Effies 2009: Three months to sway the nation's choice

By Biprorshee Das , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | December 16, 2009
Amid an unfriendly environment in the country and odds stacked strictly against it, JWT India's campaign for the Indian National Congress around the General Elections fetched the desired results

While Lowe Lintas, with its Jaago Re campaign for Tata Tea, urged the Indian population to exercise their right to vote, JWT India had another mammoth task on its hands - to convince the nation to vote for the Indian National Congress in the General Elections and help the United Progressive Alliance government to remain in power.

JWT India presented its case study for the 'Aam Aadmi ke Badte Kadam' campaign for the Indian National Congress at the Effies 2009 presentation round, shortlisted in the Corporate Advertising category.

A total of 33 shortlisted case studies were presented across six categories - Mobile Advertising, Consumer Products, Corporate Advertising, Services, Consumer Durables and Integrated Advertising Campaign.

The Effies 2009 awards, organised by The Advertising Club of Bombay, will be given away on December 16.

With the question of whether a three month campaign could woo the voters in favour of a five year old government looming large, the agency worked amid the issues of anti-incumbency, fall out of the 26/11 terrorist attacks, rising petrol prices and recessionary concerns. There was also the task of wooing first time voters. Leading media publications did not give the UPA too much of a chance either.

The challenge remained that there was no single issue that could have united all voter segments, except for the Congress' development initiatives. Thus was born the Aam Aadmi ke Badte Kadam campaign.

The big idea, the agency said, was to "create the umbrella of development as not one big single step but as a journey with lots of small yet honest steps".

The campaign was devised in three phases, with the heritage and achievements of the party being showcased, each voter segment being convinced that Congress was a better choice and finally converting the positive disposition into votes.

Films were created to speak to identified key segments such as farmers, labourers, women and middle class households.

Special films were made to reach out to the first time voters under the slogan 'Yuva Bharat ke Badhte Kadam', leveraging Rahul Gandhi's leadership and Rajiv Gandhi's contribution to the country's development.

About 250 films and radio spots were made in 22 languages in 45 days.

The campaign worked and how - as Congress posted its biggest victory since 1991 and the UPA retained power at the centre in May 2009. The vote share of the Congress went up by 2.02 per cent compared with the 2004 elections, which enabled the party to win 60 more seats.

The agency also claimed that an analysis of the campaign showed how the Congress retained its vote share among the urban voters.

© 2009 afaqs!