Experts analyze whether the theme campaigns of rivals – BJP and INC got the voter sentiment right in their communication on social media.
Looking at the current political scenario where the parties and the opposition are going headstrong with self-promotion, it might not be wrong to say that ‘Politics and Social Media’ is a match made in heaven. Many have termed Lok Sabha Elections 2019 as the biggest ‘Social Media Election’.
There are hundreds of tweets on Twitter, posts on Facebook, photos on Instagram being posted by the two major political parties of India – Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by Narendra Modi and Indian National Congress (INC) helmed by Rahul Gandhi. The two prime ministerial candidates are leaving no stone unturned in taking digs at each other and listing down all their flaws not only in speeches but also driving hatred towards each other through social media.
With only a few days left for the general elections to conclude, we take a look back at BJP and INC’s theme campaigns for this year and whose slogan resonates with the citizens of the biggest democracy in the world.
It happened in 2014 and the history is speculated to be repeating itself this time as well. #AbKiBaarModiSarkar was no less than a rhythm that made a ‘chaiwala’ helm the Prime Minister chair of India. The message, back in 2014, was so strong that the slogan reached millions of Indian villages and houses.
#PhirEkBaarModiSarkar promises to be even better and grander. This particular campaign out of the many videos of BJP shows the promises fulfilled by PM Modi and attempts to prove that he is a decisive leader. While launching the campaign last month, BJP had shared that the theme is the culmination of five-year-long performance of the party. It partitioned the theme into three categories (Bade Faisle Lene Wali Sarkar, Kaam Karne Wali Sarkar, and Imandaar Sarkar) to show the people that Modi government took big steps in just five years.
INC’s ‘Ab Hoga Nyay’
In the same month, soon after BJP launched its slogan, Indian National Congress was not far behind in announcing the theme for the polls ‘Ab Hoga Nyay’ where it questioned the productivity of five years of Modi government. It further states that the experience of the last five years has been harsh. Whether it is for farmers, youth, women or businessmen, there is an environment of hopelessness.
The campaign places Congress chief Rahul Gandhi at its core and reflects his style, which is informal, real, and helps him connect easily and genuinely with people. The themes covered in the campaign include the ‘Nyay’ scheme, poverty eradication, jobs for youth, farmers, women’s reservation, simplified GST, universal healthcare, education, and startups, as promised in the manifesto titled ‘Congress will deliver’. The catchy background score is penned down by Javed Akhtar.
The Social Media War
Social Media has turned out to be the primary battleground for both the political parties – from making hashtags #MainBhiChowkidar and #ChowkidarChorHai trend almost everyday on Twitter to uploading their speeches and different phases of the campaign on YouTube and Facebook to urging to first time voters to cast their precious vote to the deserved governance to mocking each other with #MannKiBaat and #PunKiBaat through social media platforms, BJP and Congress are selling their promises in every way possible.
While BJP’s YouTube video of #PhirEkBaarModiSarkar has gained 5.2 million views, INC’s #AbHogaNyay stands at 16 million views in four weeks.
BJP’s Social MediaNama
Congress on Digital
Power of Social Media is not news to anyone- we have seen how Trump triumphing back in the USA owing to his digital prowess and Modi’s social medianama in 2014 is proof for it’s worth.
Meanwhile, experts dissect the two campaigns and share their views on who outperformed the other.
Harish Bijoor, Brand Guru &Founder, Harish Bijoor Consults iNc.
The Phir Ek Baar Modi Sarkar Campaign is a campaign of the incumbent. The tone, tenor and decibel of the campaign keeps this in mind. It is to an extent a documentary of all the things done. It is a reminder as well in a quick manner. It is documentation of good work in a quick documentary format.
The Ab Hoga Nyaya campaign is a campaign of the challenger. To that extent, the challenge is the tone, tenor and decibel of this campaign. That is what comes straight at you. It is rebellious in its approach.
In sheer terms of creative excellence, the BJP campaign stands out. in terms of strident appeal that is tactical, the Congress campaign is in the face and asks the questions it wants to ask. To that extent, the Congress campaign is full of questions, and the BJP campaign is full of answers.
BJP is batting very well on social media and is certainly way ahead of the Congress in social media terms.
Yash Chandiramani, Founder and Chief Strategist, Admatazz
I feel BJP’s campaign highlighting Narendra Modi has worked very well for them. Without commenting on their political strategy of highlighting one leader as the face I think the campaign song is spot on. It invokes the right kind of emotions they are looking for in the voter. The visuals, however, are a miss according to me. Narendra Modi is an outstanding orator and I wish they had used a few edits of his speeches to start or end the campaign videos. Also, by showing a man in a suit being dragged away by the police and cutting to an immediate visual of a poor farmer smiling, I think it makes the urban voter uncomfortable to see something like that. One thing they need to refrain from in their advertising is – The rich v/s poor – 70’s Bollywood type dramatization.
I hope this particular video and campaign by Congress was for a particular target audience because though I liked the song, not sure how the majority of the population would react to it.
They highlighted the pain points that according to the people face with the current government and showed a positive end to them. So I feel they did a good job with their visuals.
One place I feel they missed out is they could have used the video to talk a little more about their promises and what they plan on delivering. They could have also focussed a little more on the entire Congress leadership since they don’t have a one-man/face strategy.