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BJP's digital surge: Rs 30 crore spent on Google ads in nearly last 30 days

Data from Google Ads Transparency Centre revealed that the BJP has spent over Rs 30 crore on digital ads for its 2024 Lok Sabha Elections campaigns from February 1 till March 4.
Last Updated 05 March 2024, 11:18 IST

If you frequently use the internet in India, particularly in North India, chances are you've encountered at least one of the many ads released by the BJP in the last month or so.

Data from Google Ads Transparency Centre revealed that the BJP has spent over Rs 30 crore on digital ads for its 2024 Lok Sabha Elections campaigns from February 1 till March 4.

From Display Network campaigns that appear on in-app ads and websites, to Alphabet's platforms like Google search app and YouTube, the saffron party has left no digital stone unturned to reach the more tech-savvy voters of India.

These ads predominantly promote Prime Minister Narendra Modi and various schemes of the Union government, spanning multiple Indian languages.

It is 38 times more than what they had spent in the same period during the last Lok Sabha elections in 2019, when they had spent about Rs 79 lakh.

Also, the BJP ran 215 ads between Feb 1 and March 5 in 2019, compared to 12,634 ads between Feb 1 and March 5 in 2024

Clearly, the BJP has stepped up to try and capture the attention and votes of a population that is now chronically online. They have also caught on to the short video formats, since almost 75 percent of their ad money is being spent on videos.

One interesting point to note is that the Lotus party has spent a significant amount of this Rs 30 crore focusing on the northern states, where they've maintained a stronghold in the past two general elections.

The highest ad spending was done for Uttar Pradesh.

A graph of BJP's state-wise spending on Google Ads.

A graph of BJP's state-wise spending on Google Ads.

Credit: Google Ads Transparency Centre

However, in all of this, Google has been taking a strict stance. Google's ad transparency repository reveals that over 50 per cent of the BJP's videos were removed due to violations of the platform's political content policies.

The reasons for video removals remain undisclosed, as Google cites 'policy violation' without specifying, and users cannot view deleted videos.

It remains to be seen whether these modern methods of vote gathering would work in helping BJP maintain power at the Centre, or the change in strategy turns out to be a bad decision.

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(Published 05 March 2024, 11:18 IST)

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