Smart political advertising can rally a nation behind a politician, and Australians aren’t the only voters bombarded with ads come election-time. The Indian general election is currently taking place over a six-week period, the longest in the country’s history. It's notable for controversial ad campaigns aimed at swaying India’s 543 constituencies (India is the world's biggest democracy). Narendra Modi, leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party, has attracted attention with his tongue-in-cheek ads. The latest opinion poll released by Indian news group NDTV predicts the BJP will win at least 226 seats and, along with its allies in the National Democratic Alliance, pass the crucial 272 majority mark. The latest in a series of Modi's right-wing Hindu nationalist commercials targets his opponent, Rahul Gandhi of the incumbent Indian National Congress, and the INC's management of cost-of-living pressures for everyday citizens. The ad, which begins with an Indian man being brought his lunch, ends in wails and a fit of anger as he realises the cost of his meal has doubled in a week ...
"Sir, the prices have gone up and are continuing to rise!" the waiter shrieks. "Even so, how can it be this expensive?" the man goes on bellowing.

price rises

And that 38-second spot, with the closing slogan "Enough now -- we shall deal with it ourselves!", might have helped Modi and the BJP skyrocket to the front of the pack. Modi's strong polling comes despite opposition claiming that his association with the violence seen in Gujarat in 2002 makes him unfit to become India’s next prime minister. A third party, the Aam Aadmi Party, is also reaching out with TV ads. In a direct-to-camera address, AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal addresses the viewer, saying he is one with the voter and that gives him a power that the "criminals" of the larger parties don’t have. In words that echo United States President Barack Obama’s "Yes We Can" campaign, Kejriwal suggests India is no longer a liveable nation built on honesty and prosperity for the common person ...