Tamil Nadu gears up for elections

EC takes help of social media and celebrities to encourage people to vote in upcoming elections

shivani

Shivani Chaturvedi | March 3, 2016


#Tamil Nadu elections  

Ashish Asthana

With assembly elections round the corner, people in Tamil Nadu are all set to witness a tech savvy election. The election commission is adopting innovative awareness methods to encourage people to vote especially youth and first time voters.
 
From taking to social media to running short electoral awareness films in theaters, all methods are being followed to reach out to people. The campaign, which commenced on January 15, has been started in lieu of data provided by the election commission that showed that registration of fresh voters remained the lowest.
“This is not the typical way of reaching out to youth and talking about the right to vote, democracy etc. We are trying to get the youth engaged in a conversation on election by using colloquial and catchy phrases. We are also asking them to encourage others to vote as this would create a sense of responsibility in them,” said Bala Manian, director of OPN Advertising, a Chennai-based ad firm. The team of young professionals of this firm is working with the election commission on the awareness campaign.
 
What makes this campaign different is that this the first time in Tamil Nadu that the election commission is taking to social media in a big way in reaching out to young voters. 
The theme of the campaign is #TamilNadu100percent. It is in three phases of communication which includes 100 percent voter registration and verification, 100 percent ethical voting and 100 percent voter turnout. “We are in the first phase where we are asking youth to register on electoral rolls and asking them to verify their details. The whole idea is to encourage them to start talking about politics and elections which is hardly a part of the conversation in this age group,” said Manian.

Apart from social media, the campaign is also being done in the form of electoral awareness films. The craze about film stars in the state has led the election commission in Chennai to seek the services of film stars in its own way. It is working with Nadigar Sangham (a body of film fraternity) that has promised to rope in superstars and celebrities to spread electoral awareness.
 
So it is not just the political parties, but even the election commission trying to approach film stars like Rajinikanth for an appearance in the short electoral awareness films. "We have come out with 30 second ads where celebrities are roped in. Kollywood stars Suriya and Karthik have already given their shots for the campaign. Sportstars like cricketer Ashwin, Dinesh Kartik with his wife and squash player Deepika are also preparing for the shoots.” said Manian.

 

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