DMK ups ante on social media, news channels

G BALACHANDAR Chennai | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on April 25, 2016

With campaigning to the Tamil Nadu Assembly election gathering momentum, political parties are battling it out on television and social media. The DMK appears to be ahead in using these platforms to reach out to voters.

From full page advertisements to teaser campaigns, short videos on social media to small banner ads on news websites, DMK’s campaign has shot up significantly over the past few weeks. It has upped the ante against the ruling Jayalalithaa-led All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK).

Wider reach

DMK’s ads and short video clips have been aired on neutral TV news channels too, besides its ads having appeared on popular news websites.

DMK expects its campaign on TV and social media to supplement public meetings by leaders.

“We continue to leverage social media to reach people. There are several lakh young voters who are on Facebook, WhatsApp or Twitter. A strong social media strategy is a key to reaching them effectively as they matter a lot now,” Tamilan Prasanna, Joint Secretary (Media Relations), DMK told BusinessLine.

He said ad campaigns on various channels would help several lakh people at one go. With a two-minute video, we can reach at least a crore people, whereas a public meeting can reach only about 50,000 people at a time. “But continuous campaigns on TV channels will bring in confidence and strength to the party cadres. Our campaigns are internally-driven ones,” he added.

DMK claims success of its TV and social media strategy. “In the Tiruchi meet last week, Jayalalithaa spoke about our campaigns. She accused DMK of visual propaganda against the AIADMK government. This clearly shows that she is in jitters and worried over improving momentum for us,” said Prasanna.

Political observers pointed out that all parties have realised the need to woo new voters and social media is seen as an effective tool to achieve that. “Certainly, DMK is one step ahead in its TV and social media campaigns,” said political analyst and writer Badri Seshadri. “There is a sort of consistency right through the campaign phase – starting from teaser ads to banner ads on websites. DMK seems to have worked out the strategy well,” he said.

AIADMK has also launched advertisements. But most of them are appearing on channels owned by people close to the ruling dispensation. “They need to catch up in TV as also on social media,” said political observers.

Impact of ads

But, will such aggressive and wide campaigns bring in more voters? “No, I don’t think ads will trigger people to vote. It is the message in the campaign that plays the role. For example, DMK’s promise on education and crop loans waiver may spark some thinking among the masses who have taken those loans,” said Seshadri.

Published on April 25, 2016
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