The Aam Aadmi Party’s innovative advertisements across the city are grabbing eyeballs and forcing other parties to take notice
The Aam Aadmi Party’s campaign strategy, be it its dedicated volunteer corps, advertisements on auto-rickshaws or its pitch for honesty, makes it stand out in the Indian political landscape.
The party’s campaign techniques include using Delhi’s omnipresent auto-rickshaws for displaying posters and deploying thousands of volunteers to hold up banners from flyovers. The party has become the only political player in the upcoming Delhi Assembly elections to spend almost nothing on advertisements in comparison to mainstream political parties such as the Congress and the BJP.
Its innovative ideas for election campaigning have made the party a visible political brand in the national Capital and could also help it capture the voters’ imagination.
Whether this strategy can help fetch votes for Arvind Kejriwal’s party is yet to be seen. The AAP has, however, already caught the attention of other political parties, which have been forced to emulate its acts.
When the party first started using auto-rickshaws for its aggressive attack on the Sheila Dikshit Government, the ruling-Congress ignored it. But, later it issued a circular through the Transport Department, declaring private advertisements on the back of auto-rickshaws illegal.
The party, which has a strong support base among the 70,000 auto-rickshaw drivers in the city, approached the High Court against the decision and got the required permission.
Interestingly, the BJP, the principal Opposition party, asked auto-rickshaw unions to start carrying party posters. As a result, the face of Delhi BJP president Vijay Goel is now looking out from the yellow backs of auto-rickshaws.
The AAP, in the meantime, has asked its supporters to put up banners and hoardings on the walls of their houses. The appeal evoked a positive response from people, who offered the walls and roofs of their homes to be used for party ads.
AAP sources said the party has identified over 50,000 spots across the city where posters and banners are being put up by volunteers and supporters. “These spots have been volunteered by citizens. This also includes the houses of the cadre,” said a party leader.
The latest addition to the party’s innovative campaign strategy is hand-held banners wherein AAP volunteers dangle huge banners from flyovers or foot over-bridges for around two hours. It takes at least 5-6 volunteers to hold up each banner. Some of the places where these volunteers have been deployed are ITO, Azadpur flyover, National Highway 24-Ring Road T-Point and Kashmere Gate ISBT.
While some may find them distracting, these banners, as per civic officials, do not violate any law.
The party, which has a strong and increasing volunteer base, came up with the idea about a week ago. “To start with, we did this every day of the week for two hours at 500 prominent flyovers and foot over-bridges. Gradually this is becoming a hit. We are getting a very positive response from people,” said the AAP leader.
The party leader said: “The commitment of the young generation towards the politics of change is simply amazing and inspiring. Braving the extreme heat, students and working professionals either get a banner made or we provide them with a banner and then go out and hold it at designated spots, which attract the most eyeballs.”
Interestingly, none of these campaigns violate any laws. Even the BJP-ruled municipal corporations have not found any violations to target the AAP.
Mr. Kejriwal said recently: “The Congress and the BJP have wrested most of the advertising space across the city with their money power to put up billboards praising themselves. We do not have that much money but we have the will to do something for the people.”