Mumbai-based Anupam Arts, which has been in the printing business since 1985 catering to political parties during elections by making posters, pamphlets, and party banners, has not received any orders this time. Emergence of artificial intelligence (AI), digital technology and growth in social media has impacted the business of printers this election. 

“Code of conduct is already in place and we have not got any order from any political party. Parties are focusing on targeting voters digitally and through social media advertising. During the 2019 elections, we still had orders for political banners, t-shirts and pamphlets but this year the business is strained. The impact is seen even in the hinterland,” said 30-year-old Harsh Arwind Gala of Anupam Arts.

Political parties have shifted their attention to using AI-generated content and digital technology to get the voter’s attention.

“We expect the business to see a dip this election compared to 2019. The traditional election campaign has changed in the last three to four years. With the growth in social media and strong AI algorithms, political parties are expected to spend on advertisements through social media. There will be big-size digital hoardings, advertisements in print media and outdoor advertisements but the offset printing industry will be impacted,” said Amit Shah, President of the Bombay Master Printers Association, to businessline.

Market rating agency ICRA has predicted that the print media industry will see an increase in Government spending towards print advertisement, ahead of the elections, coupled with recovery in private sector spending, to drive improvement in high-margin ad revenues, especially at the end of FY2024 and early FY2025.

Smart AI marketing?

Business owners believe that with technological advancement, political parties are shifting towards ‘smart’ digital marketing.

“I have been in the printing business for over 20 years now. Earlier political parties would print school books and papers with their electoral symbols to make them reach a wider audience. AI has taken this over and parties are approaching their voter base through generated social media content. We started seeing this trend in 2019 and other State elections,” said 46-year-old Mangesh Sawant who owns Print Shop.