Long-drawn campaigns to step up voter awareness culminate in voting day in the city today. Here’s how different bodies have been urging people to exercise their right

There’s nothing overtly in your face about the campaign. Tweak the visuals we associate with well known brands and there’s an apt campaign urging people to head to their respective polling booths. A close-up shot of a suited gentleman adjusting his cuff, with his inked finger visible, carries the tag line ‘The Complete Man’. A zoozoo stands in his laid-back style showing off his inked finger. A series of images by First Show is among the many campaigns floated to make eligible voters from dismissing April 30 as just another mid-week public holiday.

“There are enough aggressive campaigns that emphasise the need to vote. We wanted to keep it subtle, like a reminder. Since we work in the field of advertising and marketing, we thought we’d look at visuals and taglines of well known brands. We considered nearly 100 brands and finalised eight,” says Sharath Chandra of First Show. Through this campaign, the team wanted to focus on the social media audience.

The social media has been abuzz with campaigns over the last one month. One popularly circulated image shows a map of India in place of the ink on the finger, with the line ‘you country’s future is in your finger tips; vote for a better tomorrow’. So far, comparisons have been drawn on voting patterns in Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai and Hyderabadis are hoping the city has a better turnout. Mumbai was in for flak for its lower voter turnout and social media users were quick to upload memes showing Mumbaikers sleeping through the holiday.

Across Hyderabad, there are small yet sustained efforts to stir the conscience of the voting population. Ratnadeep supermarkets have put up posters reminding people of the importance of voting, a walk ‘Let’s Vote’ for voter awareness was held last Saturday that saw a participation of more than 5000 first-time voters.

With the Labour Department directing IT firms to declare April 30 a paid holiday, there are enough efforts to facilitate a high voter turn out. A few IT companies had declared a paid holiday even before this directive. When contacted, a member of Wells Fargo team stated through an official communication, “We declared the holiday well ahead to encourage our team members to vote and help them plan better. We also conducted an awareness campaign with go-to sources for information on polling booths and helpline numbers and ran a quiz contest to increase awareness about the elections.”

At the other end of the spectrum are selfie images displaying inked fingers. While a lot has been said about the déjà vu factor and showing off of the voting mark, it may not be a bad idea if it gets more youngsters excited to be seen at the polling booth.

Wake up to the day

- Don’t treat voting day as yet another holiday to be spent at leisure at home.

- To beat the heat and long queues, begin early and reach the polling booth by 7 a.m.

- Not a morning person and wondering how to brave the summer heat? A few polling stations, particularly those in the Khairatabad Assembly Constituency, have provision for lime juice and buttermilk.

- Cast your vote even if you’re cynical. Exercising your right empowers you to complain about governance at leisure.

- Mobile phones are not permitted inside polling booths.