August 12, 2011

Political Advertising by incumbent parties in UP & Punjab


Majority of political players in office believe that it is their legitimate right to use public money to showcase their achievements thru expensive media campaigns. Moreover they firmly believe in the effectiveness of such advertisements to generate a positive outcome of such campaigns. Being a marketing professional I would not like to argue about the moral & ethical implications of such actions but I have strong objections to the logic of effectiveness of such campaigns.

Most political players would not leave an opportunity to get their names mentioned in media. It flows from the mindset that any publicity is good publicity, and more so, that positive publicity is always good. I have studied many cases of government advertising, NDA’s feel good campaign too, and have reached same conclusion every time that advertisements containing the achievements of government during pre election period work against the interest of the incumbent party.

Election campaigning in Punjab & UP has already broken in the media. One could not miss extended TVCs of UP government singing praises of the Maya government whereas Punjab media is bombarded with achievement of SAD led government. Both the campaigns have already reached frequency levels that begin to build a negative reaction amongst the citizen voters. If both parties continued with their current approach to scheduling it is certain to damage their chances of victory.

Over publicity of incumbent party could deliver a bigger blow to its victory chances than a sustained campaign by the challenger. Incumbent political players in both UP & Punjab would do well to drastically cut their campaign frequency and also adjust the scheduling strategy to get a positive outcome

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