BJP Splurges Rs 30 Cr in 30 Days on Google Ads, Primarily Targets North Indian States

PM Modi

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) launched an extensive online advertising campaign across Google platforms in February 2024, just ahead of the general elections in India. The party’s aggressive strategy involved thousands of political ads displayed on Google’s Display Network, as well as on Alphabet platforms such as Google Search and YouTube. During this period, the BJP allocated a staggering Rs 29.7 crore for its advertising budget, which was more than double the amount it had spent in the four months leading up to the 2019 general elections.

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A significant portion of the BJP’s advertising budget was dedicated to streaming video ads, which accounted for 75% of the total ads displayed. These ads predominantly featured Prime Minister Narendra Modi and highlighted various schemes introduced by the Union government, appealing to audiences across multiple Indian languages. However, Google took down more than 50% of these video ads due to violations of platform policies.

In comparison, the main Opposition party, the Indian National Congress (INC), spent a significantly lower amount of Rs 2.99 crore during the same period. Surprisingly, the INC did not run any messaging campaigns through Google ads in February 2024. The BJP’s substantial expenditure of nearly Rs 30 crore within just 30 days underscores the growing prominence of online political advertising in India.

Anurag Kashyap

The BJP’s investment in digital advertising since 2019 has been substantial, totaling Rs 79.16 crore across more than 52,000 ads. A report by Business Line revealed that between February 2019 and February 2023, the BJP also allocated Rs 33 crore for advertising on Facebook. The majority of the recent Google ads targeted voters in northern Indian states governed by the BJP or its alliance partners. However, notable exceptions included Delhi and Punjab, where the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) holds power.

This significant investment in online political advertising highlights the BJP’s efforts to reach a wide audience and promote its agenda effectively, especially in the digital realm where voter engagement and influence are increasingly prevalent. The BJP’s strategic use of online platforms reflects the evolving landscape of political campaigning in India, where digital outreach plays a pivotal role in shaping public opinion and mobilizing support.

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