Ad fraternity decodes creation of Brand Modi & his integrated campaign

Ad industry leaders are all praise for the well thought out poll campaign of Modi & BJP, which they say moved from a Parliamentary form of election to focus on a presidential form of a single leader

e4m by Saloni Dutta
Updated: May 19, 2014 9:28 AM  | 5 min read
Ad fraternity decodes creation of Brand Modi & his integrated campaign

With resounding success of Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party at the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, many are of the view that media has played a significant role in shaping the results for the 2014 elections. The effective and creative use of different mediums extensively helped the BJP gain that edge amongst all age groups across the country.

exchange4media spoke to several leading members of the advertising fraternity as well as some advertisers to find out what they feel were the key points of Modi and BJP’s campaigning agenda that brought them success.

CVL Srinivas, CEO, GroupM South Asia
“The campaign was very cleverly thought through and put together. There was effective use of digital medium and engagement with the youth of the country through the digital medium for some time now, which  was a good thing. And also, the mass media campaign was pretty effective, though it started a little late, but overall it was a good package from a communication and media perspective.”

KV Sridhar, Chief Creative Officer, SapientNitro
“You have to give thumbs up irrespective of spending officially Rs 500 crore, God knows how much more. But at least they have used advertising to really drive salience and also to build opinion amongst the people, which is fantastic.”

Mohammed Khan, Ad Guru
"The BJP has mastered the art of strategy and they have been very focused. The way they managed the campaign was in a highly professional way and compared to any other party, for example, the Congress was all over the place and there seemed to be no focus at all or agenda. I think the BJP did a great job and managed the entire campaign in an extremely professional way. And that you see in the results.”

Bharat Dabholkar, Ad Man and Media Personality
“Advertising for a political leader is seen as a new thing here, but it has been happening for years now. Years ago, Richard Nixon was sold to America as they say like a cigarette brand and they created a whole PR and marketing exercise around it. The reason why suddenly people are feeling that Modi is being sold like a brand is because television has become very powerful and you suddenly see the same images 400 times a day. Politicians who know how to use that will always succeed. Press gives you time to think and consult someone else, a chance to deny what you said, and that is really convenient for politicians but television is in your face, so it doesn’t give you any leeway to back off or say something wrong. Modi has done this brilliantly and that is what creates a brand.”

Madhukar Kamath, Group CEO & Managing Director, DDB Mudra Group
“I have been mentioning this to a lot of my colleagues and clients, and as a part of the audience and as a marketer and as a student of marketing, let me tell you that the creation of brand Narendra Modi is an excellent case study. If you go right from the start and take all aspects of creating the brand, the science of brand building was followed as well as the creativity that is required to propel this brand to becoming a desired brand for the entire cross section of the country. It is a very successful campaign that has been created and that has created a successful brand.”

Madhukar Sabnavis, Vice Chairman & Country Head, Discovery & Planning, O&M India
“It has been a very powerful campaign and why it is very powerful is because of the following reasons, one the entire thinking and strategy behind whatever has been done is pretty focused in moving from a Parliamentary form of election to actually focus on a presidential form of a single leader. It changes conversation from local candidates to actually who the national leader would be. Second, focusing on development which is what has been the focus of the entire campaign is very timely. Third, it is interesting to look at, while there was a national coverage through television which created the basic promise, there has been a lot of localized print work addressing local issues, and I think that has been effectively used. On the date of the polling they used print very effectively. And the last bit, they have also used the digital medium. It is a very powerful integrated campaign. On the basis of strategic thinking and quality of creatives, it has been quite powerful.”

Nitish Tipnis, Director, Sales & Marketing, Hover Automotive India
“It is one of the best campaigns that I have seen, a very well architectured campaign, very well created followed by a lot of on ground activity, and I think it has worked wonders for them. More than social media it is also the entire ‘Chai pe Charcha’, which has been carried out extremely well and the way partners for them have wired up television and DTH set top boxes, on  ‘Chai pe Charcha’, has worked wonders.”

Suresh Balakrishna, CEO, BPN Worldwide India
“The media has played an absolutely amazing role in these elections. I have never seen anything like this before. It would be unfair to say that media decided the verdict but close to that. If today Congress is a spent force,  a lot of credit should go to the media because of the way they have handled it. Media has been one of the primary drivers in what is going to happen tomorrow.”

Raj Nair, Chief Creative Officer, Madison BMB:
“It has been a media blitz as far as the BJP is concerned, irrespective of what media, whether television, digital, print, outdoor, they are all over the place. So when you blast all the available media like that it is very difficult to miss.”

Jitender Bhargava, Former Executive Director, Air India and Author:
“It is a case study. People have not realised it, what Narendra Modi is, right from the time when they created NaMo, Ab ki baar Modi Sarkaar, Ek Bharat Sarvashresth Bharat, when you look at all those kind of things. I don’t think we have witnessed in the past political advertising on this scale and with this creativity. If media has been saying that he has got 30 per cent of television time, well he deserves it because he has been creative unlike others. Somebody will do a case study and we will know how media can be used to become an icon, will all the negativism that he had and the baggage that he was carrying, yet he has triumphed. He is being acknowledged by people of all age groups. If India can be trusted, it will be in NaMo’s hands.”

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