One of the largest political events in the world – Indian general elections – is witnessing a clash of campaigns in 2019 with various parties spending massive amounts of money to promote themselves.
General elections in India, the largest democracy in the world, generate huge interest from across the world with professionals from various fields pouring in to take a peek into the organised chaos of this humongous event. The upcoming elections, scheduled to take place from April 11 to May 19 this year, will play a key role in deciding the course of policies over the next five years. No doubt, all political parties are putting in the best of their efforts to form their government at the Centre.
This entails the use of various forms of advertising mediums to put forth their achievements of the past or their attractive promises for the future. The promotional messages of the current ruling party are being targeted at highlighting its achievements of the past years, while at the same time creating a positive image of their top leaders. The advertising by opposition parties is mainly focused on assurances and promises with which they intend to come to power in the coming elections. There are also advertisements urging citizens to exercise their right to vote.
Amidst the regulations imposed as a result of Moral Code of Conduct (MCC), the political parties have been trying to steer clear of any controversies, but a few cases of violation have been seen already. This mainly includes negative portrayal of rival parties and leaders, and personal attacks through hoardings and other outdoor mediums. Therefore, all media agencies are taking extra precautions to not infringe upon the MCC.
Meanwhile, the spending on political advertising during 2019 elections is expected to double to Rs 3,000 crore from Rs 1,500 crore in 2014. As per news reports, the ruling BJP is set to spend the maximum amount on advertising at around Rs 2,000 crore focusing on campaigns such as ‘Namumkin Ab Mumkin Hai’, ‘Phir Ek Baar, Modi Sarkar’ and ‘Main Bhi Chowkidar’. The key opposition party Congress may spend Rs 200-250 crore stressing more on its campaign ‘Ab Hoga Nyay’. TMC may spend close to Rs 100 crore. SP and BSP are likely to spend Rs 50-100 crore each. The rest of the parties, such as Shiv Sena and Telugu Desam Party, might spend Rs 30-40 crore each on mass media spends.
For their promotion, most political parties are using a mix of various media such as print, television, radio, outdoor and social, with an aim to be inclusive of all population segments, keeping in consideration the various dimensions of demography. Even though the penetration of digital media is growing phenomenally, the parties have decided to spend a major part of their advertising spend on OOH.
This has been done to reach out to people from all strata and regions by putting up hoardings and banners in Hindi and other regional languages. Apart from this, OOH is a more permanent form of advertising medium as compared to digital and social as it stays for a longer period of time and one cannot skip seeing it while passing through that area. Regional parties are likely to spend more on this front.