With election season in its full swing, the climate of India has certainly been politically charged. From social media to tea stalls, politics has been the talk of the town. Against the backdrop of General Elections 2019, Brands across social media rolled out a series of innovative campaigns in a bid to increase voter turnout. Especially inspiring a young lot of first-time voters about the importance of every single vote, the structured advertisements weaved around the theme of elections either panned out in the form of substantial communication or a thoroughgoing involvement of products to encourage voting. Here, we list a series of Brands that came up with a compelling set of unconventional and highly impressive campaigns/initiative this election:
#NonStopDemocracy by Castrol
Castrol, an automobile and industrial lubricant brand came up with a very practical election campaign that encouraged people to step up and help others reach the polling booth by a simple act of giving a ride to someone on the way. The effective idea of “Give a Ride, Help Cast a Vote” resonates with the bike riding, zealous youngsters who are passionate about bringing a positive impact. The initiative by Castrol is not just thoughtful but is also very practically applicable. The campaign in all its sensibilities has been successful in dispensing a realistic, viable and workable approach that must be adopted by all citizens in the interest of Democracy.
Exclusively talking to The Logical Indian, Mr. Kedar Apte, Vice President Marketing, Castrol said, “Today’s youth is responsible, they stand up for what they believe in. The #NonStopDemocracy campaign is Castrol’s salute to the youth who want to make a difference in society and are driving a positive change.”. Talking about key performance indicators, he said, “We are happy that over 200,000 pledges have come in so far for the Castrol Activ #NonStopDemocracy initiative, and the campaign is still on-going.
Apte, on talking about how effective social media campaigns carried out by brands inspire/influence/involve people, he said, “ Today’s youth stand up for what they believe in and want to make a positive difference to society. We feel strong campaigns have the power to bring positive behavioral changes.
#MakeYourChoice by McDonalds
McDonald’s campaign for this election has hit exactly the bull’s eye. By far it has been the most hard-hitting demonstration of how you lose the right to choose if you don’t vote. It is especially applicable to those youngsters who do although have an opinion about politics and parties but would rather choose to stay at home than go to vote. As a part of their activation, an outlet of McDonald’s served something other than what was ordered to the consumers who didn’t vote. Baffled, as they complained about it, they were told that they have lost the right to choose as they didn’t vote. The video reached 1 million people on Facebook alone. It remained popular across other social media platforms as well.
Arvind R.P., Director – Marketing and Communications, Hardcastle Restaurants Pvt. Ltd. (Master franchise of McDonald’s) in the press release said “At McDonald’s, we believe in standing up for good and with this social initiative we are making a small yet significant effort to sensitize the youth about the power of their vote and urge them to exercise their right to choose their elected representative.”
Free Rides for PWD by OLA
Ola has definitely taken its advertising campaign several notches up by practically converting the communication into action and active participation. The brand, in partnership with the office of the Chief Electoral Officer of Karnataka and Mangalore Zilla Panchayat, The Bengaluru District Electoral officer and the Commissioner of Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and The District Electoral Officer and Commissioner of Mysore Corporation provided free rides to Persons with Disabilities (PWD). Ola assigned 270 cabs to the Election Commission to ferry the PWD voters to the polling booth.
Vishnu Bommareddy, Regional Head – South at Ola said in the press release, “ In the recent past, we have seen that availability of convenient transport options has resulted in positive voter turnout and we will continue to back initiatives that support the constitutional machinery of the country.”
#GoOutAndVote by Godrej
Interestingly, the relationship of Godrej with democracy goes back to the Post Independence era when ‘Godrej and Boyce’ had built over 12 lakh ballot boxes for the very first general elections of free India in the year 1952.
Fast forward to the present, Godrej continues to be socially responsible. The brand advertising of Godrej in the election backdrop 2019 engages the idea of its product to spread awareness. The brand very creatively engages its products such as bookshelf, chair, table, etc as a prop to communicate the importance of voting.
The chair is about the most important furniture piece, as the seat of comfort, convenience and power. It's important you have a say in it and its occupants. Exercise your right to choose the correct one. Cast your vote.#GoOutAndVote #GodrejInterio #OfficeChairs #Democracy pic.twitter.com/LP81HVjyp2
— Godrej Interio India (@GodrejInterio4U) April 22, 2019
Our bookshelves hold ideas, knowledge and responsible thoughts. Before you start another chapter for yourself, be sure you help the country do so too. Cast your vote.#GoOutAndVote #GodrejInterio #HomeFurniture #IndianElections #Democracy pic.twitter.com/lEBe3SGLPk
— Godrej Interio India (@GodrejInterio4U) April 25, 2019
#EkDinKiChutti by Samsonite
The urban Indian who move out of their hometowns for work and studies are usually a section that corners themselves as silent spectators of the election. The election campaign by Samsonite explores a pertinent subject that caters to the number of increased votes that can be cast if voters registered in another city takes #ekdinkichutti to go back home just to vote. The campaign that garnered over 2 million views on YouTube is exceedingly pivotal because India being the largest democracy can only glow in its full potential if votes are not lost which is possible only if every Indian registered in their hometowns make as much effort to go back home for a day to vote as much they do for festivals.
Bodh Deb, Vice President and Branch Head at ‘Autum Worldwide’, the agency which designed and executed this campaign for Samsonite, in an exclusive conversation with ‘The Logical Indian’ said, “As we were brainstorming on finding a real insight for the election campaign we realized that none of us had the moral high ground to speak on the subject as all of us had migrated to another city for work years back and had never made a real effort to go back home to cast our vote like the way we make an effort to go back home every year during our festivals. Instantly we knew that we have hit upon an insight that will strike a chord with millions like us”
On being asked if it is necessary for a brand to take a social stance, in this context, for elections, he said, “ Its not necessary for a brand to take a social stance at every given opportunity. At the end of the day, a brand needs to stay true to its purpose, its values, and its target audience. The latest campaign from Samsonite #EkDinKiChutti stems from its brand purpose of meaningful travel. Hence it works. Brands that take on social causes randomly without any brand relevance doesn’t really benefit in any way.”
The Logical Indian appreciates the socially responsible initiatives taken by the brands that also relayed across social media to drive positive changes. These brands being the household names share a long-standing relationship with their customers, therefore, their reach of millions of people makes them robust enough to make a large number of people aware of their rights and duties towards the country. We believe that these compelling initiatives came packed with great potential to encourage citizens to slip into their responsibility boots towards that one thing we call democracy.