Amazing NA-MO Mania
Marketing with Entertainment
At the outset, it is not a political statement but an objective case study of a successful and aggressive strategy of momentum marketing applied as winning poll strategy and used by prime minister Sri Modi and a new perspective. Modi victory is not only historical and outstanding for sheer numbers , but it is interesting as a subject of academic study in terms of marketing strategy, electoral strategy-A recipe of successfully winning hearts & minds of people and which promises big potentials in terms of attracting and organizing overwhelming popular passion and support within limited time scale and it has deep implications for economic ,politics and business growth and success . It gives deep insights into the process building mass euphoria for something and throws up innovative tools and technique having universal application in any field .It also reveals the potential of social media like Facebook, twitter etc for easily connecting large public efficiently.The marketing,campaigning has never been so easy. Splendor ,grandeur, glamour ,spectacle stardom have never ceased to fascinate human kind and world never do so in future .We still remain slave to our pleasures of our senses forever with few exceptions of sanity and rationality.Marketing is not only about fulfilling public need ,but about seducing public entertainment needs which means sensory pleasures.
A FORMULA OF A BLOCK BUSTER- AAB KI BAAR-MODI SARKAR
There are amazing parallels between a block buster film and running a successful political campaign like recent one.In fact both share drama ,dialogues, sound, fury,entertainment and so on .Besides both have a common objective which is popularity.A campaign like a movie has to liked and enjoyed by masses of people cutting across social barriers .A great script,famous casting ,music and spectacle and so on are common ingredient of a block buster and campain.Successful formulae gives birth to a winning campaign.Two fundamental senses such as Eye and Ear of people are scope of the project, maximum pleasure is objective and target for ultimate success.Consistently good show wins visually and sways the public bias.Back drop,songs and dances.colthes ,cavalcade ,light and spectacle of rally ,road shows and meetings strategically timed to get maximum mileage are recipe for election victory as this is what public enjoy and endorse.In addition to visuals,great sounding speeches ,sound bites and grand interviews or debates add to further entertainment as does in movies.Rightly, today campaigns are planned and executed like production and direction of a greatly popular film.To many, successful campaign and ultimate victory appeared like a great movies planned and executed with perfection with Modi on lead role which he deserved. AD film makers have promising future in coming days.A really sensational one.This is important lesson to be learnt by all politicians worth his salt.Clearly whole campaign took the shape of a Masala film in which congress and Gandhi family are like typical all powerful Thakurs or feudal under whose reign people are suffering for no fault of their own and Modi as hero from downtrodden background relentlessly fighting to free and rescue them which he did finally.Yes the block buster of the year is-AAB KI BAAR,MODI SARKAR
To conceive successful campaign, is to know what most people would like to see and enjoy like producing a TV soap.It takes common sense and little skill.Contents of a campaign is good predictor of its ultimate success or failure.Always put up a good show with right noise.Mass hysteria or Mania can be created as last election demonstrated.
MANIA AND HYSTERIA
Herd behavior is behind public mania or public hysteria.Proper marketing strategy can successfully arouse this by invoking public irrationality and herding behaviour.This is like tulip mania or making Bull market.Public follow success examples in droves.Few instances of success and good publicity or hype can create mania for something.It is like Indian Idol or KBC strategy of widely promoting successful people in show which then attract people.Mania or want for more of it created in public.Films are also promoted to create public demand.Just like public demand is created for products ,shows ,films ,massive endorsement can also create public mania or hysteria for a political candidate.Continuous media projection .hype and wide spread publicity can propel someone to rock star status so that a durable public hunger called mania build around him.
Perceptions are more powerful than impact of reality.Perceptions of being a winner make someone final winner.So perceptions of winning over the opponent is to be created before real victory .Perceptions of winning is by giving perception of being better or best choice to public when Narendra Modi defeated Kejriwal ,Narendra modi not only won election by numbers ,but also in terms of public perception ,which is the minds of people and gained universal acceptability and rose above electoral contest or competition . Kejriwal now has to suffer public perceptions of defeat and of loser or perception of being inferior to modi .This is losing war of winning the hearts and minds of people.
Much before real victory happens ,it is important winning sequence of campaigning events before the election day happens. Public perception of winning is to be created by proving opponent to be inferior consistently. Winning in terms scale and frequency of election campaigns gives the perceptions of a winner and perception of opponent being loser .This can be created not only in terms of issues as well as in terms of shows , but by effectively establishing superiority over him in terms of scale of publicity,popular support ,endorsements and resource fully spending .Mind it .This is a serious competition . A strategy is needed to create public perceptions of winner and opponent being a loser. The bogie of modi …modi…modi…chanting which filled TV channels or streets, is not only public endorsement , but constitutes coercive power and war on opponent or smothering the opponent .Contest is unmistakably seen as competition by the public and public sees clearly the winner and loser .This any aspiring politician must realize not to be casual about this competition.
So the Perception of winner is created and perception of loser is created .Then tidal wave of public support join the rally and support the winner or perceived winner or successful candidate going into election day and failure candidate is ditched .This is how modi wave is created. .
Typical example is AAP victory in Delhi’s assembly election , after which, people gained confidence and affection on them and then there is huge swell of support and public euphoria with celebrations surged for AAP. A real wave was created after their victory .The same perception of victory ,winning or success can be created before the real victory .This is by creating perceptions of victory during campaign itself by enacting and ensuring superiority or edge in shows and demonstrating out performance in every step of competition over the opponent .Once you win the public perception , real win just happens. Campaign is to be treated as competition on daily basis and planned at micro level .Winning on daily basis creates the perception of winner in public and in public mind .Then there is public euphoria and exuberance going into election .Modi proved that euphoria and exuberance can be created in pre election period not only post election . normally euphoria tend to be created post election as it happened when AAP got considerable no of seats in Delhi assembly elections.In fact pre election euphoria is more rewarding.
This strategy needs ,money, energy ,manpower and planning and implementation. It is capital and labor intensive strategy, given a country as large as India . Momentum hypothesis too is working reasonably well in electoral politics.
POSITIVE FEEDBACK SYSTEM FOR ELECTORAL BUBBLE
Positive feedback system works wonderfully in electoral politics as it does in bull market. Coupling ;Cartelizing and networking through social media or by alliance formation and social engineering ,attracting youth are all part of strategy , used to create a giant marketing wave.All techniques of stock market manipulation are useful and valid to make the bubble of electoral politics.
GROUND LEVEL IMPLEMENTATION
It is EYE which rules the HEART and putting a good show is always vital. Illusions are crafted in right side of our minds ,home to our feelings and emotions and we tend to be mesmerized. In effect our left side brain which investigate with reason and rationality is overwhelmed . We follow our heart and boring matters of reason are quickly cast aside.Hunger for sweet illusions !!! For successful organization of sequence of events ,some key organizers are strategically used to reach out more people. Banners and posters are put at several locations. Announcement is done with vehicles and loud speakers regarding the event and public meeting are conducted .To attract people , musical programs and shows are organized. Leaflet, pamphlet ,sms are also sent or distributed.This is organization format for rally , road show or public meeting& events .In fact the objective is to send a positive message to the public regarding the candidate who appeals to them, persuade them, convinces them ,promises them or requests them and makes positive influence on them and their choice.Shows must catch the eyes of people by crafting illusions to shape public passion for product.
There are still people who are going the left aside. They are convinced with road shows or door to door campaigning and positive message about the party and candidate is conveyed to them too
Setting up Team Modi and firing them up was what gave the Modi campaign its edge. Apart from setting up a crack IT team, a team of white-shoe consultants, academics and i-bankers as volunteer strategists and topping it with innovations like holograms, Modi was ready for the big moment.
Team Modi was driven by data and details, about every galli and ganj in India, all connected seamlessly through IT. By the time Congress and regional parties, still caught in their formulaic election narrative, shifted their election gear, Modi Mobile was running full steam. “Right from the start of the campaign, BJP was executing across many dimensions and all this was by design,”
Modi is also a master of putting the right person in the right job. He entrusted the key task of reviving BJP’s fortunes in Uttar Pradesh to his right hand man, Amit Shah, who quickly got into the thick of things, energizing the cadre, engaging with workers at the taluka and district level, while sending 450 video raths to take Modi’s message to the hinterland.
How it impacts people?
Now people see and hear the candidate & plans and programmes of the party. People take decision only after seeing and hearing the candidate.it is like seeing a product before you finally decide or like seeing & hearing the groom before you make final decision.
Taking Ramdev Baba popularity example ,if programs are good,rewarding and popular then there will be more demand .Decisions are made in heart not in mind.By transmitting positive messages to large number of people ,hearts of people are won over .
How to win hearts–
- By giving goodies
- By saying positive things
- By being modest & humble,not challenging ego but challenging conscience.
This is sentimental boosting exercise in voters market called electorate .Candidate is like a consumer product. Positive message is conveyed to people about the candidate as a product .A product fulfils the consumption need of people . During election ,people are in indifferent search mode for proper choice .The candidate as a product fulfils that want of public .Candidate organize rallies and road shows and meetings to sell themselves widely to people like it happens in any other business & marketing . Businesses advertise your shops or products in the city ,to get maximum publicity and customers.
How competition from opponent is tackled?
Eye play more important than matters of heart to boost sentiments and support .Good spectacle or show ,visibility is crucial factor to sell product .People get attracted to color , light,brightness, glitter and grand show and sound or noise. This is animal nature in us .Animals like good visuals as they enjoy and charmed by it. If your eyes &ears are enjoying something and then you tend to like something and get attracted to it . Eyes and ears are important sense organs as far as marketing success is concerned Human is irrational and guided by senses .Our senses are attracted to bigger shows , rallies, spectacles etc. and everything larger than life.
Once our senses of eyes & ears start to enjoy something or some thing gets wide publicity , we are attracted to it and a cult or star status is crafted which spontaneously become center of attraction for a good amount of time. And Opponent loses naturally .People reject what their eyes & ears don’t enjoy . Spectacle plays important role to sell a product .Visibility and its magnitude plays a critical role here. People make choice that attracts and pleases their senses or simply sensational.As People tend to get attracted to that product or candidate which then sells more than the competitor .
Branding is identity of eminence of something and related area of eminence . You emerge as a brand once you achieve eminence . Once you are eminent , you are familiar &popular & are a brand and you can be sold easily as you are sought after.
Chetan Bhagat’s novels are popular , so they get easily published as they sell and make commercial sense. To be branded , one has to be identified or associated with certain activity and achieved eminence or should have occupied certain position for considerable length of time with exemplary track record so that he is in the conscious of people. To be in the conscious of people , one has to occupy certain position for great length of time. Then you become easily recognizable . Your position make you recognizable . Modi was the chief minister , so he is easily recognizable with certain uniqueness or identity which means people know you & you are not a stranger. People can easily reach out to you. Nobody likes strangers or likes to reach out for them . we tend to reach out to familiar figures.
Once familiarity is established with a public position like CM post with remarkable performance , public can reach out public figures easily as people assume natural right to reach and interact with public figures .
With familiarity, follows specifies of identity , excellence ,merit ,edge even others or opponent or competitor to be sold to be public as strength of brand. Gujarat development touted as Gujrat Model was sold at Modi’s creation and forte .It is like Reliance of Dhirubhai or Infosys of NR Murty . Modi became identified as man of development and progress-A man having proven record of delivery , competency , efficiency vision energy and dedication. Modi was packaged ,branded as such with opponents having no such achievements to their credit .He emerged as clear choice –Preferable brand .Familiarity ,Tested,Trusted ,reliability and Popularity are ingredients of a successful Brand .Once something becomes the brand ,it can easily be sold to people.Key is to shape something as brand .Once that objective is attained,Product can be easily sold to public
ROLE OF COMMUNICATION.
Communication plays important role .Communication builds the bridge of relation with people.As you communicate to more people ,more relations are build and people then positively respond to you .It is exactly like it happens in personal life.If you talk to people around you,you build personal relation with people and win their favors .So more communication a leader does,more personal rapport one builds with public and can easily win favorable response from public –More Rallies more road shows are made to build rewarding communicate with public in order to build personal relation with people
The study says that the BJP’s campaign managers used the second P of marketing, Place, by strategically reaching out to people with targeted messages. For example, Varanasi wants a clean Ganga so the people of the holy town felt connected when Modi gave them the message of Ganga. Similarly, at a rally in J&K, Modi knew the crowd would connect with his comment when he said: “Three AKs – AK-47, AK Antony and AK-49 (Arvind Kejriwal) – had emerged as Pakistan’s commanders on the …Indian side.”
“In Maharashtra, Modi talked about farmer suicides and in Punjab, he spoke of drugs. Gone are the days when a common campaign agenda will work for the whole country. For instance, ‘Garibi Hatao’, the theme and slogan of Indira Gandhi’s 1971 election bid, means nothing in today’s times when there are collective issues,” .This is directly connecting to hearts of people by taking their side and building relations with them.This is how one reaches out
Media and promotion
Promotion is achieved by positive public sentiment creation .Positive Public sentiment is built up by controlling media but not automatically or randomly.Controlling media is required as opponent may control the propaganda and create negative sentiment by default by bad publicity.It can make considerable damage. A propaganda machine is key to high frequency wave servicing for erecting Brand.
Waves are in the domain of statistical physics and is technical term ,not a metaphor .It is about propagation or expansion of some thing across a territory and among its people.Wave expands on successive and multiple sharing of certain information among people.Simple way to understand a trend or wave is to understand the dynamics of Facebook sharing and comments .It means progressive expansion with time and fastest transmission in hyper connected world.this is wave. sharing wave as a phenomenon , can travel in the wave motion . propagation of wave is wave motion . propaganda causes propagation of waves . media , publicity can cause propagation of wave. Waves need constant propaganda . then waves is created and propagated . tidal waves of people join from day to day . it is like pumping & dumping on period basis . wave also swells as day passes as more & more fence sitters join . as wave grows ,it poses risks to fishing boats & coastal people . it happened in Arab spring countries and it happened in India peacefully . A tidal wave of popular monuments wiped out well entrenched and long established power centers in Arabian countries. Change in India now at the time of media explosion is no less significant compared to what happened in Egypt ,Libya , Tunisia and so on.
People tend to accept someone who is constantly projected and nobody challenges him at any point of time . whether it is in organizations, teams or a constituency ,a state or country . A status is bestowed & repeatedly projected. So he emerges strong favorite in everything over and above others around him . It is like what happens in sports . Someone tends to be hot favorite. Some people voluntarily accept & some accept by force the superiority .Many would have had doubts in the beginning about Modi’s ability to emerge as a popular leader , but relentless promotion mattered in the end. Modi got fantastic promotion over others, which created Modi phenomenon.
POLITICS OF PROMOTION AND MARKETING:
So when Modi got promotion to prime minister candidate of BJP, he was already favored by top leaders . So he can now get more attention compared to others. Promotion turns into popularity & then modi wave . He is like a favored student in the class or school or chosen leader in a company. This is how Modi wave was created . People follow and tend to flock to only someone who is promoted . People come to know whom to follow or who is going to be boss.He makes many speeches and public appearances and he is constantly projected as number one or chosen one.People like to follow number one in rank ,the winner.People chosing independently or electing is myth as argued in democratic process.In nfact it is selection when someone is first selected as primary choice and then people are asked to endorse.It is more like in parties where high command takes final decision and party governing council just endorses it.Chosen few are made leaders like in a organization set up or in corporate environmenet.It is not free for all.This is process of promotion.Others are denied chance and ranked lower to the number one.This is like ranking someone as number one in film industry or promoting some one in corporation hierarchy.This is branding and marketing tactics.
UNDERSTANDING POLITICS OF PROMOTION
In film industry No –I hero is the superstar in term his popularity and the popularity of his films.Similar concept can be used successfully in electoral campaign.Modi phenomenon started with Modi being chosen as Prime ministerial candidate of BJP ,the number one choice presented to people.Everybody including media, opponents ,public and his party men went ere initially dismissive and skeptical.Opponents spoke of him as a hot air balloon. But then promotion went on and on and gathered momentum.A so called balloon turned into a bubble and wave.He then became real number one choice in the country as most visible and popular.This is euphoria stage.During early February Nifty shared the euphoria of Modi and started trending with modi.As Modi kept on riding the wave on promotion, election euphoria and frenzy surged and market started rallying.Then it started getting clear that market going to further rally as modi euphoria clearly only half way.In fact market expected more promotions and consequently more rally with intermittent consolidation.One need not predict victory or who is going to be really victorious for predicting market rally.Just expecting more promotion of Modi means more euphoria which meant further market rally. Binary nature of outcome becomes irrelevant as a market impact.It was well expected that popularity and euphoria shall run into peak before counting day or final result.Rally going to last till political promotion last.The market behavior is akin to promoting by favouring market’s own candidate.
IPL MODEL AND MODI WAVE
IPL format is also replicated by BJP and Modi .Particular team tend emerge as hot favorite during course of matches by consistently winning and playing most maches.Team popularity steadily rises with every successive matche.No of rallies and meetings addressed and number of winning political points made ultimately matters.The rallies helped MODI and BLP emerge as hot favorite like a winning cricket team to win hearts of people.The team has to consistently win with skills ,energy and zeal and emerges hot favorite .Exactly similar process ,Modi displayed all these and scored consistent political scores over opponents to emerge as hot favorite.This is part of wave creation process.
PROMOTION IN MEDIA
This is typical marketing Game plan for running successfully a widespread and high pitch campaigning which also can be customized to suit one’s choice of media .
Time which one gets in electronic media or space in print media are parameters to measure the extent of promotion today.This marketing strategy is applied to win minds and heart of people.Success of the strategy is result in ground which is to what extent popular opinion grown favoring the objective or popular view and sentiments have changed in candidate’s favour.This is like Lab experiments to be tested through media.Hype and Positive campaigning in media have to produce public following and positive response of people and eliminate negative aspects which means demotion .This is hallmark of successful marketing.
MEDIA AND BRAND DYNAMICS–Unintended consequences
It is important to understand the dynamics of electronic media such as TV channels and marketing of brand process to foresee its eventual character and destination .During bubble stage of brand popularity ,electronic media are auto piloted and publicity and pitch grows and expands organically at a phenomenal pace in frenzied way.Its like a propaganda cycle picking up its own momentum and feverish pitch.In other words ,the popular bubble called wave now acquires own life and energy and tend to become self propelling and self propagating.This happens due to structural dynamics and commercial forces in built in Media business which need no more external triggers for brand promotion.Technical factors govern the course of media frenzy around the brand.However this phenomenon may not replicate in digital social media.Ironically media gives birth and nurture the brand at early stage and their role reverses midway.When media tend to thrive on marketing the brand.A typical example of unseen hand and unintended consequences of certain actions.Media and brand feed on each other at bubble stage.
RULING HEARTS OF PEOPLE
When somebody is famous or has made name in certain field ,he is said to rule the hearts of people.More and more people love him and love his work and follow him and his endorsements.He becomes top choice of people.As an example, film stars are said to rule the heart of people.People follow them not for any kind of authority but a moral authority and love they enjoy due to their consistent superb performance.This is kind of power they exercise over the hearts of people.In similar vein ,a political leader due to his outstanding public service can emerge as ruler of heart.
WINNING HEARTS AND MINDS OF PEOPLE
Elections are won in hearts and minds of people ,not in ballot boxes.Feelings and emotions plays overwhelming and enduring influence in our mind and decision making.Rajiv Gandhi won election on sympathy wave and so also many others in India and world over.NTR, MGR ,JAYLALITHA kept winning capitalizing on popular sentiment and good will.Emotions and feelings are key factors not exactly issues makes the difference between winning and losing.Debate and discussions or hammering certain issues merely complement the above process.so winning hearts and minds of people means creating positive sentiment or feel good factor in public.Supporting or eventually voting is eventually a matter of heart.A seduction process hold the key.Our senses and sensory nerves builds our belief system and makes us bias and subjective.And we are pathologically disinclined to objective.What we see and hear we believe and act out those beliefs.Our irrationality is given.In fact what is shown and what is seen by us works on our action and is more effective than what we hear.
Targeting mind through debates and discussion don’t seduce any one and so ineffective marketing tool.and infertile and old fashioned marketing tool.No one has time and energy and IQ to understand the complex issues when every one is running after money.Therefore media has almost monopoly over public viewpoint and choice.
IMPLICATION FOR MARKET.HOW TO FIND A TREND?
Construction or building of medium term trend happens with propagation of popularity of something or expansion popularity at faster rate which is called wave.It is possible to identify such trends very early as it constitutes significant momentum factor for market.Trends are born and they grow.It is important to know when a major trend takes birth.Trends are born in response to major catalysts such as election now.People tend to remain with or associate with current of the moment.Then trend or wave builds up and expand with more and more people joining the current like successive tidal wave.this is our tendency to stay with trend and not to be left of the current due to herd mentality.As more and more people join the current like MARATHON ,there is both vertical and horizontal expansion like it happens in tidal wave.This process of trend build up is easily predictable going by current media sentiment.
On the other hand when prospective promotion of certain future event could be foreseen,the corresponding wave or trend build up could be forecasted accurately.In exact similar way ,when water shed changes take place in a company ,new trend takes birth.A little observation aspects gives clues as to birth of a new trend which can be encashed by savvy investor.Trend emerges at major inflection point when a significant event happens or going to happen which entails breakaway from the past.
One really wonder to recollect those speculative early times before elections were due in MP, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan ,when MODI was doing rounds in media as possible BJP prime ministerial candidate.Every body in media including his party colleagues could no digest this as real possibility.NDA partners are against and ADVANI and some powerful CMs had reservations.A task looked like a mountain.But marketing and promotion worked like a magic and wave of our times took shape in front of our eyes.Media and social media played a crucial role in shaping public opinion and choice .Social media helped Modi to reach out remote corners of India through sheer fire power of Youth and connect with people across the country.To that extent ,the last election is unique in terms of role of social and electronic media and networking.Message spread quicker in our connected world today as never before.
It is like making of a bull market rally in stock market which initially climbed wall of worry and then zoomed and surged and finished bears.Larger than life images and high frequency publicity attracts popular attention and affection.A winning formulae worth emulating for any kind of successful campaign.Have fabulous times now for sure.