They have coined it ‘ Incredible India ‘. And ‘ India Shining ‘. And so on. As the world’s most populous democracy gets ready for the next round of general elections in April this year, the communication strategy on display, especially of the leading lights (heavyweights actually!) in the fray really makes you wonder – is this ‘ Thinkredible India ‘?
If unofficial estimates are to be believed, almost 2000 Crores(Indian Rupees) in advertising and spin doctoring will be spent by the various political parties to reach out, influence, coerce, bully, motivate, wake up a wary, suspicious, apprehensive, unsure, frustrated, reluctant electorate, already at the end of its tether, given the performance(or the absolute lack of it) of the Government of the day. Its common parlance in advertising circles that an agency can only be as good as the brief it gets from the client and if you have been seeing some of the communication on television, print etc, there is ample bearing of that testimony.
What do the UPAnishads(read election manifesto of the ruling party) say? A lot actually without saying or committing anything. Very much on expected lines. Flaky, pie in the sky, neither here nor there, sitting on the fence- nothing assertive, decisive, relevant or meaningful. The communication is no different. If the objective of the campaign is to create the ‘ feel good ‘ factor, it does achieve it and more. In fact it actually makes you ‘ feel good for nothing ‘.Terrible showcasing of a Prime Ministerial candidate who is unsure, inarticulate, under confident, tentative and an unwilling (and probably involuntary) victim of ‘ die-nasty ‘ politics. And we all thought that brand ambassadors have to be cut of a different cloth. And just for the record. Money spent on articulating ‘hollower than thou’ nothings is 500 Crores (Indian Rupees). We have all heard that advertising can never sustain a bad product or service. The ruling party obviously hasn’t. For them, I reckon this really is the last (st)raw!
The saffron brigade is subjecting us to a different kind of safforing…oops…suffering. Cartoon network at its worst. A state of a state is not actually a state of the nation. Yet that continues to be the USP (though several SPs in the state would beg to differ) being mouthed from dais’s across the nation. An eNDAscopy of what they are all about is in order. That being said, the fair weather pundits are already clamoring for and saluting the RiSSe of the BJP. Budget for this colossal waste of resources: a whopping 400 Crores(Indian Rupees). Is there serious reliance on vested interests for these funds to come from? Your gas…I mean guess is as good as mine.
Lets look at the Third alternative in this seemingly sordid vortex( no reference to the Third Front here which to me is more a personal affront than a coalition politics compulsion)- its an AAP AAP world. Born out of guts, glory, gumption which had the electorate swooning ‘ AAP Ki Kasam ‘ as they made light work of the bigwigs in the electoral race in Delhi, a few months on, thanks to a surreptitious mix of a well designed media blackout , a well orchestrated witch hunt and unabashed indiscretion on its own part, has the same set of loyalists crooning ‘ AAP tho aisey na they ‘. And what do they have to communicate…well we are still waiting….and even if they have, we may never know.
Non performance backed by communication that is a non starter…din meets stench…two wrongs never made a right, but then who the hell cares?