Brands show the way – in or out – this election season

22 Apr,2014

By Shobhana Nair


The ongoing election fever has certainly caught the attention of everyone concerned including individuals and companies alike. This year especially is one where a host of brands have joined the opinion bandwagon and have gone on to express their hopes or angst against a host of political parties and their candidates. Recent examples include Fevicol that has joined the group with its recent ad campaign that humorously reflects the current election scenario in India and also Maruti’s Wagon R that has released a campaign around elections.


Harish Bijoor

Explaining the approach being taken by brands, Harish Bijoor, Brand Expert & CEO, Harish Bijoor, Consults Inc said, “Politics is a very important part of the fabric of societal life. Every being is essentially a social being first and then a political. To that extent politics touches every one of us. Since it does, marketers salivate at the prospect of using politics and election time is a great time to piggy back on the one big event that gets the eyeballs: Indian elections.”


That may sound like a great marketing strategy and that’s why brands like Tata Tea has been a clear favourite amongst both the experts and the aam junta in throwing light on issues that need attention. This time around, Power of 49 had the backing of popular TV faces and the response received has been phenomenal. The brand has received over 1.7 million responses till date with a majority of these responses coming in from the states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar and Rajasthan. Of the 1.7 million calls, more than 0.6 million have voiced specific issues that concern women.


Vikram Grover, VP – Marketing, India and South Asia, Tata Global Beverages said, “What is noteworthy is that not just women, but men too have participated in a major way. With such phenomenal participation from the general public and an increasing focus on women in political discourse, we hope that the reach of our campaign could play a small but a significant part in paving the way for women’s empowerment and hence aiding the nation’s progress.”


This isn’t the first time that Tata Tea has taken up a social cause. One is aware about their Jaago Re campaign which was established in 2007 to awaken and empower citizens to ‘be the change they wished to see’. A well-planned and tactical communication strategy surely helps in winning a few brownie points along with building goodwill in the market.

Another tea brand Wagh Bakri had released a campaign ‘Sahi Chuno’ in November 2013. Spending around Rs 3 crores on this campaign alone, the brand managed to create higher customer awareness in newer markets with a mix media plan comprising of TV, Radio & Outdoor. Parag Desai, Executive Director, Wagh Bakri Tea believes that tea plays the role of a catalyst in bringing people together in India. “When people come together and have tea they establish a relation. Our TVC went one step beyond and said that do not just vote but ‘Sahi Chuno (choose wisely), be it a tea brand or your candidate.”


In fact, even a global brand like Google couldn’t resist from contributing towards the election fever. It released a 3 minute video ‘Pledge to Vote with Shyam Negi’ inspiring millions of Indian digitally to come out and get inked. That’s exactly what brands needs to do – inspire and encourage.


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