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Elections 2019: Brands create voter awareness campaigns across platforms

While digital dominates the poll awareness narrative, firms such as Wipro are making a big splash on conventional ad mediums. (Ramesh Pathania/Mint)Premium
While digital dominates the poll awareness narrative, firms such as Wipro are making a big splash on conventional ad mediums. (Ramesh Pathania/Mint)

  • Brands such as Swiggy and KFC are running campaigns to remind young voters to exercise their voting rights
  • While digital dominates the poll awareness narrative, firms such as Wipro are making a big splash on conventional ad mediums

New Delhi: With the poll season in full swing, brands are being socially responsible and creating campaigns around the importance of voting.

A campaign by luggage brand Samsonite, which has got more than two million views on YouTube, features a young man visiting his hometown Dehradun albeit for a day. As he drives through the familiar roads and reconnects with old friends, he seems in a hurry to reach somewhere. The camera zooms onto a polling booth to show that he’s gone home just to cast his vote.

The viral Ek din ki chutti (one-day leave) campaign, subtly delivers the message to millions of young Indians to take a day off and go home to vote.

“The Samsonite campaign is a smart example of bringing a social message and product together but there are multiple brand categories that will not work like that," said Naresh Gupta, strategy head and managing partner at advertising agency Bang In The Middle.

A clutch of brands such as DB Corp. Ltd-owned radio brand 94.3 My FM, food delivery startup Swiggy, movie ticket booking platform BookMyShow, and KFC India are running various campaigns to remind young voters to exercise their voting rights.

“Brands need to be part of the cultural narrative and they need to have a point of view on what’s happening in the country. Creating such campaigns makes a brand sensitive, responsible, and relevant in people’s lives," said Dheeraj Sinha, the India managing director and chief strategy officer of Leo Burnett, South Asia.

A majority of election awareness campaigns are digital and GIFs and microsites, long- and short-form videos, in particular, have emerged as the go-to choice for brands. Flipkart is running the “Equals Day" video featuring citizens across ages, regions, and economic backgrounds finding a common thread in the form of the right to vote. Automotive lubricant brand Castrol Activ is urging young riders to ensure they drive one voter as a pillion rider to the polling booth this election in a digital video campaign.

“Digital lends itself beautifully to any long- or short-format videos which most of the current elections campaigns are made of. Facebook and YouTube continue to be the two most leveraged platforms because they offer the highest reach but this election we have seen brands leveraging over-the-top (OTT) platforms such as Hotstar to capture the attention of millennials as well," said Gopa Kumar, chief operating officer, Isobar, a Dentsu Aegis Network-owned digital agency. Companies such as Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting are, however, making a big splash on conventional advertising mediums. Santoor, a beauty brand from the company’s stable, is running a 360-degree campaign, Young dikho, Young socho on television, print, and digital to motivate first-time voters to be responsible and cast their vote.

“This campaign aims to educate the youth on this relevant and important issue. This will also help Santoor connect better with our consumers. Casting votes is an important activity in a democracy. We felt through Santoor we should motivate youth and first-time voters to cast their vote and fulfil their duty," said Anil Chugh, president, consumer care business, Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting.

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