The notion of ‘India Shining’ is fading away, the ‘Aam Aadmi’ has lost faith in democracy, and why ‘Jai Ho’ when there is nothing left to cheer? With the current economic and political turmoil in the country, the most difficult thing was to showcase progress by crafting a simple central message. But the Congress party has a new message, ‘Har haath shakti, har haath tarakki’, that reflects the idea of self-help with power in every hand and progress for everyone.
The much seen unity and brotherhood between the two parties led to the coming up of the same slogan ‘Main Nahi, Hum’ (Not I, We), with Rahul Gandhi at the centrestage in major national dailies. A wild fire was created on social media with the BJP accusing the Congress of lifting the same tagline used by BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in 2011 for a ‘Chintan Shivir’ in Gujarat to connect with the common man. With an ad budget of Rs 500 crore, one expects the agency to research on the communication of the competition in detail and create an original idea that regains the lost fortunes of the party.
The Congress has also released a TVC showing a Muslim female face, Hasiba Amin, who works with the party, with the tagline – Kattar Soch Nahi, Yuva Josh. It is a part of the larger theme ‘Har haath shakti, har haath tarraki’. The campaign aims to demonstrate that India needs young, open minded and liberal leaders who can connect with the youth. They want to shun the extremist ideologies, which propagate division of the country on religious lines. The campaign takes a direct dig at Narendra Modi. But is there a rocket-science in ad? Experts argued that Congress has nothing new to highlight except for the youth, who have immense untapped power.
What is BJP’s agenda?
BJP has not disclosed any details about the creative and media pitch, but sources have revealed that the ad budget of BJP will be approximately Rs 400 crore and the party has initiated a media pitch. BJP is also close to finalising its ad agency.
But what should be BJP’s strategy to counter the undeterred legacy of Congress? As it is said that prosperity should be the first theme of a political campaign; so should BJP adopt prosperity as the central theme?
Swapan Seth, Chairman, Equus said, “I think the choice in front of the BJP is rather simple. Attack the Congress through a line like “baat haath se nikal chuki hai.” Or present their vision for the next five years. In other words, present the brand proposition.”
Seth added, “There is an archaic school of thought that states that “negative, anti-incumbency” campaigns do not work. That is not true at all. The Conservatives “Labour isn’t working” is to this day one of the most iconic political campaigns ever mounted.”
“I think the essence of Mr Modi’s personality is that of someone who grabs the bull by its horns. So I would heartily recommend the former approach,” Seth stated. According to him, the BJP campaign should be person-centric.
According to Harish Bijoor, CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults, the BJP campaign should be built on the twin pillars of development and corruption. They should highlight the positive aspects of development which is future-oriented and the negative aspects of corruption that is plaguing the country. He strongly believes that the BJP campaign should be focused on Narendra Modi as he has the credential to make a huge impact on people.
The experts believe that BJP will have to come with a campaign that should reflect reality and reach out to every segment, be it the educated, the uneducated, middle class, upper class, etc. BJP should take into account the shortcomings of the opposition and then capitalise on it. Every party knows what sells and if they think NaMo sells, they should definitely utilise it. The BJP’s message should be believable, relevant, and strong, which resonates with the voters.