“Naduvalu Konjum pera Kaanum” (There might be names of few people in between) or “Was this the Cartoon Network that you watched?” You might be coming across posters with these lines online recently. They are not a part of the latest branding campaign for any retail product, but creative posters designed by the TN election commission to encourage youngsters to vote.
So, where is this sudden wave of creation coming from? After all, government-run campaigns are notorious for being boring. So here they are. Meet the people who are behind these innovative ideas and are changing the way people respond to election commission campaigns.
Bala Manian, Chokha, Murthy, Veera, Joshua, Karthik, Karthik Nathan, Hamsini, Lakshmi, Akriti and Riha- are the eleven members of the OPN Advertising Limited who are working behind the ‘TN Elections CEO’ pages.
The team wanted the campaign to be ‘out of the box’ from the regular and preachy election campaigns. “We wanted our campaign to be engaging with the audience so we used a lot of memes and movie lines,” said Bala, Director of OPN.
Aimed at having a 100% voter turnout in Tamil Nadu, the group has come up with ‘TN100percent’. “Only 70% of voters turn up for voting in election, we want the rest 30% too to turn up for voting,” said Bala.
Talking about the campaign, she said, “We began the campaign on January 16, 2016 during Pongal, so to connect Pongal and to make people register for elections, we used to put out ‘Be like Bill’ memes with Pongal background,’” said Bala.
Most of the posters are in the form of a conversation. “Conversations help to connect with the masses. Nowadays, most of the advertisements are in conversation style,” she said.
Asked about why the name TN Elections CEO was given, “It means Tamil Nadu Elections Chief Election Officer, it is always better to give a more personalized name like celebrities do. The Chief Election Officer closely follows both our FB and Twitter page so even if we are responding to a comment those are his views.”
Usually there is a fight to increase the number of likes of a social media page, be it Facebook or Twitter. But Bala has different views on it. “More and more people like and follow our pages but what is more important is sharing the posts,” she said.
And people are responding. “A friend sent one of our posters on a friends’ WhatsApp group saying “check out this awesome stuff.”
Hundreds of people are visiting the website daily and if there are any issues raised, they are addressed within 24 hours. “People think that it is a tedious task to get registered for voting but it is just a five minute online process,” she said.
OPN Advertising has also roped in celebrities like actors Karthi, Surya, cricketers Ashwin, Dinesh Karthik and actor Dipika Pallikal. “The campaign with celebrities is not going to be preachy instead it has a very different concept to it,” she said, adding that they will reveal the concept in due time.
The whole election campaign has been divided into three phases. The first phase includes encouraging people to register to vote and verify. The second and third phases are ethical voting and ensuring 100 percent voter turn-out.
Talking to The News Minute, Rajesh Lakhoni, Chief Electoral Officer said, “We have lot of youngsters who are not registering for elections between the age group 18-29. So, we wanted to reach out to them. Usually, the election commission advertisements are very preachy. So, we thought we should talk to youngsters in their language. We found out that youngsters like intelligent humour and movie and sports are major attractions. So, we started using that for our social media.”