A three-ad series created by Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra, starring Aamir Khan urges consumers to think before they vote. But instead of remaining at that broad, open ended level two ads draw analogies on how careful we are before we choose vegetables or a suitable matrimonial match for the daughter. The third one asks us to be avoid those who attempt to buy us.
The campaign also asks you to text a number or make a toll-free call to find out more about the candidates. I promptly sent an SMS and got this response: Bangalore South, Ananth Kumar BJP, Unlawful Assembly, Rioting with deadly weapon, causing hurt, grievous hurt to extort, hurting public servant etc. Phew! Frankly, that wasn’t my perception of Ananth Kumar – I have read about him and equate him with just any other politician. What was missing was information on other candidates like Capt. Gopinath (Independent) and Byre Gowda. Interesting what an SMS and open information can do. I doubt if people would cast their votes or form perceptions based on such SMS – they would seek additional information from mass media, go by the party’s image etc. Nevertheless, a powerful tool.
The choice of Aamir Khan makes sense, since he comes across as a thinking actor who shows genuine concern for social causes, helped by the success of Taare Zameen Par and the public persona he has created. Would you use the SMS service to find out more about your candidates?