opinions on the issues that interest the government and citizens; otherwise it is just communication between individuals.

2.2.1. Television as the main platform for political communication: Videopolitics phenomenon

Maybe the first ones who realized the advantages television offers were Roosevelt and Landon in 1936 in The United States. These candidates used television to campaign. However, as Caamaño explains (2016, p. 9) “it was an experimental event to which very little population had access, which is why it cannot be considered as a political communication model, but an immediate precedent for it”.
We had to wait, according to Martínez (2006), until mid-seventies to carry out one of the first researches on the importance of television in relation to politics and communication. The one in charge of putting this event in the limelight was Roland Cayrol who after his studies provided a result which in that moment shocked the academic world: television represented the mass media preferred by voters. Therefore, television entailed a very important change when doing political communication. As asserted by Sanmartí (as cited in Caamaño, 2016).
Additionally, debates are one of the most followed events by the audiences since bygone eras. The interest in this format has lasted up until today, proven by figures: according to Barlovento Communication (2019) 9.477.000 viewers followed the last political debate retransmitted on April 23rd 2019 and got 48.7% television ratings.
On the other hand, it has to be pointed out that, with the emergence of television, political language has been “forced” to adapt to this medium. According to Pérez (2003, p. 29): “political language has been influenced by an unquestionable fact: knowledge society is firmly audiovisual today”. This way, the importance of image and video appear as decisive elements in political communication.
According to this image and video scoop, several authors consider essential bringing up the term videopolitics. Many authors have given a definition to this tool: to Carabajal (2011, p. 2), “videopolitics is a phenomenon that alludes to the surface on which videopolitics is reflected”.
On the contrary, Fischer (2005) centers the interest on the advertising end: “videopolitics is the way of doing mediatized politics, mainly, through television image, where many advertising companies control the agendas of many citizens and government issues, creating appealing images to sell to the electors as advertising” (p. 133).
To Sartori (2003) videopolitics refers only to one of the many aspects of the power of video, which focuses on political processes and shows us how “to be politicians” and how “to manage politics”.
To end, we must add that videopolitics and television are changing. Due to the rise of new technologies, the Internet and social media, the way television is consumed is different and the possibilities offered a lot greater. As stated by Kantar Media (2019, p. 4): “Television is now a flexible fusion of sound and visual experiences that is offered in several devices. The viewing can be planned and the programs can be watched anywhere, anytime and on demand”.
Despite the rise of social media we cannot forget that television still has an important place. As certified by AIMC (2019) in its General Framework of Spanish Media 2019 study ([ES] Marco General de los Medios en España) where it states that daily consumption of television by Spanish people was 210.3 minutes in 2018, followed by the Internet with 139.8 minutes. Thanks to this data we can assert that, with television not losing its reign, politics will keep using this medium to communicated and to be able to get to the maximum number of viewers, not forgetting, evidently, the increasing importance of social media, in political communication in general, and videopolitics in particular, transcendent for communicative crowds strategy of foreign and national public occurrences (Cartes Barroso, 2018).

2.2.2. Americanization and personalization of politics

To achieve a more detailed comprehension of the centricity of television in political communication, it is essential to address the process named “americanization”.
The first ones to propose this term were Swanson and Mancini. As sustained by Orejuela (2006, p. 57): “It was Swanson and Mancini who proposed the americanization hypothesis back in 1996, which served them to prove how candidates and parties from different cultures use The United States as a model”.
It is so to such an extent that The United States functions as a type of “social laboratory”, where not only political communication is practiced but also cultural tendencies which subsequently are adopted in the other countries. This implementation and monitoring of electoral campaign models that came from The United States led the previously mentioned authors to the term “americanization”, implemented today by many, also, to political communication, of party at least, dominant in Spain (Padilla Castillo, 2019), similarly as the spectacularization of leaders’ debates for years, copying the American model (Padilla Castillo, 2015) in pursuit of a greater influence and impact (Gallego Reguera y Bernárdez Rodal, 2017) or the complementary of cinema and political communication (Rodríguez Vidales y Padilla Castillo, 2018).
The development television has had in the last decades has favored a political marketing more focused on highlighting personal qualities of who embodies politics, the candidate, with detriment to the technical and abstract features of the party or program. This is the “personification of politics” phenomenon that has contributed to the concealment of leaders at the expense of the party as institution (Canel, 2005, p. 50).
Additionally, we must reflect on the new media strategies for making news based on personal issues of political leaders. If we look, it is more and more difficult to find a political piece of news without personal content of the leader. By the same token, it is almost impossible to attend a political conversation not treating personal issues of party leaders.
Finally, we must note that this political personalization has consequences. According to Laguna (2011) the first ones are citizens judging the results of the appearances of politicians by their expressions, looks and other personal elements.
Secondly, the undermining of partisan identities as a key reference of the electoral decision, which also implies the deideologization of society when replacing partisan identity with issues disseminated by media.
And has as a third consequence the words of Bouza who explains that this new dimension involves assuming that media are the ultimate responsible for political communication, that is, the final result of political communication relies on the prominence capacity the leader achieves on the media and the force his/her image projects.

2.3. Political infotainment television

Television has been used for different purposes since its beginnings, but certainly one of the most used ones is entertainment. Therefore the infotainment phenomenon appeared. As stated by Krüger (as cited in García, 2007, p. 50) “At least since 1988, the Anglo-Saxon term infotainment has been used to design certain programs to combine information with entertainment”.
According to this author, the emergence of infotainment started at the end of the eighties and beginnings of the nineties. However, to Starck (1997) the existence of this phenomenon occurred in the sixties and beginnings of the seventies. Additionally, he places it on the local channels of The United States.
Ortells (2012, p. 100) adds the most appealing topics to the phenomenon: “Infotainment has been consolidated as a journalistic phenomenon that combines the very traditional news programs features with the intrinsic features of entertainment in one place. This way, an informative logic, by which the softest topics of human approach prevail over those topics more strictly connected to public interest issues, is implemented.
Berrocal, Redondo, Martín and Campos (2014) add sensationalism as an element present in infotainment. Therefore, and following these authors, infotainment happens in a spectacularization and sensationalism setting, where image, show and personalization have prominence. In fact, Berrocal et al. (2014) state: “Within that strategy, reality spectacularization is included, which results in infotainment: A phenomenon that connects with the very popular press sensationalism but that acquires new features as it is expanding and adapting to the rest of the media” (p. 86). In addition, Olivia and Sitjà (2007) also explain that infotainment is visible in a space where audiovisual features join and also adds narrative; therefore information is linked to entertainment through techniques related to image.

2.3.1. Infotainment television and politics

Within infotainment television programs one of the most drawn on topics is politics. Therefore, political news is treated in a less serious manner. As explained by Berrocal et al. (2014, p. 89): “But, at the same time, infotainment is characterized for collecting information labaled as serious (politics, economy) treating them in a dramatic, parodying or humorous manner”. Additionally, they add: “Political information, in this context, does not receive a rigorous treatment as the one traditionally associated to this kind of content, but it is conveyed with aims of entertaining, seeking the anecdote or mockery, so that the resulting pieces are appealing to the public”.
Berrocal and Cebrián (2009, p. 47) also agree with the authors mentioned before and add: “The problem we are noticing today, is that political information on television is copying a format that has to do a lot with: spectacularization, unrest or trivial and anecdotic things”.
In this sense and as explained by these authors, the treatment that political issues now receive is experiencing a set of changes. In fact, Ortells (2012, p. 99) acknowledges that this phenomenon has awakened the interest in researchers and that: “Everyone agrees in pointing out that television is the most used media for political information consumption, and that, variations in production and consumption of news content are taking place, indeed”.
To understand this, you only need to see how politicians appear on infotainment television programs playing basketball, dancing or showing their houses.
And as stated by Berrocal (2015, p. 4): “This tendency, that grants political information a dose of superficiality, has expanded as of the nineties with politicians appearing on magazine shows or “containers”, where they share space with personalities from the show business or contestants from the last reality shows of the network, and also with their presence or not on parody shows or political satire”.
The fact that television unifies all the political speech variables and turns them into show business, recreation or entertainment, has caused the anecdotic to be in the spotlight for the sake of bringing in more electoral revenue through the humanization of the candidate (Alonso p. 91).
During campaigns this phenomenon is even more evident since candidates attend to a great number of this type of programs trying to bring the viewers and possible voters closer sending a more natural and closer image. This way, as stated by Valencia (2015, p. 27) “This relation between politics and image changes the image and speech of politicians, campaigns and, above all, elevates press services and image consultants to a much more relevant role”.
Due to this, the very politicians trying to be closer to the increasingly large masses found on the web have added communication strategies intended for this new medium. This task, undertaken by political sources to get nearer citizens who access the web, is complemented by the very reaction of web surfers who access the Internet in the look up for their “own” political information (Berrocal, Campos and Redondo, 2012, p. 108).
To conclude, we must point out that infotainment programs with political content are typical in Spanish television dayparting and this phenomenon is increasingly expanding to other mediums like the Internet. Now that we have analyzed this situation, we think it is relevant to analyze the type of political infotainment formats that exist in order to segment them and get closer to the topic at hand.

2.3.2. Political infotainment television formats: Typology and features

Currently there are many infotainment programs being broadcasted on television, which is why it is necessary to cluster them and analyze their special features.
Berrocal and Cebrián do the following political infotainment television formats classification:

3. Method

3.1. Objectives

Main objectives:

  1. To find out which is the most repeated gesture of Miguel Ángel Revilla on the four analyzed infotainment television programs.
  2. To find out what his most repeated gesture conveys.
  3. To verify if his gestures correspond to a trustworthy speech.
  4. To compare the nonverbal communication of Miguel Ángel Revilla on the infotainment television programs from 2017 to 2019.

Secondary objectives:

  1. To detect if there is any environmental influence on the clothing worn by Miguel Ángel Revilla during the four selected programs.

3.2. Hypothesis

Hypothesis I: the president of Cantabria, through his nonverbal communication, seems confident in himself when appearing on infotainment television programs.
Hypothesis II: in the interviews given after winning the autonomous elections that same year, Miguel Ángel Revilla exhibits more confidence and joy with his gestures than in previous statements in 2019, where he had already won the autonomous elections by a majority and gotten a member of parliament in general elections.
Hypothesis III: Miguel Ángel Revilla wears more informal clothes when he is in his homeland, Cantabria, which provides him with a more intimate and folksy image.
Hypothesis IV: the president of Cantabria shows no inconvenience when answering questions about his private life.

3.3. Methodology

In addition to the thorough bibliographic reference examination, to elaborate the conceptual framework, this study was completed with the viewing and the quantitative and qualitative analysis of four infotainment programs: Mi casa es la tuya (Telecinco) and Chester in Love (Cuatro) broadcasted in 2017, and Espejo Público (Antena 3) and La Sexta Noche (La Sexta) from 2019.
The selection of these programs was based mainly on the intention of analyzing the nonverbal communication of Miguel Ángel Revilla on programs broadcasted on different Spanish television networks. Other shows were suitable and aligned with the study objective, but were discarded since Mr. Revilla’s appearance on the show was not longer than 15 minutes.

The selection is as follows:

After choosing these programs and in order to carry out the analysis, an ad hoc template was created to collect the main nonverbal behavior signs of Mr. Revilla. Based on the data drawn from the viewing of the programs, we obtained results from each program and some comparative conclusions between them have been extrapolated.

4. Results: Media and political image of Miguel Ángel Revilla

Apart from his political life, the Cantabrian president has become one of the most well-known faces thanks to his presence in many television chat shows.
Based on these we can say that Miguel Ángel Revilla draws people’s attention naturally on the media, and specifically, on infotainment shows. This interest from the media in interviewing the president can derive from Revilla giving exactly what this type of shows demand: information and entertainment. The president seems comfortably natural on each appearance and has participated in very important moments such as the one on Antena 3 (2017); changing the lyrics of the Cantabrian Anthem and singing it along with host Pablo Motos on El Hormiguero show.
More recently and as Garrido explains (2019) last February the Cantabrian president attended the Trasierran Milking Contest in the Ruiloba municipality, where he drank fresh milk. A great number of media picked up the story.
But the president is not only popular on television; he has 326.000 followers on his Instagram account (by May 5th 2019). Additionally, he is the second politician with the highest amount of followers on social media, only outnumbered by Podemos Party leader, Pablo Iglesias. Besides his prominent presence on social media, EuropaPress points out that, according to the study carried out by Dyntra platform, Miguel Ángel Revilla is the autonomous president with highest transparency index: Currently, the 76 year-old Cantabrian president is undertaking his fourth term as President of Cantabria.

4.1. Analysis of Miguel Ángel Revilla’s nonverbal communication on infotainment programs

4.1.1. Espejo Público

Espejo Público is a morning show hosted by journalist Susanna Griso, on Antena 3 network. In this case, the analyzed show dates from May 29th 2019, it lasted 3 hours, 46 minutes and 37 seconds and the interview done to Miguel Ángel Revilla started after 1 hour, 15 minutes and 17 seconds were broadcasted, lasting 29 minutes and 12 seconds in all.
The context in which this interview happened is different from the typical ones since it took place in a taxi. The hostess Susanna Griso traveled with Miguel Ángel Revilla in a taxi to the Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport. There, they did the first interview granted by Miguel Ángel Revilla after winning the autonomous elections of Cantabria in 2019. The president hastened to give his first interview after winning the autonomous elections this year during his final hours in Madrid. In the taxi, Susanna Griso and Revilla talked about the new political outlook.
The president was wearing a navy blue suit, white shirt and a thin-striped tie. The suit was matched with black lace-up shoes. The President of Cantabria granted this interview wearing elegant attire, showing through his clothes he holds an important position.
Once the interview began, Susanna Griso and Miguel Ángel Revilla sit in the taxi back seats. Miguel Ángel Revilla adopted a relaxed posture with his back leaning backwards and his legs crossed during the whole trip.
The movement of his eyes and the way he looked right at the hostess, staring at her eyes. Additionally, the honesty in his eyes proves the confidence he has in himself and his speech. These gestures were sometimes changed to glances at the road in order to know on what street of Madrid they were, but never showing signs of being distracted or insecure.
As for his smile, he seemed to have an authentic smile during the whole interview, something that matched his attitude and facial expressions. Joy and peace were noticeable.
Regarding his hand movements, he made 43 gestures. The most repeated one was the palms facing up with 13 times, something that exhibited frankness and honesty in his words.
Secondly, it was the gesture we have labeled “index finger and thumb together and up-down movement”, which he used 6 times to reinforce his words, to emphasize and settle the concepts he was enunciating, since his speech and gestures spoke the same way. He also used the index finger pointing up five times for the same purpose.
On another note, he only used the posture of the hands in his pockets one time. He used it when entering the airport facing the question Susanna Griso asked about his future regional presidency succession. In that moment Miguel Ángel Revilla started walking slowly with his hands in his pockets and he seemed uneasy about it. Miguel Ángel Revilla used the representation of the “self” gesture four times, which indicates he talked about himself a lot.
As for his legs, since the interview took place in a taxi, he was sitting and with his legs crossed most of the time, except when they got off to enter the airport. For the President of Cantabria to appear with his legs crossed can derive from wanting to be in a comfortable position since the front seat does not leave much room. Contrary to what this posture could indicate (negative attitude, defensive) we consider that in this case Miguel Ángel Revilla used it as a gesture of comfort and relaxation.
As a whole, Miguel Ángel Revilla showed a peaceful, secure and firm attitude. He used his movements along with gestures to reaffirm his speech and, simultaneously, he was enjoying the interview with an authentic smile without exhibiting signs of anger or discomfort.
All of these gestures came along with medium-high timbre which he normally uses. In contrast to other appearances he has done, the tempo he used is slow and his timing rhythm was low which demonstrated his tranquility.

4.1.2. Mi casa es la tuya

Mi casa es la tuya is a show hosted by Bertín Osborne on Telecinco network. The show is broadcasted on Fridays at 22:00 hours. Before, this show name was En la tuya o en la mía ([EN]: In yours or in mine). As its name indicates, the show is about interviewing famous people in their homes.
The specific show for analysis was broadcasted on March 16th 2017 at 22:00 hours. It lasted 1 hour, 35 minutes and 57 seconds and the interview took place in different places. At the beginning the recording was done at a viewpoint located in Cosgaya, a town in Cantabria. Next, the same interview took place in a house whose location is unknown, but we do know that is in Cantabria. Then, Miguel Ángel Revilla and Bertín Osborne visited the Monastery of Santo Toribio de Liébana situated in Camaleño, another Cantabrian town. Finally, Miguel Ángel Revilla and Bertín Osborne had a meal with Aurora Díaz, the wife of Miguel Ángel Revilla in a restaurant with a view of The Peaks of Europe.
Miguel Ángel Revilla appeared wearing a fastened black jacket. He put on this garment when being outdoors. Underneath he was wearing a light blue shirt and dark blue jeans. For his feet he was wearing black lace-up shoes. He was wearing informal clothes because the setting required it. Additionally, the recording took place in winter, so he was wearing dark colors since it was warm clothing. However, underneath the informal black jacket he was wearing a light blue shirt which brought light onto the outfit. In addition, since it was a shirt, it gave him a sense of formality and elegance.
From the very beginning Miguel Ángel Revilla was joyful and at ease, teasing Bertín Osborne. Since the interview started, he was standing with legs a bit apart waiting for the host arrival. Additionally, he was smiling in an authentic way during the whole interview, which matched his attitude.
It is interesting to see Miguel Ángel Revilla raising his eyebrows 15 times on this show, to emphasize and express his emotions. With this gesture he demonstrated the remarkable expressiveness of his face.
As for his hand movements, he made 108 gestures. The most repeated gesture was “index finger and thumb together and up-down movement”, which he made 26 times during the whole show. He used this gesture to reinforce his words by which he demonstrated the emphasis and passion dedicated to his speech.
The second most repeated movement with his hands was the one labeled “closed hand with the index finger pointing front”. He made this gesture 16 times. Contrary to what this gesture would normally indicate (defensive and accusing attitude) in this context Miguel Ángel Revilla used this gesture to point things out, to highlight the words he considered important in his speech with the objective of drawing attention to them.
The third most repeated hand movement was putting all of his hand finger tips together. He made this gesture 13 times, and used it with the same objective as the one described before, to make emphasize on his message.
It is interesting the number of times Miguel Ángel Revilla put his hands in his pockets, since he used this gesture 9 different times. On every occasion he used it, he was walking slowly and listening to Bertín Osborne. In this context, tranquility along with comfort and relaxation were demonstrated with this gesture.
On another note, he used the representation of the “self” 3 times. To make this gesture 3 times on a show that lasts 1 hour and 35 minutes is not a high number, which is why it cannot be concluded that he talked too much about himself, contrary to what we have previously analyzed.
As for his legs, most of the time they are crossed since the interview is done on a sofa. Contrary to what this gesture could indicate, we consider, based on the context and the expressions on his face, that Miguel Ángel Revilla used it to be comfortable. It was never used with a defensive attitude. Additionally, in the moments he was standing he did not cross his legs, he kept them apart.
On the other hand, the only movement he made with his feet was a little sway which occurred two times. The first one happened when talking about Cantabria’s old name which was Provincia de Santander and the second one when Bertín Osborne asked him if he really wanted to be a priest as a child.
As for his whole set of movements, Miguel Ángel Revilla made smooth movements combined with firm and confident ones during the entire interview.
The timbre he used at this interview is mainly medium-high. His timber was especially higher when talking about the Pope and the possible measures implemented to eradicate hunger in the world. Additionally, his tone was high-pitched during the entire interview. He also used a medium tempo, except at minute 32:18 of the show when he was talking about the president of North Korea, becoming faster since it was a topic that upsets him. It is the same thing with his rhythm, he maintained a medium rhythm except when speaking of the Pope and the possible measures to eradicate hunger and when talking of the president of North Korea, making it an agitated rhythm.

4.1.3. Chester in Love

Chester in Love is a Spanish television show hosted by Risto Mejide and broadcasted on Cuatro network. Chester is no longer being broadcasted and its last episode was on March 17th 2019. The show under analysis was broadcasted on March 12th 2017 at 21:30 hours and lasted 33 minutes and 44 seconds. On it, the host Risto Mejide and Miguel Ángel Revilla had a conversation in which the president of Cantabria told anecdotes about his life. In addition, the youtuber Soy una Pringada joined in to explain to Revilla and Risto the problems her generation is facing.
This third analyzed show was the interview Miguel Ángel Revilla granted Risto in 2017. The interview took place on a common set where Chester in Love was recorded. It was a medium-size set with live audience. It had two big screens where videos of the guests were displayed at specific times. It also had big red letters which said “Chester Times”. The set had a modern decoration.
The president attended wearing a navy blue suit, white shirt and a navy blue tie. He matched his attire with black lace-up shoes. For accessories he was wearing a silver watch and a silicone bracelet on his left wrist. This way, Miguel Ángel Revilla came to the set dressed in an elegant manner. Additionally, he chose dark colors to contrast with his white shirt, which brought brightness.
Once the interview started, Risto Mejide and Miguel Ángel Revilla sat on the typical sofa you see on these types of shows. Miguel Ángel Revilla had a relaxed posture with his back leaning on the backrest of the sofa and his legs together almost the entire time.
Miguel Ángel Revilla raised his eyebrows 11 times. As stated before, the President of Cantabria is very expressive and uses this gesture frequently, but especially when he is discussing personal issues or topics that affect him directly. Out of these 11 times, 3 of them occurred when being surprised by the statements of youtuber Soy una Pringada. What the President of Cantabria found remarkable was how different the opinion of this youtuber about her generation was from his.
The movement of his eyes, he kept his eyes on the host. Additionally, the way he looked at people shows confidence in himself and his message. These gestures were often changed for looks to the front to watch the videos appearing on the screen.
As for his smile, it was authentic during the whole interview, something that coincided with his attitude and his face. Joy, tranquility and confidence were exhibited.
On another note, Miguel Ángel Revilla opened his arms four different times. On all of them, he used this gesture to explain his message better.
As for his hand movement, he made 95 gestures. The most repeated gesture was the one labeled before, “index finger and thumb together and up-down movement”. He made this gesture 23 times. In this context, Miguel Ángel Revilla used this movement to point out and define his message, reaffirming his words.
Secondly, he closed his hand with his index finger pointing up 20 times. He used this gesture for the same purpose as before, to emphasize and define his words.
It is also important to comment that he never intertwined his fingers nor put his hand in his pockets during this interview
Miguel Ángel Revilla used the representation of the “self” 3 times during the 33 minutes and 44 seconds. This gesture indicates that he spoke about himself at least three times.
As for the gestures made with his legs, since the interview took place on a sofa, most of the time he was seated and with his legs apart.
As a whole, Miguel Ángel Revilla showed a confident and tranquil attitude. He constantly conveyed his speech with movements that reaffirmed his message, simultaneously showing an authentic smile and not exhibiting discomfort during the interview.
All of these gestures were made in combination with a medium-high timber and a high-pitched tone, since it is his natural one. In general, the used tempo was medium despite making it faster, at some points, when talking about the president of the USA, or slower when remembering his deceased mother, which is why his emotions were also expressed through the paralinguistic system.

4.1.4. La Sexta Noche

La Sexta Noche is a Spanish show broadcasted on La Sexta network and hosted by Iñaki López, Andrea Ropero and occasionally by Hilario Pino and Paula del Fraile on Saturdays at 21:20 hours. Current issues are typical topics on the program despite the fact that political debates are the essence of it. Besides the hosts and hostesses, it is common for political representatives or journalists to come to the show as collaborators.
The show under analysis was broadcasted on May 11th 2019. As of minute 88 the host Iñaki López can be seen interviewing Miguel Ángel López. It was, certainly, a different interview since it took place in Cabarceno Natural Park. There, Miguel Ángel Revilla granted his first interview after winning the general elections in 2019.
Miguel Ángel Revilla attended the interview wearing a fine-striped white shirt and a pair of dark grey pressed trousers fastened with a black belt. He wore black lace-up shoes. All in all, he exhibited a more lighthearted look than usual, but not leaving formality aside as he prefers shirts. Additionally, the President of Cantabria opted for a white shirt; this choice could be due to the nice weather seen on the video.
During the interview, Miguel Ángel Revilla was seen with a relaxed posture. Despite of him being standing, his face and movements exhibited a calm attitude. He did not get nervous. Besides being calm, he seemed confident in himself, as proven by the gestures we are going to describe next.
The attention of the President of Cantabria was focused on the host Iñaki López, staring at his eyes. In addition, it was a constant look that exhibited confidence and calm.
He was bearing an authentic smile during the interview. On the show, specifically at 1:26:26, he told the host he wanted to self-promote his candidacy on La Sexta Noche. He found his statement amusing and showed a big smile.
During the show, he only raised his eyebrow one time. He made this gesture when speaking of his disagreement over the treatment the weather in Cantabria receives on the media.
Additionally, in this interview he did show an angry attitude, specifically on two occasions. The first one when commenting he was at “war” with meteorologists since they always forecast rain in Cantabria and, the second one, when explaining that according to the conducted polls it was unlikely for the Cantabrian Regionalist Party to get a Member of Parliament
As for his hand movements, he made 52 gestures. The most repeated one was closing his hand and pointing up with his index finger, since it was repeated 11 times. In this context we consider he made this gesture to reinforce his message and emphasize the important words. With the same objective, he also made the gesture of putting together all of his fingertips.
Miguel Ángel Revilla intertwined his fingers four times. It is interesting to see he did not make this gesture just talking about one specific topic, but with several ones. Therefore, we consider this gesture means calm and tranquility.
As for his leg movements, since they were standing during the interview, Miguel Ángel Revilla walked around slowly as he talked to the host. On several occasions he stopped to deepen and highlight the different topics he was speaking about.
As for the paralinguistic system, the President of Cantabria has medium-high timbre during the whole interview, high-pitched tone, medium tempo or speed and a low rhythm.

4.2. Research results. Comparison of the four analyzed programs: Espejo Público, Mi casa es la tuya, Chester in Love y La Sexta Noche

It is complicated to do a comparison of the results. The difficulty comes from each program having a different length. This way, on the longest program (Mi casa es la tuya with 1 hour, 33 minutes and 44 seconds) the personality made a higher number of gestures than on the shortest program (La Sexta Noche with 20 minutes and 19 seconds), which is logical.
Either way, we are going to do a comparison taking into account the different characteristics from each program.
First, we must point out that Chester in Love is where Miguel Ángel Revilla spent more time seated. Since the interview took place on a sofa.
On another note, the program where he remained standing for a longer period of time is La Sexta Noche since it was held in the surroundings of Cabarceno Natural Park.
Espejo Público and Chester in Love were the shows where he nodded more often. He made this gesture 2 times on each program. On the contrary, on Espejo Público is where he shook his head more often, making this movement 4 times.
Furthermore, on the program Mi casa es la Tuya Miguel Ángel Revilla raised his eyebrow 15 times, and it was on this program where he made this gesture more times, followed by Chester in Love with 11 times, Espejo Público with 3 and, finally, La Sexta Noche with 1.
As for his facial emotions, the President of Cantabria exhibited joy and an authentic smile on the four programs. However, on La Sexta Noche he seemed angry on two occasions and, on Chester in Love, melancholy can be perceived on his face, again, on two occasions.
As for his hand gestures, on both Mi casa es la tuya and Chester in Love, the most repeated gesture was the one labeled “index finger and thumb together and up-down movement”. Additionally, it was a gesture made a similar amount of times on both programs, 26 times on the first one and 23 on the other.
Regarding his legs posture, on Espejo Público and Mi casa es la tuya, Miguel Ángel was seated on a sofa with his legs crossed most of the time. However, on Chester in Love, despite being seated almost of all the time, he kept his legs together, but not crossed. Finally, only on La Sexta Noche he stood and with legs apart, never crossed.
In relation to the paralinguistic system, Miguel Ángel Revilla used a medium-high timbre, high-pitched tone, medium tempo and low rhythm on the four programs. However, on Chester in Love was where his paralinguistic shifted the most due to the topics discussed in the interview. He modified his tempo which went from medium to slow when remembering his deceased mother. He also changed his tempo to a faster one when talking about the president of the United States, Donald Trump.
In the case of the clothing Miguel Ángel Revilla wore, we can affirm that the protagonist of this study wore formal clothes on two of the analyzed programs (Espejo Público and Chester in Love). It was the opposite for Mi casa es la tuya and La Sexta Noche where he wore more lighthearted clothes. His choosing for semi-formal clothing can derive from the settings where the interviews were held. On the two programs that are recorded on his homeland, Cantabria, Miguel Ángel Revilla opted for informal clothes, showing his folksy and closer side to his fellow countrymen. However, on the big cities television sets (Madrid and Barcelona) he appeared with a suit and tie, showing through his garments the importance of his position. We must also point out that the set characteristics required that, since it would be odd to see Miguel Ángel Revilla wearing a suit and a tie at a viewpoint of the Peaks of Europe, which is one of the locations of Mi casa es la tuya.

5. Conclusions

After carrying out the analysis of the nonverbal communication of Miguel Ángel Revilla through the ad hoc template used for this study, we have drawn some conclusions. These are directly related with the objectives and hypothesis proposed earlier on this research.
We can affirm that:

  1. Regarding the first objective proposed at the beginning of this research, where we wanted to know what the most repeated gesture by Miguel Ángel Revilla on the four analyzed programs was, we can confirm that is the one labeled “index finger and thumb together and up-down movement”, made 60 times in all.
  2. As for the second objective, it was intended to find out what emotions conveyed the most repeated gesture by the President of Cantabria on the four selected infotainment television programs. After doing the analysis of the programs, we can conclude this gesture conveys firmness, certainty and confidence in his message. Additionally, he used it to reaffirm his words.
  3. With the third objective we try to prove if the gestures of Miguel Ángel Revilla are aligned with a credible speech. It was confirmed since the results obtained allowed us verifying that the most repeated gestures correspond to conveying credibility. For example, the basic intention of the second most repeated gesture (face palm facing up) that Miguel Ángel Revilla made 32 times in all, corresponded to conveying a believable message.
  4. With objective four, we wanted to review the nonverbal communication of Miguel Ángel Revilla on the infotainment television programs from 2017 to 2019. After carrying out this study we can affirm that from the whole group of gestures, the ones Miguel Ángel Revilla made on the analyzed programs from 2017 showed more insecurity than the ones he made on the two infotainment programs in 2019, year in which the President of Cantabria won the elections with a majority of votes, an event that did not happen in 2017. In addition, on the 2019 programs his face exhibited euphoria and happiness.
  5. As for the last secondary objective proposed for this study, suggested in order to demonstrate if there is any influence from the context and setting on the clothing worn by Miguel Ángel Revilla during the four selected programs. We can conclude that Miguel Ángel Revilla wore an informal style on the two programs recorded in Cantabria. However, it was different for the two programs recorded in big cities (Madrid and Barcelona) where he appeared wearing formal attire, a suit and a tie. Additionally, when he appeared informally dressed his role was to be a host. On the shows where he was wearing a suit and tie, he attended to be interviewed as President of Cantabria. The clothing of Miguel Ángel Revilla changed depending on the social role he played.

Based on the proposed hypothesis for this study development and through the obtained results after carrying out the analysis, we have reached the following conclusions to confirm or reject those premises:

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Noelia Fontecoba. Noelia Fontecoba is majored in Advertising and Public Relations from Universidad de Vigo (Social and Communication Sciences Faculty, Pontevedra Campus) and leading author of this study, derived from the research in the context of her final graduation project.

Ana Belén Fernández-Souto. She has a degree and a PhD in Advertising and Public Relations from Universidad de Vigo, where she works as titular professor. She has done residencies for teaching at different international universities (U. Dámaso Alonso Larrañaga, Uruguay; U. Minas Gerais, Brazil; U. Costa Rica, Costa Rica; U. Dubrovnik, Croatia; U Autónoma de Querétaro, Mexico; U. Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico; U. Católica del Norte, Chile; Lumsa Universitá, Italy; Universidad Autónoma, Mexico; U. Fernando Pessoa, Portugal o Universidade de Minho, Portugal, among others) and published several scientific books and articles focused mainly on public relations, etiquette, branding and crisis communication, and she is also coordinator of the research group “CP2: Persuasive Communication” of UVigo.
H-index: 5
Orcid ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2685-0604
Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.es/citations?user=6UiwqukAAAAJ&hl=es

Iván Puentes-Rivera. Ivan Puentes Rivera, Doctor in Communication, has a degree in Advertising and Public Relations and Master in Communication Research from Universidad de Vigo. He is professor of communication at the Communication Sciences and Sociology Department of Universidad de A Coruña (Spain) and member of the research group CP2: Persuasive Communication of Universidad de Vigo. He is a former professor of the Communication Sciences Faculty at that same university and at Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, where he also worked as a research support superior technician. Associated, as a Technical Secretary, to the International Network of Investigation Communication Management (XESCOM), he is author of several articles and studies about communication management, especially on political, electoral and institutional communication and leaders’ debates on television. He has done teaching residencies and research in several Portuguese and Ecuadorian universities, and has a varied professional experience in political communication and management fields. His index H is 7 and i10, 3 (November 2019).
H-index: 7
Orcid ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-1982-0984
Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.es/citations?user=6pZK8ecAAAAJ&hl=es