Are social media campaigns effective or ineffective in general elections

With the upcoming election less than two weeks away, social media is inundated with election-related content from major political parties and independent candidates. They have released songs and campaigns on various platforms, aiming to captivate the audience with catchy tunes.

Taking the lead in our assessment is the Haqooq-e-Khalq Party, with Ammar Ali Jan’s “Loudspeaker” delivering a compelling and resonant message. The lyrics, such as “Haqooq-e-Khalq hai awaz muzdooron aur kisanaon ki,” align perfectly with the party’s manifesto goals.

Ammar’s social media team is also innovative, incorporating popular songs like “Teer te taj,” a famous Punjabi track, as a background score to appeal to voters of diverse backgrounds. The playful use of the pun “Tera Mera hai Pyar Amar” reflects their clever and witty approach.

Furthering the creative landscape is the PTI, a symbol-less party, showcasing distinct songs tailored for each symbol assigned to them, whether it’s a fork (kaanta) or a radio. Saif ur Rehman, contesting from NA 235, adds a humorous touch by incorporating the Bollywood song “Kaanta laga” into his campaign.

Khurram Sher Zaman’s campaign incorporates the dhool from NA-241 creatively, featuring Bollywood’s ‘Mohabbatein.’ Usman Dar’s campaign for his mother, Rehana Dar, cleverly twists Arif Lohar’s party song “Aa tenon mouj karawan” into “Maan tujhe Salam” to represent the baby cot symbol.

Pervaiz Elahi’s wife, Qaisera Ilahi, has a lively campaign song sung by Mazhar Rahi. Folk singer Malko’s ‘Nak da Koka’ went viral, prompting a dedicated part two, ‘Murshid,’ dedicated to Imran Khan, which inspired several songs dedicated to PTI.

The popularity even led PML-N to create a rip-off for their campaign. ‘Umeed se Yakeen Tak’ is gaining traction, and a groovy version of Malko’s ‘Chas Bari Aye Ae’ adds to the musical diversity.

While N-League deserves credit for an integrated campaign with a dedicated YouTube channel, most of their songs are rip-offs. PPP has released a newer version of the widely popular ‘Utho Utho’ titled ‘Chuno Nayi Soch Ko,’ appealing to the gen-z audience with catchy elements for an election campaign.

Although PPP no longer uses ‘Chuno Nayi Soch Ko’ in jalsas, a hidden gem called ‘Jiyalay Teer Chala’ on YouTube is noted for being uber-cool and possessing mass appeal. In summary, as the campaigns intensify, parties experimenting across various mediums seem to garner more attention, with a willingness to explore leading to increased reach and engagement.

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