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Piyush Pandey releases book chronicling BJP’s 2014 poll campaign

‘The Walk to the Capital’ provides a first-hand account of what went into the making of that historic campaign, which was conceptualised by Soho Square

Aanchal Kohli | Mumbai | April 28, 2015


The 2014 Lok Sabha elections were the biggest and most keenly fought elections in Indian history. The elections saw a resurgent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) under the leadership of Narendra Modi virtually sweep the elections with a resounding win. BJP’s election campaign, with its promise of ‘acche din’ and Modi power, was much talked about. Soho Square, the advertising agency behind BJP’s biggest advertising campaign, played a vital role in taking the party’s message to the hearts of Indians.

The independent agency from Ogilvy Group has now come up with a coffee table book, titled ‘The Walk to the Capital’, that provides a first-hand account of what went into the making of that historic campaign. The book was released by Piyush Pandey, Executive Chairman and Creative Director, Ogilvy & Mather India and South Asia, in Mumbai on April 26, 2015.

Speaking on the occasion, Pandey reminisced, “When we had pitched for this account, it seemed like any other account. But when we actually won it and began the work, gradually the weight of the expectation and responsibility began to unfold.”

Elaborating on his experience while working for the campaign, he added, “This has been the best brief I’ve worked on in my entire career and with an absolute dream of a client. Professional to the core, the BJP leadership knew their target audience to the person, and this, I believe, was the key to cracking this campaign. It has been a memorable journey. And we have attempted to capture our journey in this book.”

It was a mammoth task, particularly with the fate of a nation riding on it. “As we put our might behind this task, we discovered hidden strengths and overcame unforeseeable setbacks. We invented new ways to work. We redefined deadlines and turnaround times. We grew closer and more cohesive as a team. In the BJP we found a truly professional, decisive client, who pushed the boundaries and led us admirably well,” Pandey further said.

Samrat Bedi Samrat Bedi

Samrat Bedi, Head of Office, Soho Square, Mumbai, added here, “One of the early media reports referred to Soho Square as ‘a little-known WPP agency’. Looking back on the last one year, I think we have come a long way. We managed to pull off a multi-media campaign without a hitch. That in itself is reassuring. This book only begins to do justice to the coffee-fuelled days and nights we spent turning this campaign around. But it does serve us as a reminder. Wow, we actually did this!”

Anuraag Khandelwal Anuraag Khandelwal

Anuraag Khandelwal and Satish deSa, ECDs and Creative Heads, Soho Square, Mumbai, recalled, “This has been a phenomenal experience. Everywhere we went in India, there were people familiar with our work. What more can a creative person want? We never imagined the impact of our campaign. How it would go on to touch the hearts of a billion people. And when Modi in his victory speech said, ‘Acche din aane waalen hain’, it was a moment like no other. We at Soho Square are truly honoured and humbled by this experience.”

On the lighter note Pandey also mentioned that there used to be meetings, discussions and conceptualisation done in just a few hours. According to him, it was one of the best experiences that got added to his team’s kitty. He concluded by saying, “It was a different campaign and approach. It was my first political campaign with such a large scale. It is just a small contribution of Soho Square to the biggest change that took place in our country. Thanks to this campaign, I learnt how to use WhatsApp!”



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