An advertisement agency that sold Rolex watches to high-end Indian consumer will now sell the credentials of an age-old party to the common man.
The Congress, which made the aam aadmi its political leitmotif, has put its faith in Crayons to launch its media and publicity blitzkrieg for the assembly and Lok Sabha polls early next year. Crayons was one of two agencies (the other being JWT) shortlisted by the All India Congress Committee (AICC) to make its presentations before Congress president Sonia Gandhi and other senior leaders last month before it was selected.
Though the sources are tightlipped about the money kept aside for the media blitzkrieg, it is speculated that a full-fledged media campaign could cost up to Rs 160 crore.
The AICC will shortly give a detailed brief to the agency of the kind of print and electronic media campaign it is looking for to boost its prospects in the elections. “We will take the views of the Congress president, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and senior leaders before that… we now have to decide on the roadmap,” said a Congress leader.
Significantly, the agency chosen to handle the Lok Sabha campaign will also be handling the state polls. Elections are due in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Mizoram and Jammu and Kashmir. The nuclear deal, which the party stated would be its main election issue, is expected to be the highlight of the campaign. In an era of coalition politics, the Congress would also like to stress on the party’s ability to provide stability and run a successful coalition with emphasis on its secular and pro-poor plank. The campaign is also expected to take the BJP — seen as trying to gain from the recent bomb blasts — head-on.
According to conservative estimates, major parties tend to spend about Rs 5-7 lakh per assembly constituency. Any money spent formally by the party would be in addition to the campaign launched by various ministries and the money borne out of the candidate’s pocket.
Headquartered in New Delhi, Crayons — known for the Incredible India campaign — has pan-Indian and overseas presence.