Just last week itself, I wrote about Political Advertising in India for 2009 elections and here comes another surprise of the same. Now after celebrities it’s the turn of Politicians looking up to the mighty web world. Joining the league is none other than L.K. Advani whose website http://www.lkadvani.in/ got launched on his 81st birthday on 8th Nov’08. BJP launched this website for their Prime Minister candidate Advani with an objective to reach out to the young and first time voters in India. As per BJP, this is the first website of its kind by an Indian Political party and is yet another step towards reinforcing the forward looking and futuristic attitude of their party.
The site opens up with an intro note and welcome message by L.K. Advani and is available in two different languages – Hindi and English. It’s an interactive website with loads of photos, videos, speeches and forums wherein visitors can participate and post their comment / suggestion / grievances. Overall the site looks neat and very 2.0 types except for the first landing page after home page. I think it’s too boxy, maybe they could have used some tabs and made it less cluttered. But content wise I liked the site. In fact to be honest I never expected it to be this deep esp. their “issues” blog section…quite nice and interesting posts there, though I think there should have been a section for users’ comments on each of these posts in order to make it truly interactive. I’m sure they have not allowed comments to avoid nuances and mud-slinging by opposition parties but then if you want it be interactive you need to provide the facility of comments and expressions, see some cool examples of Bollywood celebs like Big B or Aamir Khan. The forums allow posting and comments but as of today I don’t see much participation from external people over there. The home page content is definitely getting updated as I can see a difference between yesterday’s and today’s content, have a look at the scrn-shot:
Overall a neat website and considering the fact that most of the first time and young voters are digital natives it’s definitely a good step and modern approach towards reaching out to Indian youth. It’s good to know that Indian Prime Minister candidates are going high-tech, but wondering is it their own thought or is it Obama effect 🙂?
Also my fundamental question about Political Advertising in India remains the same – is it worth spending so much money before the elections in communication campaigns when most of the Indians know the realities of Indian Political scenario? It’s good to see such interactive platforms getting launched but is BJP going to take any step to solve the real-time issues or grievances being posted on the website or will these just remain as comment counters to prove that the website was a successful strategy with X number of comments and Y number of hits in Z number of days? Will it actually help in a building a “Strong, Prosperous and Self-Confident India” or will it end in just being yet another marketing gimmick?