Move over Ekta Kapoor – we have Mahabharat Wars, Bhai Ka Pyaar & Love on our walls!
When we look back at the Lok Sabha Elections a few years from now, chances are that we will not remember Toffee Model or Slapgate or Jashodaben (do read the MBRB A to Z of Elections here). There is also no telling what shape Facebook and Twitter will assume by then. But it is highly likely that we will be in agreement that the middle class vote in the 2014 elections was won and lost on social media.
For let’s admit it, social media is today what television was in the 90’s – omnipresent, frenziedly seeking the next big thing, quick to judge and even quicker to forget – it’s like Leonard of Memento taking on the role of the Red Queen, constantly screaming “Off with their heads”. And those who’ve been smart and agile enough to realize the power of this medium may just be those who will benefit the most when the results are out this May.
Amongst all the noise from mainstream and social media, it would seem there is no hope for the humble poster – how can it compete with the “live” gaffes and viral memes? But while posters may not be as ubiquitous now as they were earlier (remember the time when every house wall was plastered with posters of different candidates?), they still form a part of every party’s marketing campaign. When one of the MBRB editors travelled through UP in January, she was taken aback by the number of Samajawadi Party posters that had confiscated every wall and roadside – if only the party had expended the same effort in real development.
That memory inspired us to search for “interesting” posters by political parties for this year’s election campaign. From Bhai-Behna to Mahabharat’s second coming in 2014, we have it all here. Enjoy!
1. Aam Aadmi Party
AAP made innovative use of auto rickshaws for their Assembly elections campaign in Delhi last year, highlighting the ills of the Sheila Dixit government and exhorting people to vote for Jhadu, its election symbol. But we Indians are masters at replicating smarter and better – the same strategy was effectively used against it when Kejriwal had his brief stint in government.
2. Bhartiya Janata Dal
The BJP, renowned for its disciplined cadres, has run its election campaign with clockwork precision – compared with the other parties, there is clarity and consistency, and dissent has been swiftly dealt with. But this poster of Narendra Modi, released by his supporters last year after he made his infamous “puppy” remarks, reminds us why we are so uncomfortable with its Prime Ministerial candidate.
Dear Congress workers of Allahabad who came up with this poster – we feel your pain! Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi may have been clueless about India’s realities, but they did have charisma. Unfortunately, that gene seems to have bypassed “Bhaiya” Rahul. Wonder if “Maa” Sonia contributed to the copy – but for sheer sincerity and unintended funnies, this poster wins our heart!
Translated: Not I, but We! Brother (Rahul) needs his Sister (Priyanka), To campaign for Congress, we implore you. We will form UPA-3 government for the 3rd time!
4. Samajwadi Party
Akhilesh Yadav certainly doesn’t know how to run a government, but he deserves credit for giving free reign to “Arup Gupta”, who has come up with the funniest election posters in this year’s Lok Sabha elections. Sample this response to Modi’s campaign of “Har Har Modi, Ghar Ghar Modi”
Translated: Tremble Modi, Be Afraid Modi. Goddess Sita is crying in the name of BJP for looting all the money in the name of her husband.
5. Janata Dal (United)
It shouldn’t be a surprise that regional parties are far more colorful, and creative, than their bleh national counterparts. The “2nd Mahabarath War” poster by Bihar’s ruling party wins our heart for highlighting the Congress party’s “correptions”, and the clever depiction of Nitish Kumar & Sharad Yadav as Krishna & Arjun, ready to take on the evil Madam/M.
6. Shiv Sena
Nice try Shiv Sena! If a pithy line could compensate for years of economic terrorism and religious extremism, we’d run out to vote for you. Also, did you make sure to check that the copywriter was a marathi manoos? Would be embarrassing if he wasn’t, non?
6. Lovers Party
A party comprising of true lovers- if this is not a joke and actually exists then a slow clap is in order! But truth be told, the entire idea sounds like something formulated in YRF Pradesh as a retirement gift for Shah Rukh Khan. What does it say about us that we’d still vote for them even if that’s the case?
7. Salman Khan
We aren’t sure who paid for this advertisement, and we are even less sure what’s being promoted here. We do like the idea of equating democracy with Salman Khan’s latest movie though. But just as one’s better off watching Dabangg reruns than going to the theatre for Jai Ho, it might be a better idea to read Gandhi’s speeches again than supporting any of the current lot of politicians!
And as an added bonus, here are two of the weirdest videos we’ve seen this Election cycle:
Now that’s what a campaign song should sound like! This insanely catchy tune adapted from Billy Joel’s We Didn’t Start The Fire is the first piece of election advertising we’ve seen that made us smile. But based on his colossally ignorant statements in the run up to the Lok Sabha Elections, may we suggest an adaptation of “Oops I Did It Again” instead for “Iron Man” Mulayam Singh?
2. We don’t blame Dhoni for Poonam Pandey, and we don’t blame Modi for Meghna Patel. But if you’re the one person who was swayed to vote for him based on this video, we do strongly question your life choices! Putting aside the irony of a woman threatening to ‘strip’ for the Party most likely to conduct a dharna outside her house for the act, can anything that begins with religious chants of “NaMo NaMo” end well?
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Photo Credits:1. AAP poster from indianexpress.com 2.Congress & Samajwadi Poster from ibnlive.in 3. JD (U) poster from ndtv.com 4. Shiv Sena Poster from funnyindianphotos.blogspot.com 5. Lovers Party from bbc.com Featured image courtesy: anupama kinagi via Compfight cc