For the state of Tamil Nadu, 2017 has been perhaps one of the most politically charged years in its recent history. Politics has dominated conversation at public meetings, family gatherings and even dinner tables. So, it only made sense for one company in Chennai to make the best use of this turmoil, to market their services with a dose of satire.
DropTaxi, an inter-city taxi booking facilitator, has begun a fresh campaign to advertise its services. They have released four print ads to explains the novelty of the experience they offer, by drawing comparison to multiple political events. Their advertisements draw on recent happenings including the rejection of actor Vishal's nomination papers at the RK Nagar bye-elections. The ad reads - 'Vandha vekathaliye return sella, Drop Taxi book seyyunga' (To return at the speed you came in, book Drop Taxi).
Another ad that takes a dig at the alleged bribery in RK Nagar ahead of the December 21 bye-poll reads - 'Oru votuku pala route' (There are several routes to get one vote).
One advertisement which has come out following the verdict on the 2G spectrum case says '2G 3G 4G...book using any network, no scam! transparent pricing as published'.
But the one that has apparently resulted in some backlash for the company is an advertisement poking fun at how the BJP polled lesser votes than the NOTA option in the just concluded bye-election.
Speaking to TNM, Aditya CS, the proprietor of Sharpshooters and the brain behind the ad campaign says, "Tamil Nadu has always had a strong culture of using satire to explain political situations. The culture of retorting with humour may have died down this last year but was vibrant and alive when leaders like Karunanidhi or even Cho Ramaswamy took the stage."
The agency was given complete creative freedom by Drop Taxi for the campaign and the ads were released in Thuglak and Dinamalar papers in multiple districts in the state.
Following the ad campaign, Drop Taxi has received closed to 200 enquiries a day and 15-20% of them convert to bookings.
"Following the NOTA ad, several BJP supporters have called the call centre to complain. But there has been no major controversy. The people of state understand the humour behind the ads," he says.
And what next in the politically flavoured campaign?
"Well, we are getting our draft ready for Rajinikanth's big announcement on December 31st," reveals Aditya.