While DMK and AIADMK are the players with the maximum ads tagged to hot issues this election, Kamal Haasan’s MNM also has put out ads, with the actor-politician featured in them.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, DMK president Stalin and MNM founder Kamal Haasan
news 2021 Tamil Nadu Assembly Election Friday, March 26, 2021 - 13:58

A young girl runs through the fields, happily calling for her father, and as soon as she finds him, she informs him she’s been selected — for a medical seat. While everyone begins to congratulate her, a farmer asks, “What will you do for the fees?” and the girl responds, “No need to worry about all that, the government will take care of it!” This is an ad by the AIADMK ahead of the upcoming elections in Tamil Nadu — a state where medical admissions and the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) are hotly debated issues. And while the incumbent AIADMK tries to woo voters with a promise of free medical seats, the opposition DMK has hit back with an ad about how NEET has failed Tamil Nadu’s medical aspirants. 

The DMK’s ad starts at a sea-shore, with a wave rising to erase “Anitha MBBS” written on the sand — a reference to Anitha, a Dalit girl who impleaded into the case to suspend NEET, and died by suicide when her dream of becoming a doctor was foiled because she couldn’t clear the exam. “The exam that curbed Anitha’s her dream should be abolished,” the voiceover in the ad says. “What happens when the dusk comes? The only solution is the ‘Rising Sun’,” the ad says — referring to DMK’s poll symbol. 

The videos are not only playing on TV channels, but are also being spread through social media. And many of them take on their opponents blatantly. In one AIADMK ad, a politician goes door-to-door seeking votes. When he enters one home, women in the family say, ““If you come to power, you’ll have power but we will not have power in this village for at least 16 hours. We are happy with the rule so let it continue,” referring to power shut downs during DMK’s rule. 

In a DMK ad meanwhile, a woman cooking on a mud stove says, “By increasing the price of petrol and diesel, they have made the public walk instead of travelling by vehicles. By increasing the price of the gas, they have made me cook on a mud stove. For giving the country to them, they have brought us to the streets.”

While DMK and AIADMK are the players with the maximum ads tagged to hot issues this election, Kamal Haasan’s MNM also has put out ads, with the actor-politician featured in them.  “They want their lives to be bright but what about our life? (Lights off) If you want to come out of this then the only way is ‘torch light’,” Kamal says, referring to MNM’s ballot symbol of torch light. 

Watch DMK election ads:








Watch AIADMK election ads:






Watch MNM election ads:


Strategies of parties

Speaking to TNM, AIADMK IT wing Secretary Aspire K Swaminathan said, "With any ad campaign, there are three ‘M’s you need to focus on before structuring the ad — message, market and medium. For example when I say, Vetri Nadai Podum Thamizhagam, that is the narrative and within this narrative there can be multiple messages. Each message is pushed to a specific target audience."

“Like green cover and water availability is a message we might send to farmers and we send industrial growth and investments to the working class or professionals or entrepreneurs via social media,” he said.

The AIADMK also plans to release more advertisements in the coming days. "We are planning to release many more campaigns in the next 10 days. There is a new campaign series which we launched on Wednesday which has been gaining considerable traction on social media. It is called Nalla Thane Poyitirrukku (it has been going well)," he said.

The DMK also has strategies planned ahead for online campaigns. DMK official spokesperson Tamilan Prasanna said, “Online is a mode of campaigning so we have plans to tackle the disinformation spread by AIADMK. We are never blaming AIADMK or BJP but we are just highlighting our policies. Our campaign is spearheaded by senior people like P Thiagarajan but they do not promote people like him so BJP is spreading fake news.”

“Hence, we are forced to give real facts and information. But we have a plan to tackle them,” he said. 

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