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Reflection, Imitation, Experience

Lok Saba Election 2014 and Golden Rules of Marketing


You must have noticed the TVC for election campaigns or the billboards for different political parties. The spending over advertisement has been increased at a huge rate in 2014. TVC creative, sponsored news articles even parties had hired PR agencies to confirm their image is reaching public in a positive way.


Minister Anand Sharma had alleged that their principal opposition BJP had spent Rs 10,000 Crore on election campaign advertisements. If the bloody expenditure any party spends on development, every school going student can own a laptop!

What UPA has done? A hefty amount of Rs 500 crore is being given to Dentsuu and Burson-Marsteller for ‘Only’ Rahul Gandhi’s image build-up. Unfortunate for UPA, Dentsuu arranged the Frankly Speaking slot with Arnab Goswami and Rahul spread some shit over the show. One and a half times higher than the Chandrayan project cost only on Rahul Gandhi’s image. Who says, India is a poor country? Really! Rs 386 Cr was the total budget of Chandrayan-1 Project.

Let us take a look at the marketing basics of their campaigns.

1: USP:

You can easily find out the USP for both the major parties. BJP has successfully positioned Modi on every aspect. BJP has only Modi and Modi has Gujarat Model to make people believe on his capability and excellence. Other hand Congress tried to put-up all the domestic developments though these things were majorly city-centric and rest development tools were only beautiful on the advertisement.

2: Massive

This time the PR effort was not only limited into any particular media. Parties have reached across mobile phone calls, messages, Emails, TV, Social media and everywhere. From the morning tea with a powerful wake-up call to the Good Night Coils with a promise to remove all the harmful particles from our Eco-system. Even in reality shows, most tweeted Mamaji character from Satyameva Jayate, Kapil’s situational jokes on Indian politics, Aap ki Aadalat, so many times carried the critical messages to their uncountable viewers.

Party Manifesto, as a promotional tools you cannot neglect this. Modi took an edge over Congress by focusing on Indian Job Market. Other parties remained silent except BJP. Being youth centric, Congress had very little to speak about Indian Job market condition. It was a big mistake Rahul Baba’s PR agency missed out completely.

3: Simple Message:

Remember that advertisement, ‘Bin Captain ki Team Ab Khayegi Maar, Ab Ki Baar….(Team without a captain will defeat)”. Understandable even to a school going child. Take the example of Cong, the message of unnoticed growth. At that particular time, we forget the CWG scams and the other scam lists. BJP tried to enter every segment of the society, from cricket fans, college friends and even two rural women talking on water collection issues.

4: Branding

Whatever the branding matters, the final result is Brand Recalling and Brand Preference. This time, Modi effect became more successful on branding. As social media comments and preference over, ‘Aab Ki Baar Modi Sarkar’ got the maximum public voice. Tea stalls, trains, parks, restaurants, parties became a practice for word of mouth. One of my friend was traveling Agra to Delhi by train, someone asked vote preference opinion, she said, Aam Aadmi Party; rest of the people started convincing her to vote for BJP.

5: Reality:

Marketing is on the basis of your investment, where the reality is very small. Congress worked on their women empowerment and BJP flew over dreams and hope. Actuality is, Congress did nothing to focus on and BJP had nothing to put on. All the marketing efforts became material less but properly hyped. Ironically the reality exists when one is finding out other’s drawbacks and failures. Any marketing campaign must have a reality and this is unfortunate for India that two major competitors are successful to bring the blames, scams and riot issues over their marketing campaign.

6: Positioning:

There is one very old line, ‘Use the most powerful arrow, when you will not have a next chance to fight back’. BJP used the smartest arrow perfectly in Uttar Pradesh. You can say it was kind of unexplored area for BJP. Varanasi is going to rock over the election party in favor of BJP. ‘So Sorry!’ ‘Amul Ads’ and definitely social media played a vital role this time. One thing you must have noticed, maximum time after a BJP TVC, there is Cong’s. In marketing point of view, this was a very poor ad positioning strategy for both the party. In such case the audience either become confused or remains biased.

Each party is successful to relate the current issues with their campaign cost. BJP’s election promotional planning seems more successful. As the result date is coming closer, BJP is changing their advertising contents on a regular basis.

Ending with my own realization: I wish they could spend this money to set-up few new R&D centers or just for construction work. There was no such need of huge advertising expenditure.



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