New Delhi: The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was the top ad spender before the recently concluded assembly election in Madhya Pradesh. Between August and November, BJP’s share of advertising in MP was 73% of the overall ad insertions across print, radio and television, while the Indian National Congress ad insertions stood at 27%, according to data from AdEx India, a division of TAM Media Research.

The data further revealed that there was a significant jump in the volume of ads by BJP this year. In 2013, Congress was the dominant advertiser with 58% ad insertions, while the BJP’s share stood at 42%.

Ad insertions is the volume of ads that an advertiser puts out across different media channels.

In terms of media platforms, radio was the go-to medium for political parties this year with ads on the platform growing by 2.3 times, compared to 2013, while television ads grew 1.9 times. In contrast, political advertising in print sharply declined by 74%.

For the record, political advertising includes advertising or publicity about a party, its candidate, various government policies and future plans to influence the voters.

According to Ashish Bhasin, chairman and chief executive (South Asia), at advertising firm Dentsu Aegis Network, while radio is an important medium for political parties the absolute ad spends on the medium is not high. “The bulk of the advertising money still goes to television, print, outdoor and digital. Possibly, some of the ad spends from print, which shows decline, might have gone to digital."

“The digital medium was first used meaningfully in 2014 general elections. Over the last five years all political parties have realised the power of social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, and have started using it extensively. During elections (state and general) there will be a significant jump in digital and mobile ads, owing to cheaper data and smartphone penetration," Bhasin added

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