Communicating or Spamming?

Yes, I am liking this new media communication strategy of Indian Political parties this year esp. of BJP but think they are definitely going over-board now. Can somebody please tell BJP campaign management team that:

  • Over communication esp. through certain media can really KILL your campaign.
  • Bombarding consumers repeatedly with too many messages, promises & benefits of the same product can actually be treated as spamming and not marketing.

Here is what I mean by my above two statements. On a daily basis I am getting SMSes from “TA-BJP” on my both mobile phones. Some of those messages are:

  • BJP’s promise: Terror-free India, Hunger-free society, Debt-free kisan, Worry-free middle class. 3.5 crore families to benefit from income tax exemption for incomes up to Rs. 3 lakh p.a. Student loans at 4%. Advani for PM.
  • Har school jaane wali balika ko lakhpati banane wali LADLI LAKSHMI YOJANA par karenge amal. Advaniji ki shapath.
  • BJP’s JAI JAWAN JAI KISAN JAI VIGYAN promise. Longstanding demands of our brave Armed Forces to be met. Farm loans at 4%. Road and broadband connectivity to all villages. 1.2 crore IT-enabled jobs in rural areas. Advani for PM.

Need I say more??? These are just few samples, I have definitely received a lot more messages to attain a reflex reaction of pressing the DELETE button as soon as I see the sender as “TA-BJP” now.

Suggestion: BJP campaign team, good to see your aggressive strategies but please introduce some section on your website for consumers to unsubscribe from receiving these messages. Permission is the KEY for certain medium! Also would be good if you can post some anecdotes on your website about execution of any of these promises. Will help in establishing some credibility towards your SMSes!


Political Advertising

In this season of advertising and mass media budget cuts, it definitely rings a bell if you suddenly listen about any campaign having a budget as high as 150 crores! Yeah, such budgets are still there and that too in India for advertising campaigns of just 2-3 months duration.

Recently read that Congress has hired Crayons for their communications campaign for 2009 election and as per the industry sources campaign budget is estimated to be Rs. 150 crores. Crayons is the same agency which has worked on lots of other political campaigns including BJP’s 2004 election campaign, 2003 Rajasthan Elections campaign, Delhi Government’s “Badalti Tasveer Dilli Ki Aapke Liye” campaign and Tourism Industry’s Incredible India campaign for the whole of Europe. Following the course of Congress is BJP whose account has been given to an agency called Hive. And interesting thing is even BJP’s overall budget for the communication campaign is estimated to be Rs. 150 crores! Well, BJP’s budget had to be this or more, isn’t it? As per figures quoted, overall spend in forthcoming election campaign by Congress and BJP is going to be over Rs. 300 crores. This is definitely some money, in fact 300 crores is far more than the annual advertising spend of some very known FMCG giants in India. I’m sure for advertising agencies the forthcoming election campaign is going to be an interesting assignment both from commercial as well creative perspective.

But one thing keeps pinging my mind – from where do all these money come for just building brand image of these political parties? Isn’t 300 crores huge sum of money to be wasted in communications during election campaign esp. when we all know the realities of Indian Political parties be it Congress of BJP or any XYZ? Whole year they don’t do anything and when the time of election comes then they think of communicating their message! Wish they could have spent such money in genuine developments and upliftment work then maybe they need not spend such money in building their brand. Doing any communication campaign is perfectly alright but just communicating false promises with no end result is rubbish and sheer waste of money.