Social media replaces traditional poll advertisement methods

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Lucknow, March 22 (IANS) Social media has replaced the traditional poll advertisement methods in Uttar Pradesh (UP) as many of the people associated with the selling of advertising material find it increasingly difficult to sell the advertising material.

Manku Gupta — three generations of his family have been in the business of selling election-related memorabilia — has not yet put up his stall outside the Samajwadi Party office in Lucknow as he finds the going tough now.

“No one needs banners, flags and cut-outs. The entire campaign seems to have shrunk into the mobile phones. We have banners, photographs of leaders, T-shirts, pens, balloons but there are no takers,” he says.

Bansi Lal, a salesman at a stall outside the BJP office, says that stickers of Modi-Yogi are doing a brisk sale but other items remain unsold.

“Candidates are relying on social media to connect with the voters because that does not cost money. Many candidates are sending audio messages on the phone to voters which can be done from one location. That is why campaigning is not very visible in the constituencies.

“Earlier, candidates used to come here and take away loads of banners and flags but not anymore. Everyone has become tech-savvy and are creating memes of leaders of other parties and posting them on Instagram which are a huge hit,” he explains.

However, he hopes that his stocks of flags and banners would ‘vanish in a day’ when rallies of top leaders are held.

Candidates, on the other hand, say that the entire complexion of electioneering has changed – mainly after Covid.

“I am even trying to address people in different villages through an online meet and hope to succeed,” said a candidate.

“It is much more economical and convenient to campaign through social media. The campaign, through the audio-visual medium, also has greater recall value,” said a BJP candidate from central UP.

He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s digital India campaign has made everyone tech-savvy which was proving to be a boon in the elections.



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