EXCLUSIVE: Varahe Analytics, the agency behind BJP’s ‘Dulha Kaun Hai' viral film

BJP’s campaign mandate is with a host of agencies, both big and small. Additionally a lot of the campaign work is also done by their in-house team of media, creative and marketing experts.

By  Tasmayee Laha RoyMar 28, 2024 6:53 PM
EXCLUSIVE: Varahe Analytics, the agency behind BJP’s ‘Dulha Kaun Hai' viral film
BJP is the highest spending political party on platforms like Google and Meta. As per Google’s Ad Transparency Report, the party has spent Rs 5.37crore on Google ads in the last 30 days. On Meta the party has spent Rs1.31 crore in the same period. (Image source: BJP via Instagram)

With the Lok Sabha elections around the corner, social media is filled with political humour, memes, and, of course, advertisements. One of the latest ads causing a stir is the ‘Dulha Kaun Hai’ ad film released by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) this week. Although the identity of the 'Dulha' remains a mystery, insider sources suggest that the ad was crafted by an agency known as Varahe Analytics. The video features comical lookalikes of opposition leaders and mocks I.N.D.I.A Alliance's ‘infighting’.

Varahe Analytics, the agency that made the film, describes itself as a political consultancy firm engaged with a national party.

"Working with a national party in the domains of electoral campaign management, governance feedback and advisory, and policy formulation and analysis. We provide our clients with actionable advice and provide assistance with regards to execution which converts data-backed insights and in-depth ground intelligence into holistic and workable strategies,” it reads on the company's website.

Content strategy

Mudslinging in politics is not a new strategy but thanks to agencies like Varahe, the new BJP campaigns have a high entertainment quotient attached to it.

For instance, in the ‘Dulha Kaun Hai’ ad film, the script, the cast, the tone and the subtle humour attached to it highlights the maturity and sophistication with which parties are handling their campaigns. Opposition bashing is not the only agenda here. BJP has been focussed on reaching out to the GenZ and first time voters. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s social media presence, his interaction with content creators and influencers are all a step in that direction.

According to experts, the intention behind campaigns are not ‘votes’ but more on the buzz creation aspect. Creating compelling and sharable content being the primary focus.

Not one WhatsApp message with this ‘Dulha Kaun Hai’ campaign video comes without a ‘forwarded many times’ disclaimer. Clearly that's what the party wants. Creating conversation and not just jibes.

In fact, the “Dulha Kaun Hai’ concept is not something that the party just created for this ad film. Last year, BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad while commenting on an opposition party meet said, “Nitish Kumar 2024 ke liye baaraat saja rahe hai Patna mai, baaraat me to dulha bhi hota hai, pr is baaraat ka dulha kon hai?

Important political issues are being given a creative touch to attract younger voters and people who may not be politically inclined but would not shy away from liking or sharing content.

Agencies handling BJP campaigns

While there is no definitive list of agencies working for the ruling party in its general election campaign, Varahe Analytics is one of the many specialised agencies with a piece of BJP’s business.

The release of the viral ‘Dulha Kaun Hai’ ad coincided with two more films. One of them features a ten-headed character with the line "Label badalne se level nahi badalta hain' has been created by Scarecrow M&C Saatchi.

According to sources, BJP’s campaign mandate is with a host of agencies, both big and small. Additionally a lot of the campaign work is also done by their in-house team of media, creative and marketing experts.

However, unlike brand campaigns, political campaigns operate with a high degree of secrecy when it comes to their agencies. This is because their goals are fundamentally different. Bagging a creative award or crafting iconic ads takes a backseat to strategic messaging designed to create buzz and convince voters. While virality is a welcome bonus, the primary focus is to grab the voter’s attention.

Earlier this year, the party was in conversation with over a dozen advertising agencies that included Crayons, Ogilvy, McCann Worldgroup and many others.

While many may have secured small pieces of the business, Prasoon Joshi-led McCann Worldgroup and Sam Balsara-led Madison Media are two of the heavyweights that have been onboarded. While the former is handling a creative mandate, Madison Media has been given the party’s media planning and buying mandate.

First Published on Mar 28, 2024 11:35 AM

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