Worlds’ biggest democracy was waiting for its historic elections this year 2014. Out of 120 crore Indians, 81.4 crore were eligible voters & there were 10 crore new voters. Over 5000 candidates represented 84 political parties, fought for 543 seats to run one nation, India.
More than 563 million people cast their votes in the Indian elections and were involved in the formation of the new government.
Times Now’s aim was to capture this historic moment and present it to larger audience with an in-depth look at what the people are thinking and opining about the elections.
- Times Now’s main focus was to be the No.1 channel across all platforms during the Election Result week and on the Result Day
- Maximum viewership on air and maximum interaction on social media
- To connect with the global audience through our initiative to go live on Times Square on May 16
- To ensure that the most accurate Election results are revealed on time
- To integrate various social media assets and reach out to a larger audience
We wanted to make sure that Times Now provided content across platforms and facilitated information dissemination to the audience in the most proactive manner. We used a mixture of social networks, mobile applications, SMS service as well as live feeds in order to make sure that our audience had the most updated election news across 90 days.
Social Network: We primarily used twitter to reach out to our audiences since, as an English News channel, we have a huge audience overlap with this particular social media platform. The campaign was driven largely by the television content but was amplified by social media. We took the twitter sentiments and created on air components with them, seamlessly creating cross platform content integration.
We created a huge buzz on twitter across the counting week from May 8th onwards with hashtags like #MegaExitPolls, #PollofPolls, #ModiSpeaksToArnab, #May16WithArnab, #Results2014, #TimesNowatTimesSquare and #Modiat7RCR trending in India & Worldwide. This was achieved through a mix of pre event seeding and conversation drivers.
For example, for the Modi interview, we had less than twelve hours to create a buzz since the story broke in the morning and the airing was in the evening. So we made sure that enough conversation happened around the hashtag by creating vines from the episode to build anticipation, using images and quotes; and pushing out tune in reminders.
Also, on the 15th, to create brand recall and drive viewership, we had a contest (for the first time ever from the Times Now handle) which asked people to tell us their views on the issues which would be addressed on counting day.The contest got massive response with the hashtag #May16WithArnab trending worldwide for both the days. Across the campaign we concentrated on coining hashtags which were simple to use, easy to insert in conversations and most importantly were relevant to the news of the day.
We also made twitter updates accessible to people via SMS through the TimesNowLive handle for all major events like exit polls, counting days and government formation. Regular updates of news were also done on Facebook and Google+, again with the same hashtag to maintain continuity. This was also displayed on screen, to drive maximum recall.
Mobile: Times Now launched the exclusive election app, bringing live feed and video content of all the election programming while giving viewers a chance to interact with each other and the channel. This created an immersive second screen experience for our viewers and led to a large amount of engagement.
Video Content: The election coverage was also available on Youtube as a Live feed and was a part of the election hub created by Google especially for the event. We also strategically used vine videos throughout the campaign to promote stand alone events like interviews, breaking news etc.
- Across six days we had more than 10 hashtags trending worldwide with #Results2014 and #May16WithArnab both being top trends worldwide for both 15th and 16th May. #Results2014 and #May16WithArnab both were top trends worldwide for both 15th and 16th May.
- 100+ hashtags trended during the 90 days of coverage on Times Now
- 400 million+ potential impressions were generated by Times Now hashtags on Twitter during the Elections Counting Week
- We also used the innovative Tweet to SMS service to provide election result updates to more than 38,000 people directly to their mobile via SMS
- Times Now itself garnered more than 3.8 lakh followers across the campaign period.
Times Now India’s Election HQ App
- Times Now app got more than 1,00,000 downloads in two weeks with more than 1.5 million + page views on the app, 3.5 lakh + live feed views & 4.5 lakh + video views
- The app was the featured app on Android, Windows and Apple for the election week
- 4 lac+ people logged in on the Times Now’s Live YouTube feed to watch the counting day coverage live
- 1.5+ million views on Times Now’s YouTube channel in a period of 15 days on video content created around the elections