The results of the national elections to vote a new government in the world’s largest democracy have thrown a few surprises. The Congress, one of the two national parties, has exceeded its own expectations and is all set to form the new government with its allies, while the BJP, the other national party has done far worse. One aspect of BJP’s camapaign was the use of online and mobile marketing to project their prime ministerial candidate, Advani (inspired by Obama’s campaign of course!). BJP reportedly spent in excess of $10 M for this.
The party created a good website, resorted to blogging, online forums, ads and SEM; all this was much written about and analysed. However, it failed to deliver.
What could be the reasons? This was a campaign obviously targeting the middle class and the internet savvy population who form a very small proportion of the 700 + million voting population. While the campaign was a successful activity ( drawing about 60000 or more unique visitors daily), it did not deliver the desired outcome it appears, looking at the way the party fared in the polls. For one, Obama’s strategy gelled well with his youthful image, while in Advani’s case it could have been a way to project a youthful image ( Mr Advani is 81 years old) and that perhaps did not resonate as much.
Two, with the electronic media doing 24X7 coverage of the elections, the educated middle class anyway had their fill of election news. Was there a need for yet another vehicle to target the same niche audience? I am not so sure.
Thus, while the orchestrating of the campaign was commendable, perhaps the concept was not right for India and for the candidate.
Would welcome any alternate viewpoints on this………