The Poll Pitch
The most awaited time of the year is here. The biggest democracy in the world is amidst its General Elections. The political war has changed turfs from being solely offline to raging campaigns online as well. Most of the campaigns are targeted at the young demographic and are attempting to entice and appeal to them in whichever way possible. This event has garnered great attention from brands across industries. Each one is trying to claim a unique position on its significance this election.
Events such as these are heavily driven by insight. It is important to say something that not only connects with the audience and encourages them to take action but also something that makes them appreciate your brand and make you valuable. Smart brands are working towards building narratives around getting voters to polling booths. I’ve enlisted a couple of brands that have really made the cut and didn’t just create campaigns for the sake of trending topics.
Samsonite – #EkDinKiChutti
The campaign insight is based on the fact that many people have moved out of the city of their birth for work or other reasons. However, they do not go back to their hometowns to cast their vote. Samsonite encourages and urges people to take a day off and travel to vote. It is a compelling message that brings out the importance of voting as well as the fact that it is our duty as citizens of this country to exercise our right to vote.
MX Player – #ElectionsonMX
I love the position that MX player has taken by calling itself the destination for ‘everytainment’. The campaign in this light is a humorously negative take on the drama that surrounds the elections. It talks about the fake promises made by politicians as well as cleverly hints at issues such as ‘Gauraksha’ and the politics that is played using caste and community as tools. The ad ends with showing ‘live debates, comedy and news as categories that one can watch and enjoy the general elections on.
Castrol India – #NonStopDemocracy
The automotive and industrial lubricant brand has continued with its cause based marketing approach. The campaign encourages youngsters with two wheelers to give rides to people and help in facilitating a large voter turnout. It is in line with their brand proposition of continuous protection and has reached out to their target audience of bike owners in India to do what they love while helping the community.
Flipkart - #EqualsDay
Flipkart never misses out on making edgy and really commendable takes on topics of relevance. This campaign uses the symbolic meaning of pointing fingers at each other while playing the blame game and converts it to standing together as equals. It has beautifully depicted the cultural differences across the country and talks about the elections as a festival celebrated by everyone. It focuses on how we may be divided by caste and community but we are treated as equals when it comes to casting our vote. Each of us has only one vote and thus stating that we are all equal.
Comedy Central - #ChooserNotLoser
Comedy central has always been appreciated as being spot on when it comes to commercials. Its campaign for the election features an operation theatre setting wherein the patient is in for a knee transplant operation however, the doctors seem to operate on the wrong knee by the toss of a coin and even the random selection by the nurse. The brand puts out the fact that ‘it ain’t funny when someone else chooses for you’ and urges its viewers to vote.
Red FM – #AbWatanDabayegaButton
This campaign is about increasing the voter turnout to actual ground work. The Red FM team has successfully inspired residents of Dalelpur who had announced their boycott of the elections due to being ignored by the government to come out and vote. They have arranged for transportation and other facilities to increase connectivity and accessibility to polling booths. The aim is to make voting a habit by capturing first time voters, educating them and resolving their queries.
The food delivery giant has gone ahead and created a unique and compelling campaign. The app has become a part of the daily lives of youngsters today. This demographic uses their phones almost all the time. The ad brilliantly captures the fact that some things cannot be ordered online and that one needs to take an initiative to bring about a change that you wish to see.
Several brands are also running internal campaigns that encourage their staff to vote. Flipkart’s, voter registration camps for staffers, Swiggy’s ‘pledge to vote’ campaign, Samsonite with offering a leave to their employees,
Brands are trying to incentivize voters this election season. Thomas cook has initiated a discount to homebound travelers who are going to cast their vote. Hero Motocorp calls its customers to show their inked finger at their service centers in exchange for a free two wheeler wash. Subway has announced an 18% discount to voters. Mc.Donald’s is giving Rs.50 discount on select items for voters. Uber has announced the availability of rides to polling stations at discounted rates. Besides these, several local restaurants are offering their customers a discount on their bill by showing their inked finger at the location.
The greatest threat to democracy is apathy. I’m glad that it’s not just complacent communication or newsjacking but a genuine attempt at building a stronger community. Brands have chosen the right avenue to appeal to voters and to sensitize them about the importance of voting. Every single vote is important in the manifestation of a better future. Take responsibility and Vote.