Benjamin Franklin

Marketing and Indian General Election 2014


With 79 crores of eligible voters to be addressed to, the upcoming General Election has set an unprecedented marketing warfare in motion. Perceptibly, there is a welcome change in the attitude of middle class and the educated youth towards voting ; from indifference to a sense of participation in electing the government.

The political parties are becoming aware of these dynamics and are honing their strategies in terms of positioning and communication. Top national ad.agencies have been called to create campaigns. Apart from traditional media like print, electronic and outdoor, this time the inclusion of and spend on social media is substantial, recognising the changing contour of our electorate. The young and tech savvy members of the parties are setting up data centre to do a deep dive into “big data”. Cumulatively, it is a 360 degree branding unveiled. !

For students and professionals of marketing there is a reason to rejoice. Because, in the next 60 days several nuggets of this are going to be seen. With so much of brain power and resources, we can witness very many astute campaigns. We have planned to choose some of these strategies from various political parties and periodically present them here with our interpretation. To start with:



‘BJP is organising an on ground promotion called Chai Pe Charcha (talk over tea). This outreach promotion is going to connect their prime ministerial candidate with the common voter and the point of contact is going to be Tea Stalls in various towns across the nation Reportedly, they target to touch base with 2 Crore voters through this activity. Why is this BTL seen as a clever ploy?

1. The Tea Stall as a consumer connect point is quite appropriate and has a strategy-fit. Tea stall is the place where updated politics, cinema, personal problems and a host of other issues are freely and leisurely discussed and “hotly” debated. Tea stall is the place where the regional newspapers are shared ,read and shred.

2. Sharing Tea is an expression of camaraderie and bonding. And invariably in a tea stall the atmosphere is casual, warm and friendly. The customers are receptive.

3. Using digital technology like Video conferencing, Mr.Modi is planning to directly address the events and encourage the voters to take part in Q & A sessions. This should result in swelling the participation besides a positive word of mouth about the “ unique experience”

The outcome of this exercise should be:

a) There has been a lot of buzz about the humble origin of their prime ministerial candidate. By making the tea stall the hub of promotion, the party envisages to reinforce this amongst the voters, thus gaining a mileage.

b) The party moves closer to the common man. This should help the party to have an image make over as more and more common voters empathise with its agenda

c) Tea stall customers are regulars. Hence the promotion enjoys a high level of lingering effect and recall


As marketers, we have 2 prime jobs to perform:

1. First and foremost – Let us take our franchise seriously and cast our votes in the election without fail.

2. Secondly, Let us keenly observe the campaigns of the political parties, study the outcome therefor and foster text and case studies in political marketing.

Why? Because, political marketing is clearly emerging as a discipline like psephology and would be in greater demand in the coming years from the plethora of regional parties as well. In future, the young leaders would view the brand building as an ongoing exercise and would engage the services of advertising agencies, marketing consultants and data analyst in their back office and those who have understood the art and science of political marketing will have a field day.

Disclaimer:  Rest assured we are non-partisan and the above discussion is for academic purpose only


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