Come elections, and suddenly every political party ceases being media shy. From billboards to radio and television sets, every medium – whether digital or print or visual, is invaded by our beloved politicians for campaigning in hopes of winning (or maintaining) the seats. Blame it on the disillusionment of the masses with the entire state of affairs or the ineffectiveness of striking a chord at the right place but this time around, the advertisements don’t seem to have the desired effect.
For example, BJP has been taking a leaf out of their past successes book, with the “Iss baar, Modi sarkaar” slogan. It is eerily similar to the successful campaign for Atal Bihari Vajpayee carried out 10 years back. Guess they’ve picked up on their “India Shining” mistake, and have again reverted back to the same old model of focusing on the opponent’s loopholes. NaMo (as he is famously nicknamed) has also been trying really very hard to build a digital presence. Out of the many examples that can be cited, he recently sent out “personalized” Holi wishes to all his followers on Twitter. Sadly, it didn’t find many takers. Contrast this with the personalized Sachin’s autograph campaign which was fairly similar. Since it was novel and fresh at the time of implementation, it was an immediate hit with the masses.
A flurry of people googling ‘arajakta’ . Thanks to this campaign targeted at students of Hindi literature. pic.twitter.com/Gk3JHDnXrF
— Ramki (@ramkid) February 6, 2014
Modi’s opponent Rahul Gandhi is leaving no stone unturned either. The Congress is majorly banking on the “youth” factor, this time around. But I wonder which urban youngster would understand slogans to the tune of “Rajneeti nahin, kaajneeti” or even worse “Arajakta nahin, ye hai prashasan sudhaar”. Maybe his idea was to connect to the youth with promises of walking the talk, but the advertising campaign fails miserably on two accounts. Firstly, there are too many public bloopers to his credit and his image as a Mama’s boy makes a weak impression on voters of any kind. Secondly, using hard hitting jargon has never worked in favor of any campaign. For a candidate that’s “supposedly” in synch with the youth, it shouldn’t have been rocket science to chalk out a better strategy to connect with the masses.
Taking into consideration that they spend Crores on advertising, both the parties could have certainly been a little more innovative with the kind of content they put across. Take for example, the AAP campaign which claims to sweep out corruption from the Centre (the AAP symbol is a broom). It is simple, pretty straightforward and was pretty effective in the Delhi elections where the AAP clearly trumped both the parties. Even cellular service providers have better election campaign ideas than these two (read: Idea’s “No Ullu Banawing” campaign).
Since establishing a connection with the masses is assuming importance off late, it is equally important to communicate in a manner befitting the target audience. “Changing times require changing strategies”, as correctly put by The China Daily. How long do you think will it be before our politicians take note of the same?
By Divya Mohan
[Author’s twitter handle: @_ishaqzaadi]
Video Source: Idea Advertisement-afaqs!”YouTube