In this season of advertising and mass media budget cuts, it definitely rings a bell if you suddenly listen about any campaign having a budget as high as 150 crores! Yeah, such budgets are still there and that too in India for advertising campaigns of just 2-3 months duration.
Recently read that Congress has hired Crayons for their communications campaign for 2009 election and as per the industry sources campaign budget is estimated to be Rs. 150 crores. Crayons is the same agency which has worked on lots of other political campaigns including BJP’s 2004 election campaign, 2003 Rajasthan Elections campaign, Delhi Government’s “Badalti Tasveer Dilli Ki Aapke Liye” campaign and Tourism Industry’s Incredible India campaign for the whole of Europe. Following the course of Congress is BJP whose account has been given to an agency called Hive. And interesting thing is even BJP’s overall budget for the communication campaign is estimated to be Rs. 150 crores! Well, BJP’s budget had to be this or more, isn’t it? As per figures quoted, overall spend in forthcoming election campaign by Congress and BJP is going to be over Rs. 300 crores. This is definitely some money, in fact 300 crores is far more than the annual advertising spend of some very known FMCG giants in India. I’m sure for advertising agencies the forthcoming election campaign is going to be an interesting assignment both from commercial as well creative perspective.
But one thing keeps pinging my mind – from where do all these money come for just building brand image of these political parties? Isn’t 300 crores huge sum of money to be wasted in communications during election campaign esp. when we all know the realities of Indian Political parties be it Congress of BJP or any XYZ? Whole year they don’t do anything and when the time of election comes then they think of communicating their message! Wish they could have spent such money in genuine developments and upliftment work then maybe they need not spend such money in building their brand. Doing any communication campaign is perfectly alright but just communicating false promises with no end result is rubbish and sheer waste of money.