It’s municipal elections time in Mumbai, which doesn’t mean much to people like me who technically don’t exist and therefore can’t vote. Not that I’d have been lining up outside a polling booth had I been on the rolls because I’m among those who is pretty much illiterate when it comes to local politics. All I know is this: Shiv Sena and MNS = Vile right wingers; Everyone else = Ineffective; Priya Dutt = Sunil Dutt’s daughter, Sanjay Dutt’s sister and possibly the person I can thank for half of Bandra being dug up as though it’s the setting for a film about Arthur Wellesley and his Lines of Torres Vedras. (What? I said I was illiterate.)

So it’s a bit disconcerting to find Shiv Sena, of all people, has come up with wannabe-clever-ish ads, that too in English. The text is in English, the design is clean, there’s no excess in either the use of font or colour (before you yelp, just think of their usual artwork. Now you see what I mean?). There’s no tiger and there’s no saffron. At the bottom of the ads you see the party’s symbol and the line “Shiv Sena for development”. This is the sort of creative that one would commission when they’re trying to target an anglicised, West-friendly demographic, which really isn’t how most of us imagine the traditional Shiv Sena supporter. The new Shiv Sena ads are splattered all over the Times of India’s publications. One corner of the first page of  Mumbai’s ToI is devoted to the mango-coloured Shiv Sena. The entire front page of the Mumbai Mirror is a Shiv Sena ad. Never mind the ethics that should guide journalism; Shiv Sena is now talking about things like progress and integrity? Ha! Which is why I love this response to the ad campaign that I spotted on Twitter. Whoever came up with this repartee…

…well done.
UPDATE: Word on a South Mumbai street is that Shiv Sena hired Lintas (or Lowe Lintas, if we’re going to be technical about this) for this campaign. Its clients include some of the biggest companies including Tata, Hindustan Lever, Bajaj Auto, Godrej, Hindustan Times and The Hindu. Incidentally, The Hindu recently launched an aggressive  anti-ToI ad campaign.

7 thoughts on “Poll talk

  1. Sorry, I’m not sure why I repeated my post in an attempt to reply to your comment. Clearly too much chocolate cake, not enough coffee and way way too much of dreary work.

  2. too much chocolate cake sounds lovely though. We have something called ‘Fika’ every friday, a tradition established by the Swedish admin lady (pretty!) – which is we call take turns to bring in a tea time snack, cake, brownies, whatever. It s a nice tradition except she is damn militant about the time. Like it has to be at 4 pm ONLY. (I accidentally ate the cake for breakfast and she wasn’t impressed).

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