‘It has been Proven Again that Mass Me­dia has Power to Move Moun­tains’

The Economic Times - - Business Of Brands -

How did the BJP man­date come to Madi­son? We were first con­tacted by Prashant Kishore in Ahmed­abad through our client Lodha. Sub­se­quently we were con­tacted by Ajay Singh and Arun Naren­dranath. Then we met Piyush Goyal and Arun Jait­ley. What won us the busi­ness was a lot of de­tail work re­volv­ing around me­dia reach in dif­fer­ent con­stituen­cies. Po­lit­i­cal par­ties like the BJP and RSS were known to be ortho­dox, not open to mod­ern ideas. Was that a prob­lem? We were con­fi­dent of de­liv­er­ing on our prod­uct not just be­cause of faith in our own ex­pe­ri­ence, ex­per­tise and ca­pa­bil­ity but we knew we had a strong prod­uct, com­pared to com­pe­ti­tion. Ad­ver­tis­ing works bril­liantly for a good prod­uct, but kills a bad prod­uct fast. The party did a num­ber of in­no­va­tions, like the con­tent in­te­gra­tion with Chan­nel V. Was BJP open to these ideas from the be­gin­ning? Yes. That was the very rea­son they reached out to pro­fes­sion­als and then played a sup­port­ive role, not an in­ter­fer­ing role. I must say the people at BJP are not the stereo­typ­i­cal politi­cians; they are smart, savvy and in­tel­li­gent man­agers who have left cor­po­rate jobs to help the na­tion catch up on lost time. Reach­ing out to me­dia-dark mar­kets like UP & Bi­har seemed to be a big chal­lenge. How did you re­solve that? These mar­kets did pose a chal­lenge and ob­vi­ously got our greater share of our at­ten­tion. In ad­di­tion to mass me­dia these mar­kets got in­ten­sive be­low-the-line sup­port. What were some of the big­gest chal­lenges you faced? Out­door — in UP es­pe­cially — posed huge chal­lenges be­cause of un­fair play by the rul­ing party in grant­ing per­mis­sions for putting up hoard­ings. The other chal­lenge was ne­go­ti­a­tions with me­dia, some of whom ar­ti­fi­cially in­flated their rates for po­lit­i­cal cam­paigns. Ran­dom num­bers float­ing around in the me­dia for the budget of our cam­paign made our task more dif­fi­cult. Would you call this the tough­est cam­paign of your ca­reer? What made it tougher was fre­quent changes based on feed­back from state units. Work tim­ings for the team changed from 9 am to 5 pm to 12 noon to 3 am. We suc­ceeded in re­leas­ing jack­ets in news­pa­pers at 4 hours no­tice, and TV spots

at 2 hours no­tice. We launched the cam­paign on cricket. Go­ing for­ward, will you con­tinue to work for BJP or the new govern­ment? We hope so. What I would re­ally like is for the Govern­ment of In­dia to ap­point us as me­dia ad­vi­sors. We could make a huge dif­fer­ence in terms of ef­fi­ciency and ef­fec­tive­ness. People say BJP spent close to .` 5,000 crore for the elec­tion ad cam­paign. Is that true? That is the finest com­pli­ment that Madi­son Me­dia has ever re­ceived. The ac­tual spend is a mi­nus­cule frac­tion of that num­ber, but I am not at lib­erty to re­veal it. The BJP cam­paign has once again proven that mass me­dia has the power to move moun­tains, it is not as ex­pen­sive as it is thought to be and multimedia is es­sen­tial for ef­fec­tive­ness. What our cam­paign achieved is that it cost-ef­fec­tively raised the pitch to a crescendo which con­verted a com­mu­ni­ca­tion task into what you in me­dia call a Modi ‘wave’ that re­sulted in a land­slide vic­tory for the BJP.

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