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Digital campaigning ~ Spam?

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If we include TV then it might not be spam As TV includes a larger audience and gets the message clearly. Not the same case with other digital media – Mobile phone and the Internet.

“In case of advertisements on TV, we do not have a choice. In case of SMS’es popping up every now and then, a sense of irritation is created and unintentionally you start disliking the party or individual,” said Dr Singh. (Mint)

We generally stay away from political controversies and the parties. That is the reason why our coverage on the elections is next to nil. But, the digital campaigning and the embracing of social media and twitter has just blurred that line and hence the post.

The political parties have embraced the Internet and the mobile media to get their message through. BJP and Advani has pioneered this very well. In the past 60 days I did not find any other ads other than the BJP ads online. Then I wondered how much did BJP really spend on these ads? I was also curious about how much were the ads really paying.

Though I would never get my answers, my guess is they weren’t paying much. But the ads pervaded the Internet ad space like aliens. I couldn’t find any website I visited without these ads. Google got its geo-tagging right this time and maybe over-right. Because, most of the website’s I visit are not politics related. Sometimes not India related. The ads were there nevertheless. Isn’t that spam or ad-spam?

Add to that the unwanted SMS’s. I have registered my number in Do-not-Call registry though recently. So, the SMS’s I get might not yet be filtered. But, I would regard it as a spam. I get very minimum SMS’s per day which makes them all the more important. I don’t want a IT manifesto on SMS. I know where to look for it.

Indian politics doesn’t need to embrace the digital media for various reasons. Tech savvy people in India know that there is not much of a difference between the political parties and their ideologies. The audience you are targeting knows full well that, whatever you say might not happen. Especially in this highly fragmented Indian polity with regional parties going national.

The manifesto’s released before the elections are just an eyewash as the government would end up doing something else after 5 years – if it lasts that long. Digital media as a differentiator is big waste of people’s time and party’s fund. Google should not just do geo-tagging as Indian Internet is growing in size. It should also target the niche, trade or the vertical and sell the inventory.

Trak.in does not use image ads and that is the reason why you haven’t seen any of the political ads. But if you check the Blogosphere which used image ads there is a good chance that the a political ad was displayed irrespective of the blog’s content.

It would still be interesting to see some statistics like the money spent and the vote share increased etc…

  1. Sumedh says

    Well, at least digital media companies got some kind of revenue from the political parties…that is a positive… :)

    Of course, Google is the big gainer…but I am sure ad agencies must have got quite a bit of moolah…

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