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BJP spoofs I.N.D.I.A. alliance members in a new ad before polls

First major spot after McCann Worldgroup and Scarecrow M&C Saatchi were picked to service the ruling party’s creative account.

In what is the first direct push from the ruling party ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) has taken to spoofing the I.N.D.I.A. alliance members and shows them as incapable of winning the hands of the voters, and as a result, the Prime Minister’s chair.

Set to an arranged marriage theme, the nearly two-and-a-half-minute ad shows a Rahul Gandhi lookalike as the potential groom to the bride (read voter), while his large joint family sit behind; he introduces them as his business partners.

They are spoofs of Sonia Gandhi and Mallikarjun Kharge (both INC), Arvind Kejriwal (AAP), Uddhav Thackeray (UBT Shiv Sena) Mamata Banerjee (TMC), M.K. Stalin (DMK), Akhilesh Yadav (SP), Lalu Prasad Yadav and his son Tejashwi Yadav (both RJD).

Throughout the ad, one sees the joint family members fight among themselves, wash each other’s proverbial dirty linen in front of the bride and her parents, and fight for who’ll get to become the groom (for the PM’s seat).

Towards the end of the ad, the bride looks at the viewers while a voiceover asks in Hindi, “Do you think they can choose a groom from themselves? (bride nods in the negative) So, how will they choose who gets to become PM?”

This ad comes after media reports said the BJP had tapped McCann Worldgroup and Scarecrow M&C Saatchi & Saatchi to service its creative account, and that Madison Media had retained the party’s media account.

Another ad from the BJP shows two men making fun of the challengers to the ruling government using their nicknames and stating their preference for PM Modi.

A recent Instagram post also reveals the BJP's strategy of mocking the alliance as an indecisive group incapable of choosing a leader, by tagging all of them as Raavan (the chief antagonist of the Ramayana).

A couple of months ago, the ruling party kicked off its campaigning efforts with a song dedicated to the incumbent prime minister. “We wave reality, not dreams. That’s why everyone chooses Modi” was its hook.

Sloganery and memorable copy have held the BJP, especially Modi, in good stead ahead of elections. His 2014 election campaign slogan of 'Abki Baar, Modi Sarkar' went viral across the internet, and helped the party return to power at the centre.

However, there was an issue of credit because many laid claim to having written the line. The line has been credited by many to either Prasoon Joshi (chairman, McCann Worldgroup Asia Pacific) or Ogilvy's chairman of global creative and advsior to Ogilvy India, Piyush Pandey.

Other famous slogans from his election campaigns over the years include Janta maaf nahi karegi (public won't forgive), and Achche din aanewale hain (good days are coming).

The Lok Sabha elections will take place from April 19, 2024, to June 1, 2024, and the results will be announced on June 4, 2024.

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