We came to know about this from the above print ad that appeared on the Hindustan Times. This seems to be a very attractive campaign created by Election Commission of India (ECI), which declared 25th Jan as the National Voters Day. There is an attractive logo with a picture that tells a thousand words – says that the youth is the direct and sole target of the campaign.
However in our humble opinion this is a waste of resources because today’s youth would not be driven to take action from this print ad.
For one it is very unclear from the ad what action is to be taken. The website of ECI is unimpressive and doesn’t have enough information. The text in the centre has an awesome catch line “Kyon ki yeh hai adult ki asli pehchaan” which would mostly go unnoticed. Secondly, the text says come and join the celebration it is not clear where is the celebration (though on close reading one could find that the youth is invited to the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer, Delhi). Thirdly, there is the presence of an entity called YUVA – Youth United Voters Action as seen from the logo, but there is no more information on that.
We Googled but couldn’t find anything. And as much as we might contest it, Google is the ultimate truth in this age.
Newspapers are so passé for the urban youth. The morning newspaper becomes a table mat over night. And from their it goes to the ‘purana newspaper’ rack. Sometimes they don’t even unfold the newspaper, let alone read one. Facebook ads on the right side bar of their profile pages are more likely to grab attention than a full blown ad on a newspaper or a hoarding on the flyover.
Even assuming some section of the youth did read this ad and visited the celebration venue, ‘what happened there’ and ‘what are the next steps’ remains unknown to those who did not or could not.
Offline activities are short lived. In this age of competitiveness in every field, a campaign would have to be online 24×7 to sustain itself. It would have to have credible information updated by the minute in multimedia formats.
Election Commission of India needs to create a social media campaign. While we figure out how to approach them and convince them on this, we would continue doing the campaign on their behalf just because we so passionately believe in the cause.
Keep reading this space.