How General Elections 2014 will be driven by WeChat app

Understanding Indian Demographics

India has more than 50% of its population below the age of 25 and more than 65% below the age of 35. It is expected that, in 2020, the average age of an Indian will be 29 years. The number of first time voter in General elections 2014 stands at whopping 149.36 million. Majority of the first-time voters consists of youth considering that 50% of Indians population is below 25 years of age.

Hence it is inevitable to mobilize the youth to take part in democracy, we need to go all guns blazing to inspire youth in shaping India the way we dream it.Internet and Social networks will play a key role in mobilizing the Youth.

In the US and Canadian elections it was found that technology played a key role for candidates in reaching to Youth, make them aware of the power of democracy and how it can solve their challenges and, in turn, more young people are voting. Students who do not have time/access to newspapers, News channels on TV can get to know about elections, candidates, elections manifesto, hear speech of candidates on websites such as Facebook and YouTube. It also allows them to share their excitement, expectations around elections and leaders. In our own Country, the victory of AAP in Delhi elections was greatly influenced by the discussion around Delhi issues, AAP manifesto on Twitter and Facebook. The Social apps like WeChat will take it to the next level as they allow people to share their feelings in real time and it has the power of going viral within minutes. Hence if apps like WeChat are used responsibly and intelligently to spread positives of Democracy, it will have a huge impact in General Elections 2014.

As per Wikipedia, In the 2011 Canadian elections, the use of YouTube and satire by comedian Rick Mercer contributed to increasing the turnout of youth voters.


Foundation of Strategy for Mobilizing the Youth

There is a famous quote  "We are creator or emotions and not logic".

If we were rational in everything we do, we wouldn’t have people smoking and chewing tobacco, we wouldn’t have riots based on religion and community, we wouldn’t have saas-bahu TV serials running for decades. 

Keeping this fundamental human psyche in mind, to get the youth into the democracy through voting, we will have to trigger the right emotions in youth apart from being logical. The logic will always be there but the emphasize should be on the emotions that will make the youth own the Voting campaign rather than forced onto them.


What matters to Youth?

For youth, the things that make them cool, that makes them stylish is what they want to do. Hence, showcase voting as a cool element, working in deciding who serves us and our country a stylish statement will appeal to them. If we look around for case studies where this strategy was applied, you will find that Our freedom movement is a very fine example where of it. To mobile, motivate, inspire and make youth a part of the General Elections 2014, I would follow the following strategy composed of 3 stages strategy

  • Prepare
  • Propagate
  • Perform


  • Get the Voter ID first

The pre-requisite for voting is to get the voter ID. WeChat app should be used to run campaigns of getting Voter ID. People will post the pictures of themselves getting Voter ID. Groups of friends can compete with each other to showcase how many of them have got the Voter ID. WeChat shows the numbers on the of each person. People can share the maps of the location to get Voter ID, people can share the list of docuents needed for Voter ID, people can ask questions with respect to documents and getting voter Id, people can post problems they feel are rampant in their area, people can post pictures highlighting issues like bad road, water leakage etc. Innovative features of WeChat app like DriftBottle, LookAround, Shake are well suited to get the strangers onto the wagon of Voting and in turn make new friends.

  • Ready team of Volunteers

Any campaign needs a team of enthusiastic volunteers and this principle is applicable for the Vote for India campaign also. The team of volunteers will bring others to join the campaign, they will help people in getting their voter ID, they will help people in guiding to poll booths, they will initiate, drive and conclude the discussions using WeChat features like GroupChat, DriftBottle, Shake and LookAround.

  • Add new features in WeChat app

To genuinely drive the #VoteForIndia campaign and to make it a real cool thing to do among youth, there is a need for some customization and addition of novel features in the WebChat app.

The app should add 3 new status

  1. Got Voter ID
  2. Will Vote
  3. Have Voted

It should show a sign of this status against the person name along with the online status

There should be emoticon/stickers also specifically designed for General Elections 2014 and Vote for India campaign.

Also to ensure people pursue their friends to join the campaign, there should be a motivation factor. The WeChat app should show how many people have been made to join the campaign by a particular person on his profile.

  1. Share status updates showing the problems faced by youth like traffic jams, lack of proper public transport, lack of R&D facilities in India. Elections can give you a chance to pick the leader who understand your problems and has guts to solve them.
  2. Show that Elections do change the political equations. The victory of AAP is finest case study to realize the power of democracy, the potential of youth and how their vote change the face of politics, how media played a key role in getting the message of AAP to everywhere


  • Customize the WeChat advertisement

WeChat has done a fabulous job in getting the youth icons for their ads which has made people to switch to WeChat. To derive phenomenal success for the Vote For India campaign, the advertisements should be customized to show how the celebrities have got their voter ID, how they are committed to voting, and at last they have voted. Between being committed to vote and actual voting, the celebrities should be seen discussing and using WeChat to discuss the problems in their areas, the benefit of voting.

  • Add a pinch of Sense of Humor.

The idea of Voting, Elections, politics are perceived as serious topics and so they are boring stuff for youth. A touch of humor during the entire campaign should make it more interesting, relevant and something that suits the taste of youth.

E.g "Tera sabun slow hai kya" advertisement by Lifebuoy is a good example of adding humor, innocence to deliver a serious message like Hygiene.

  • Ride on the influence of western culture

The Western culture, be it their music, their movies, their food habits, their fashion has a very strong impact in all of us. There is always a feeling that what westerns do it better than us. So why not ride on this feeling? Show what is the participation of youth in the democracy in US through various udpates sent using WeChat. US used the political term "Youth Vote" to describe 18 to 29-year-olds and their voting habits. 50% of eligible Youth voted in the 2012 elections in US.

Somebody could throw up stats of Youth voting patterns of US along with a question using DriftBottle feaure of WeChat.

E.g "50% of Youth Voted in US in 2012, shouldn’t we break this record by 100% voting of Youth in India"

Discussions around these topics should happen on GroupChat also.


After all the hard work, preparation, toiling, its time to participate during the general elections and cast vote. During this phase, its important to keep the tempo that was built during the Propagate Stage going. Keep posting the status updates to discuss stuff like

where did u go to vote,
how was the experience,
what u felt like,
show people the route to poll booths,
form groups to Vote and then party
thank WeChat for this campaign and how it raised the awareness

Initiatives of these sort are successful only if we have a strong foundation and focus on what we aim to achieve but are open to learn and adapt on the go based on the response from the audience. I believe the 3 stage strategy I propose will lay a strong foundation for this campaign.

Do let me know your views, comments and suggestions using the Comments sections...

This is my entry for the "

Indian General Elections 2014 with social mobile apps!" contest going on at



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