Political advertisement for elections have gained a lot of momentum in the recent years in India. The central government itself is said to have spent about 6000 crores on advertisement in the past decade and invariably even advertisements that are supposedly public service announcements appear with a ginormous face of the political party in power. Large spreads are taken in newspapers and parties are promoted in the name of public service announcements. In the last election, the BJP flooded the TV channels with their 20 second commercials smartly outplaying Congress party’s 43 second commercials. As a result, the BJP had more ads in more slots in the air compared to the Congress. Ads are getting more and more sophisticated and handled by corporate agencies to bring out the best ‘look and feel’ of the final product.
From the slew of ads with music, singing the praise of leaders and promoting their leader as the next messiah with great fanfare, a few ads stood out as those that were conceived with a lot of creativity. Here are a few highlights:
Congress ad appealing to youth
This ad is well designed to appeal to the youth of the country. It uses terms that appeal to youth like expectations, beliefs, mindset, liberal, open minded etc. Unlike the usual political ads with loud music, this ad uses subtle background music focussing more on talking and clearly is targeted at the educated youth, positioning it as the party that the youth of India can relate to. Good conception and execution.
This ad employs some fine storytelling and is almost a short story movie rather than an ad film with an interesting twist to the story in the end. It is about a father noticing good habits in his son. He sees him chant his prayers, dress himself up etc. and every time he asks his son who taught him to do it and the child says it was his mom, sister, grand mom etc. Finally, the son takes out some leftover food and give it to a homeless person on the street. When asked about who taught him that, he looks at the billboard of the candidate and points to him. The candidate’s promise of eliminating hunger flashes across the screen. Even though slightly cheesy, it is a well-made interesting ad with the main message coming across clearly.
The Hindu Classroom TVC
Though not quite a political ad, this ad by the Hindu, is brilliant and sad at the same time as it depicts the state of affairs in Indian politics. The ad starts off with a professor outlining the topic of debate in the classroom and says “I want proper parliamentary behaviour”. The resultant mayhem that ensues ends with the caption “Behave yourself India, the youth are watching”. The “Vaishanava janato “soundtrack at the background ads poignancy to this ad.
With more than 500,000 views this ad made quite the splash. It talks about people wanting a place where everyone has a right to education, equal job opportunities, low
Crime rates, safety etc. This ad captures almost everything that people want and finally sums it up with the candidate assuring the people that their aspirations would be his endeavour to satisfy. Well-choreographed and executed, this ad accomplishes its objective of showcasing the wants of multiple demographics and presenting one candidate as the solution to all.
Telugu Desam party Ad
This Telugu desam party ad could give a number of Indian movies a run for their money. It starts off showing a candidate trying to buy votes by giving money to the people in a village. The candidate finally reaches an elderly lady who crushes the money that he gives her and starts yelling about him trying to buy her. After her passionate speech about not being for sale, she turns around beaming and beseeches the audience to vote for a different candidate instead of thieves who are trying to buy them. The background music, acting, drama of the script is so well done that one almost feels as if one is watching a real Telugu movie . The TDP also seems to have done a demographic segmentation and done different ads addressing different demographic- once set in an IT company, one in the village, one in a hospital etc. Each of the ads are well scripted and executed with finesse clearly indicating the investment made in them.
In a country that is swayed a lot by emotions, these political ads could really influence voters one way or the other. Add our Indians, penchant for melodrama, good music and story lines, many of these political ads have clearly made a mark in the category of “good” ad films.
Contributed by : Navina