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Tamil Nadu parties have deep pockets for online campaigns


Tamil Nadu spends the highest spending on online political advertising in India as the two major Dravidian parties increasingly run digital campaigns to get voters’ attention ahead of the general election.

Data from Google’s Transparency Report, which covers political advertising on Google and YouTube partner properties, shows that political parties and affiliated groups posted $ 46.61 million on the Google platform between February 19, 2019 and March 25, 2021 Yard, for a total of 19,071 ads.

Tamil Nadu contributes the highest percentage of total ad spend on Google at ₹ 12.52 crore or 27 percent. Other polling states such as West Bengal, Kerala and Assam spent 2.85 billion yen, 36 lakhs and 17 lakhs, respectively.

“Internet penetration and per capita cell phone usage are very high in Tamil Nadu compared to other countries,” said political scientist Sumanth Raman, adding: “Almost 75-80 percent of people in Tamil Nadu use smartphones. Therefore, it makes sense for political parties to reach people via YouTube and social media platforms. “

Among the political parties, the BJP is the largest donor on the Google platform with 16.18 billion for 10,966 ads. While much of BJP’s total advertising spending was for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the most recent spending focuses on YouTube advertising campaigns for the West Bengal Assembly elections.

DMK is the second highest spending item on Google Ads. Interestingly, the opposition party spent 10.43 billion yen on just 940 ads, with the bulk of the spending focused on YouTube advertising campaigns for the state parliamentary elections. The ruling AIADMK and Crayons Advertising (who created a series of video campaigns for AIADMK) together spent 1.84 billion yen, totaling 315 ads. Brandsum Tech Solutions and Indian PAC Consulting spent ₹ 1.31 billion on 448 ads for the Trinamool Congress. Of course, only advertising expenditures greater than ₹ 10 lakh are taken into account and expenditures by political organizations in non-survey areas are eliminated.

Format of the advertisements

Political commentator Badri Seshadri says that in addition to the number of ads, the format of the ads has improved.

“Political advertising has gotten a lot more sophisticated. Both DMK and AIADMK have really improved in terms of the storytelling of their respective positions, “said Seshadri, adding:” In the next elections, as much as 50 percent could probably be spent on social media campaigns. The downside of online campaigns, however, is that there is also a lot of fake propaganda that gets mixed up and, unfortunately, is not random but organized. “

In the last 90 days – between December 24, 2020 and March 23, 2021 – Facebook recorded ad spend totaling 13.77 crore on its platform in all states. Poll-bound Assam and Kerala spent ₹ 65 lakh and ₹ 41 lakh, respectively, during this period.

Among the top 10 advertisers (based on value), Facebook pages like ‘Ondrinaivom Vaa’, ‘DMK’ and ‘MK Stalin’ together spent 1.84 billion, while I-PAC ₹ 1.78 billion 90-day Deadline. The Facebook pages ‘BJP West Bengal’, ‘Amar Poribar BJP Poribar’ and ‘Aar Noi Annay’ together spent around 60 lakh in the reporting period.

“While social media campaigns may not have an impact on committed voters such as party cadres or those who have traditionally voted for a particular party for decades, they could influence the decisions of first-time voters, youth and fences,” said political scientist Raman. .


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