What advertising could not buy

IN Books | 10/02/2015
…An election. A veritable blitzkrieg by the BJP in the final week of the Delhi polls, came to nought even as AAP, a party that took out no newspaper ads at all, swept, 67-3.
A HOOT survey. Pix credit: Derek O~Brien~s Twitter page
The following newspapers were surveyed from February 1-7: The Times of India, The Indian Express, The Hindustan Times, The Hindu, Pioneer, Dainik Jagran, Hindustan, and Navbharat Times.
Research by Abhishek Choudhary


The Bhartiya Janata Party blew a lot of money in the final stages of these elections, enriching the coffers of several newspapers. But it was the Aam Aadmi Party which spent not a penny of its own on newspaper advertising, that won the seats. The tally was 121 ads inserted by the BJP to the AAP's zero. The Congress came somewhere in between with a very small  amount of advertising (11 ads), managing only two inside quarter-page advertisements in the final week of the campaign, and nine banner ads.

The newspaper which received the fewest number of ads from the BJP was the one which  they probably thought had a readership which they could take for granted: The Pioneer.

In the last two days of a hotly-contested election, the BJP invested in a total of 16 front-page ads across eight newspapers which we surveyed, plus quarter page advertisements in all of them on the second last day.  The table below gives the overall picture in the final week of the contest: 



In addition to the above, industry bodies Assocham, Ficci and CII advertised extolling the prime minister during this week, and only in the Delhi edition of the chosen newspapers! Strategic advertising?
A little-known Rajasthan-based party, the National Unionist Zamindara Party, also took out two full-page advertisments endorsing AAP in the last week.


It is difficult to estimate the cost of this advertising since we do not know what bulk discounts, if any, were given to the Bharatiya Janata Party.

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