BJP puts opponents in the web of war
By Pratul Sharma - NEW DELHI
Published: 17th Nov 2013 07:09:10 AM
With less than three weeks left before Delhi goes to poll, the state BJP is pulling out all the stops to woo the electorate—especially the new voters who are active online.
The strategy is not just limited to managing the social media like Facebook, Twitter but even posting innovative advertisements that pop up when Internet users from Delhi log on to different websites. Web users visiting prominent e-commerce and news sites encounter strategically placed advertisements featuring issues like price rise, city being unsafe for women and corruption.
Sample this: A banner advertisement appears on the webpage of a newspaper. Kaun Banega Arabpati (who will become a millionaire) appears in a format akin to popular game show Kaun Banega Crorepati. Soon the multiple choices appear: a) UPA, b) Delhi government, c) Congress, d) All of the above. Then the user is told that (d) is the right answer. This is followed by a message written in bold: ‘Is this the government you want?’ and the tag line: ‘Delhi Deserves Better’. Clicking on the ad takes the user to a website with the same name—delhideservesbetter—where the party talks about six issues that plague Delhi: price rise, corruption, women safety, employment, education and power.
This website reads like a chargesheet on the Congress-led Delhi government, and then lists the promises of Delhi BJP. There is a separate page on the BJP’s chief ministerial and prime ministerial candidates.
These advertisements are visible to Internet users from Delhi. Another suitably placed advertisement pops up when a person visits an e-commerce website. As the person is shopping, the advertisement talks about high prices, and follows the same route—is this the city you want? and Delhi deserves better.
Similarly, another eye-catching advertisement talks about safety of women. A webshot of search engine shows: a person typing ‘Delhi is the...’, and soon choices like rape capital of India, not safe for women and not safe after dark show up. “Onion prices shooting higher than the helicopter shot. Catch the price hike before it’s too late,” goes another advertisement, an apparent reference to cricketer MS Dhoni’s trademark shot.
This style of advertisement campaign is reminiscent of the online advertisement launched during the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, when L K Advani was the BJP’s PM candidate.
As the online campaign is attracting attention, even individual candidates have started inserting their advertisements. BJP Janakpuri candidate Jagdish Mukhi’s advertisement carries his vision and promises for the state.
BJP Delhi’s IT cell in-charge Dr Rajkumar Sharma said not only the party but also some NGOs and those who are involved in the campaign provide links to the party. Running operations with the help of several independent organisations help curtail costs, as then advertisements would not be counted in the election expenditure.