Others Elections 2009: Ad campaigns finally making politics ‘cool’ in India

Elections 2009: Ad campaigns finally making politics ‘cool’ in India

Author | Esha Madhavan | Monday, Mar 09,2009 8:13 AM

Elections 2009: Ad campaigns finally making politics ‘cool’ in India

What is common among the Lead India 09 campaign, the Idea cellular ‘Janta ki Awaaz’ campaign, and Tata Tea’s ‘Jaagore’ campaign? No prizes for the right answer. All the three campaigns are aimed at motivating Indians to vote in the coming elections and voice their opinions.

Given the importance of the participation of every Indian in the nation-building process, and the fact that a huge chunk prefers to stay away from the polling booths, these campaigns have assumed significance. How much the political parties will use these strategically to their advantage in their own campaign plans remains to be seen. exchange4media takes a look at these campaigns that aim to make politics ‘cool’, especially for Gen Next.

The big idea

Elections in India, especially Lok Sabha elections, assume blockbuster proportions. Hence, any ad campaign launched around the idea of elections, gives it tremendous mileage. If an issue like exercising one’s voting rights is popularised as part of a social awareness campaign, the brand gets a very high top of the mind recall and also gets to connect with the vast milieu of consumers through the voters.

As put across by an experienced media professional, “The whole idea of reminding people about their only chance to change things for the better binds them together, and thus gives the brand a better consumer connect.”

A changing mindset

The next obvious question is, why now? There definitely has been a change in people’s mindset, where they have a growing urge to be more participative, especially after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, and it is this desire for interactivity that is getting reflected in today’s ads. It is this desire for participation as a consumer or a citizen that is being captured by most of today’s marketers and advertisers.

Then there is the growing dominance of the youth population of the country, who are being actively pursued by not just marketers but politicians as well. Even the octogenarian politicians have overnight donned the roles of netizens and bloggers to have a better connect with the youth.

Today’s youth needs to be reached through their media – the New Media – and that is perhaps the reason for the success of Jaagore.com. MTV’s programme on youth, called ‘Youngistaan’, is also seen popularising the voting issue.

Besides the youth, there is a discerning mass of young affluent Indians belonging to the SEC A and SEC B categories, who are been targeted through these campaigns.

Party campaigners join the youth bandwagon

A massive turnout of first time voters along with the growing popularity of politics itself had led US President Barack Obama make history with his “Yes we can” campaign. In India, too, parties have started stressing on the youth factor and voter turnout issue in a big way. Both these issues have been bolstered in a big way by the ad campaigns. In order to reach this huge voter group, political parties are slowly beginning to experiment with New Media for the first time.

Ranjan Bargotra, President, Crayons, noted, “All the parties have joined the youth bandwagon. The parties do see a point in campaigning in line with this growing urge for participation. As an agency for the Congress party, we will work on the issue of youth connect. There is definitely a credibility factor attached to the party youth icon, and to some extent everybody is trying to make that connect irrespective of the age of their leaders.”

Whether these ad campaigns and political campaigns in the process of capturing the changing mindset and shifting the momentum towards greater participation have been able to create a better brand connect or not remains to be seen. But, they have definitely given politics an image makeover and made it ‘cool’ to talk politics.

Also read:

Elections 2009: Congress gets its war cry in ‘Jai Ho’, thanks to Percept

Elections 2009: News channels gear up for the great Indian poll show

Elections 2009: Big budgets, big tie-ups, big stakes

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