While TMC led digital, BJP championed traditional media with max ad inserts: TAM

BJP's inclination towards print, radio and TV in 2021 polls is in stark contrast to its 2016 stance where it led in digital ad insertions for the state elections

e4m by Tasmayee Laha Roy
Updated: May 11, 2021 8:43 AM
tmc bjp

Trinamool Congress (TMC) may have won the digital battle when it came to political ad spends in the recently concluded assembly elections, but it was the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that led the game on traditional media with the maximum ad volumes.  

According to the latest TAM data, across TV radio and print medium, BJP led the lot with more than 50% ad insertion in 2021 followed by TMC with 39% share. Interestingly though, this scenario was the exact opposite in the 2016 state elections where BJP led digital and ad insertions share of TMC was more than 50%. Data suggest that BJP’s insertions increased by 20% in 2021 over 2016.  

“During the recently concluded elections in West Bengal, both BJP and TMC registered improvement in the party performance. While BJP massively increased its vote percentage, TMC won more seats than the last poll and formed the government with a clear majority. One of the reasons for this was the right use of media that both parties did to reach the audience, something that the left alliance underestimated,” said a political analyst working with independent candidates of TMC.  

“With no dearth of funds, BJP used both print and broadcast to reach the anti-incumbent voters in West Bengal who were looking for a change. The faces of central leaders dominated the campaigns in both print and broadcast. The saffron party released a series of advertisement highlighting TMC's alleged misgovernance and corruption, which worked well in its favour,” said another expert.  

Meanwhile, TMC focused on social media and print. Their campaign on Facebook to vote against BJP gathered huge attention from the liberals. The TMC had spent around two million on Facebook advertisements in the last three months before the polls. Mamata clarion call of 'Khela Hobe' (Game on) resonated with a wide audience. 

On Facebook, TMCP took the lead followed by BJP. While the former spent Rs 3.6 crore on ads about social issues, elections and politics on Facebook in the last three months, BJP West Bengal ended up spending Rs 2.04 crore approximately on 2239 ads in the period.  

“While it is difficult to say why BJP spent more on the traditional medium of advertising and why TMC chose digital, the results clearly show, the ROI is higher on digital ads. This is especially true for the last three phases of the Election when the physical campaigning was heavily curtailed. Each of the posts promoted on Facebook or Google reached up to 1 million people and that made all the difference,” said a digital expert.  

Coming to individual medium, on TV, BJP was on the top with 90% share of ad insertions in West Bengal assembly elections in 2021 whereas in 2016, it was in the second position with 35% share. On radio, however, TMC leads the pack in both years. For print, BJP had a 74% share of ad insertions compared to their 24% in 2016. Data suggests TMC had a very little share of ad insertions when it came to print in 2021 as well as 2016. 

Maximum political advertising on the traditional medium was done between week 11 and week 16. The maximum political ads on TV were aired in week 15. For radio, the peak of political advertisements was weak 12 and for print, it was weak 14.

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