After Namo balm and TMC sandesh, the latest on the elections products bandwagon are Modi Mario Run and Modi v Rahul Epic Battle. And many more such games and apps by fans and supporters.
Super NaMo is one such mobile app designed and sold by BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi fan Santosh V. Patel. It is available on Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App store for free. Similarly, Modi Joke app is from another Modi fan DH Patel. Dubbed as one of the most exciting and expensive polls ever, the 16th Lok Sabha elections are unique.
The 120 million new young and aspirational voters who will cast their votes for the first time are also a sizable market for apps and games. The elections-inspired marketable products that entrepreneurs are launching not only help in pushing sales and building their own brands, but are also providing political parties and candidates with free publicity.
Aimed at this class of voters, most games position Modi as the central character who needs to overcome obstacles to win. Google’s Play Store has nearly 30 elections-themed apps and games. Some such games include Modi Run, Run Modi Run and Angry Indians.
The Windows Phone Store also offers about a dozen such apps and games.
These apps are available for free to users.
Online hotel booking site Findmystay.com jumped into the fray by offering a discount of up to Rs.1,000 to a user if he/she shares either their first name or last name with a politician.
The company has drawn up a list of over 200 politicians sharing first or last names with them will fetch additional discounts of up to Rs.1,000, Findmystay.com Co-founder Simran Sial said , “Online travel agents tend to offer discounts and benefits during festivals and big sporting events etc.
Since we believe in being different and quirky at Findmystay.com, we decided to make this election season, something that is normally seen as a very serious time, fun and exciting!” Online retailers too have lined up a variety of political merchandise. Shoppers can pick from mugs, T-shirts, mouse pads, wall clocks or cushions. Some of them such as Gujarat-based NaMo Store are admittedly “Modi supporters or fans”.
The reason online promotions could make a difference this election is that it is estimated that four of every 10 young voters are from urban India and most of them are exposed to social media sites and maintain digital presence.
“Parties as well as individuals are placing orders with us and we have seen good uptake from both. While parties usually go for T-shirts, individuals order anything from mobile covers to mugs and T-shirts,” Saurabh Kochhar, Founder and MD of online portal Printvenue said. The company has received a total of 4,025 orders with each order worth about Rs.800 on an average. The company will also be launching the reward programmes wherein users sending their pictures with ‘inked finger’’ will get Rs.100 voucher to shop from the website.
Another e-commerce portal ShopClues is seeing good traction for NaMo T-shirts and AAP coffee mugs. Its CEO and Co-founder Sanjay Sethi said, “The demand for merchandise will map the highs and lows of public sentiment. It is at its peak now — regional demand might spike as we approach the actual poll dates in the region and then again around the time when results are announced.”
Then, there is a second kind of elections product placement where companies simply cash in on the election fever by encouraging users to go and vote. For instance, companies such as online travel portal Goibibo will be rewarding users once they go and vote.
Sanjay Bhasin, CEO, Goibibo.com explains, “Every individual who casts vote needs to click a Face and Finger Selfie after getting back from the ballot and post it with votingdone on social networking platforms like Twitter and Facebook to win Rs.200 Gocash from Goibibo.com.”