The Congress has finally launched its election campaign tagline: Ab Hoga Nyay. The tagline promises Indians equality and justice. The mastermind of this campaign is Niret Alva, the man behind the popular reality show, Indian Idol. Stalwarts such as lyricist Javed Akhtar and filmmaker Nikkhil Advani are also associated with the campaign. Akhtar has composed the Ab Hoga Nyay song and Advani has created the campaign video.
Whether Congress' Ab Hoga Nyay will defeat the BJP's Phir Ek Baar Modi Sarkar, is something one has to wait and watch. However, even more interesting bit than the campaign taglines are the methods political parties are using to reach out to masses. While radio has emerged as the preferred traditional media platform this year, all political parties have gone beyond the traditional media. During the Gujarat Assembly elections, Congress came up with a campaign, Vikas Pagla Gaya Hai, which was a fun take on the government's policies such as demonetisation. It was a series of humorous videos, which entered into people's screens through WhatsApp and YouTube. "The campaign almost brought BJP on the brink. They somehow managed to scramble through," says a leading political brand expert. "The recent elections of several states saw that WhatsApp messaging was extensively used and it emerged as a major influencer in generating opinions," adds Pankaj Mudholkar, MD, Akriti Productions and Media.
In fact, humour is a sought after way of reaching out to the voters this year. Sign into YouTube, and you will find thousands of funny political agenda videos created by anonymous entities. Even stand-up comedians such as Kunal Kamra have been posting a series of funny videos on political agendas of various political parties. "Humour sells everywhere. If the 2014 elections saw the voters smile seeing the memes, 2019 is about the power of video. Video curation and sharing platforms such as TikTok are being used extensively," says communication expert, Anup Sharma. He further points out political parties now try to adopt a subtle approach in their campaigns. "They prefer popular comedians and poets to be their faces than the earlier practice of projecting film actors."
However, political parties are far from being subtle. The last one year has seen a lot of films and biopics being made on political leaders. From 'The Accidental Prime Minister' to 'PM Narendra Modi', biopics are no longer limited to stars and luminaries of yesteryear. In fact, Eros Now, is currently playing a show on PM Modi. Even movies such as Toilet Ek Prem Katha and Uri are well-produced films, but they too touch upon key initiatives of the current government. In fact, the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP) is known to have got in touch with broadcasters and TV production companies to integrate the government's key initiatives into the dialogues of their shows.
Political parties have surely come up with smart campaign strategies. How far it will help them win elections is what we need to wait and watch.