In a new campaign video released just days before Diwali, US Presidential candidate Donald Trump can be heard saying, “Abki baar Trump sarkar”. His words have been clearly inspired by Narendra Modi’s famous poll slogan, “Abki baar Modi sarkar”. The video begins with Diwali greetings and contains excerpts from Trump’s address to the Indian diaspora in New Jersey earlier this month.
Trump’s Indian-American aide Shalabh Kumar was quick to post the video on Twitter and claimed that it had gone viral. But Piyush Pandey, Executive Chairman and Creative Director for Ogilvy & Mather, India & South Asia, was not impressed. Pandey, who was the brain behind the slogan, felt that it was hardly a sign of his creation being internationally accepted.
“It’s not going global. Let us not take these things very seriously,” he told exchange4media. The veteran adman reasoned that it was part of Trump’s attempt to “woo the Indian diaspora” by “trying to be funny”.
“With Donald Trump you can expect anything,” Pandey added. He recounted how the slogan came about when Modi was leading BJP’s general election campaign in 2014. “We wanted to make it memorable and so we kept it short and simple. It is no rocket science,” he said.
Alongside Pandey, Prasoon Joshi lent creative support to Modi’s campaign that caught the imagination of the nation. “In my opinion, slogans are not magic,” said Joshi, Chairman, McCann Worldgroup, Asia Pacific. He explained that the slogan of “Abki baar Modi sarkar” worked because the people wanted Modi to become the Prime Minister.
“Slogans will only work if people want a leader,” he added. He further mentioned that the common man is intelligent enough to understand advertisements and appeasement. Speaking particularly in relation to Trump’s promo, he stated, “I would not give it too much importance.”
Both Pandey and Joshi are Padma awardees having established themselves as doyens of the Indian advertising industry.