The UPA government will launch the next leg of its flagship Bharat Nirman media campaign in a new avatar in August, after a review showed the ads were received well by people from lower-income categories, while affluent audiences were found to be skeptical.
The initial series, titled the India Story over Nine years, have now been taken off air after completion of their scheduled 3-week trial run.
Despite the main Opposition BJP slamming the campaign, the government has commissioned the next series and is expected to run them periodically, rather than incessantly as part of its communication strategy.
“The idea is to strike a balance between what is necessary information and what would be an overkill,” information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari told HT.
The new ad series in August will focus more on specific themes, with state-specific content. To ensure effective outreach in every state, 23 nodal officers are being appointed. Alongside, the government will ramp up its campaign online, such as with Google banners.
Taking a swipe at Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, who has mocked at the Bharat Nirman ads, Tewari said: “The fact that he has targeted the campaign shows that Modi has got rattled by it.”
The Bharat Nirman campaign showcases some of the UPA’s key pro-poor and public delivery schemes with a blend of television, print and social media ads in 11 regional languages.
A 2009 assessment by the Centre for Media Studies had found that, of the eight flagship programmes of the UPA government, only three were known across the country by a majority of the 12,796 respondents in 30 states.
The BJP-led NDA government’s Rs. 150 crore-plus India Shining campaign in 2004 had become a catchphrase for an emerging economy but a disconnect ensured the alliance lost power that year.